Executive Committee Meeting
14-15 March, 2009
• Welcome and Introductions;
• Minutes of the Previous Meeting;
• Report of the Co-chairs;
• Women for Science Workshop;
• Science Education Programme;
• Water Programme;
• IANAS Secretariat ? Host Academy;
• Governance Committee:
•Rules of Procedure
• Workshop on Science Funding Landscape
• Follow-up Activities for IANAS Workshops
• Capacity Building Programme
•OAS parnership and relationship with the organization
•Exchange of Expertise template
•Meeting in Nicaragua
•IANAS ??Inventing a Better Future?? Workshop
• Other Business;
Eduardo H. Charreau
Academia Nacional de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales
Avda. Alvear 1711, 4° piso, 1014
Buenos Aires , Argentina
Phone: +54 11 4811 2998
Fax: +54 11 4811 6951
E mail: email@example.com
National Academy of Sciences of Costa Rica Apartado Postal 1367-2050
San Pedro, San José, Costa Rica
Phone: +506 283 4814
Fax: +506 283 4101
Brazilian Academy of Sciences
Rua Anfilófio de Carvalho 29/3
20030-060 Rio de Janeiro, RJ – Brazil
Phone: +55 11 3091 3839
Fax: +55 11 3091 3839
Executive Director, International Affairs
US National Academy of Sciences
National Academy of Sciences
500 5th Street, NW
Washington DC , 20001 , USA
Phone: +1 202 334 2804
Fax: +1 202 334 2139
Chilean Academy of Sciences
Almirante Montt 454
Santiago – Centro
Phone: +56 2 664 41 96
Fax: +56 2 638 2847
Juan Pedro Laclette
Mexican _Academy of Sciences
Km 23.5 Carretera Federal México-Cuernavaca
Av. Cipreses s/n, Col. San Andrés Totoltepec
Tlalpan, 14400 México, D.F., México
Phone: +52 55 58 49 49 05/ 55 22
Fax: +52 55 58 4 9 51 12
Marcos Cortesão Barnsley Scheuenstuhl
Executive Secretary – IANAS
Office of International Affairs
Brazilian Academy of Sciences
Rua Anfilófio de Carvalho 29/3
20030-060 – Rio de Janeiro RJ – Brazil
Phone: +55 21 3907 8127
Fax: +55 21 3907 8101
María del Carmen Samayoa
Academy of Medical, Physical and Natural Sciences of Guatemala
13 Calle, N° 1-25, Zona 1
Guatemala City, 01001, Guatemala
Phone: +502 2 476 9745 (+502) 238-1251
Fax: +502 2 476 9962
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
US National Academy of Sciences
Office of the Foreign Secretaries
500th Street, NW
Washington DC 20001 – USA
Phone: +1 202 334 2800
Fax: +1 202 334 2139
Paulo de Góes Filho
Head, Office of International Affairs
Brazilian Academy of Sciences
Rua Anfilófio de Carvalho 29/3
20030-060 – Rio de Janeiro RJ – Brazil
Phone: +55 21 3907 8126
Fax: +55 21 3907 8101
Report on the Seventh Meeting of the IANAS Executive Committee
14-15 March, 2009
EC Members: Hernan Chaimovich (Brazilian Academy of Sciences); Juan Pedro Laclette (Mexican Academy of Sciences); Eduardo Charreau (National Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences of Argentina); Juan Asenjo (Chilean Academy of Sciences); Gabriel Macaya (National Academy of Sciences, Costa Rica); Maria del Carmen Samayoa (Academy of Medical, Physical and Natural Sciences of Guatemala); Michael Clegg (National Academy of Sciences, USA).
Invited Guests: Henry Vaux (US National Academy of Sciences); John Boright (US National Academy of Sciences); Paulo de Góes Filho (Brazilian Academy of Sciences).
Executive Secretary: Marcos Cortesão Barnsley Scheuenstuhl (Brazilian Academy of Sciences).
1 – Welcome and Introductions
The meeting was opened at 9:00 a.m. by Michael Clegg, Foreign Secretary of the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS). He welcomed participants to California and to the Beckman Center in Irvine, stating that it was an honor for the NAS to host the VII Meeting of the IANAS Executive Committee (EC). M. Clegg wished the participants a fruitful meeting and a pleasant stay in the United States.
The co-chairs thanked the NAS for generously hosting the meeting of the IANAS EC in the USA. J. P. Laclette noted that all were very impressed with the magnificent facilities of the Beckman Center and wished all a good meeting. H. Chaimovich thanked the participants for coming to Irvine, stating that unfortunately neither Claudio Bifano nor Yvan Guindon could come. C. Bifano, who has been working closely with J. Asenjo on the proposal for the IANAS Capacity Building Program, had a last minute invitation to an important meeting at his university and Y. Guindon had an agenda conflict that impeded him to come. The co-chairs also thanked John Boright and Paulo de Góes for coming to the meeting, to share with IANAS their long experience in networking of Science Academies.
2 – Minutes of The Previous Meeting
The discussion and approval of the minutes of the previous meeting of the EC held in San José, Costa Rica, on July 2008 was the second issue on the agenda. These had been previously circulated to the members of the EC and the corrections suggested by the members of the EC had been incorporated.
The Co-chairs asked if all had read the final version of the minutes and if there were any modifications or addendums to be made. With no additional comments, the minutes were unanimously approved.
3 – Report of the Co-Chairs
The co-chairs presented a brief report on the recent activities of IANAS. A very important achievement was the successful organization of the IANAS Workshop “Toward a Sustainable Energy Future”, organized under the invitation of the InterAcademy Panel on International Issues (IAP) and the InterAcademy Council (IAC). This activity was hosted by the National Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences of Argentina and counted with the important support of the Argentinean Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation. Held at the headquarters of the Argentinean Center of Engineers, in Buenos Aires, on 30-31 October 2008, this workshop brought together 130 high-level experts from 15 different countries, covering North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean region. The rich mix of participants from academia, multilateral organizations, government, the private sector and non-governmental organizations allowed a particularly comprehensive discussion on the challenges of achieving a sustainable energy future for the Americas. The report of this workshop was presented by John Millhone, from the US, at the ICSU Regional Consultation for Latin America and the Caribbean, which was recently held in Mexico City on 10-11 March, 2009. The co-chairs emphasized that the IANAS EC should benefit from the current meeting to appraise the importance of holding follow-up activities to this workshop.
The network has also been developing an active collaboration with the organization of the American States. IANAS co-chair H. Chaimovich participated in the South American Civil Society Sub-Regional Forum that was held on February 6-7, 2009 in Lima, Peru, in preparation for the Fifth Summit of the Americas, which will be held in April 2009 in Trinidad and Tobago. This Forum was developed on the themes of the Fifth Summit “Securing our Citizens’ Future by Promoting Human Prosperity, Energy Security, and Environmental Sustainability” and assembled various sectors of civil society and non-governmental organizations from the countries of South America, which compiled their recommendations and suggestions on the region’s challenges. The recommendations formulated by the Forum participants will be considered by the 34 OAS Member States as they continue to negotiate the content of the draft Declaration of Commitment of Port of Spain, which is expected to be adopted by the Heads of State and Government at the Fifth Summit.
IANAS co-chair J.P. Laclette represented IANAS in another important OAS activity, which was the Second Meeting of Ministers and High Authorities on Science and Technology in the framework of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI) of the Organization of American States, held in Mexico City on October 27-28, 2008. At this meeting, the central theme “Science, Technology, Engineering, and Innovation as Tools for Prosperity”, and the three sub-themes: “Science, Technology, Engineering, Innovation, and Public Development Policies”; “Science, Technology, Engineering, and Innovation as Tools for Sound Natural Resource Management”; and “Science, Technology, Engineering, and Innovation as Tools for Increasing Competitiveness” were discussed by twenty one Ministers and High Authorities. The co-chairs highlighted the importance of the participation of IANAS in OAS activities, since IANAS is the only Science related organization participating in the OAS Civil Society Forums. The continuous participation of IANAS on these meetings has been important to bring into the OAS agenda the educational and ST&I components.
J.P. Laclette also represented IANAS at the “First Latin American & Caribbean Regional Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation Policies: Towards a New Social Contract for Science”, which was organized by the Regional Bureau for Science of UNESCO for Latin America and the Caribbean and the Mexican Scientific and Technological Consultative Forum (FCCyT). This forum was sponsored by the Mexican National Science and Technology Council (CONACYT) and organized in cooperation with the UNESCO Office at Mexico DF, the International Council for Science (ICSU) Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Inter-American Network of Academies of Science (IANAS).
The co-chairs concluded their report noting the successful development of both the Science Education and the Water Programs, which would be discussed later in the meeting.
After the presentation of the co-chairs report, a rich discussion on the impact of the participation of IANAS on these meetings arose. Participants agreed that taking into account the limited financial and human resources available, IANAS should duly consider how much energy should the network put into these meetings. Notwithstanding, all recognized that the participation on these meetings has highlighted IANAS within the regional scenario. The role played by the network in the OAS meetings has been considered crucial by the OAS Division of Science and Technology, which identifies IANAS as a key partner for the promotion of S&T within the OAS system.
The discussion that was held indicated the need for a deeper appraisal on the impact of the participation of IANAS on these fora, but the general understanding was that the network should continue to play an active role advocating the importance of S&T for development and of the advisory role of the Science Academies in policy and decision making processes. An important aspect that was highlighted was that when participating on these forums, IANAS should take its positions clearly stated in a written document. This would avoid any association of IANAS to positions approved in the meetings that are not in conformity with the organization’s views.
A specific discussion focused on the Fourth World Science Forum, which is being organized by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in a partnership with UNESCO and ICSU, to be held in Budapest on 5-7 November 2009. This forum will have as its central theme “Knowledge and Future”, marking the tenth anniversary of the first World Conference on Science and looking forward to develop a strategic vision of the future of science in the global society of the 21st century. It was decided that IANAS’ engagement to this forum will depend on the effective commitment of UNESCO and ICSU to this meeting and on the space that will be allocated by the organizers to the network to present its views.
In conclusion the EC appraised that the current international crisis situation will be in the center of the debate of most international fora in the near future, hindering the discussion of other important topics. It is important that IANAS clearly identifies its priorities and the forums in which the network will be investing, in order to rationalize the organizations efforts and to maximize its impact. Additionally, based on the success of the Energy Workshop, IANAS should consider the organization of other similar activities where the views and the message of the Science Academies can be clearly stated.
4 – Women for Science Workshop
M.d.C.. Samayoa was invited to present a status report on the state of the art of the IANAS Women for Science Workshop. She reported that it has been very difficult to receive feedback from the Mexican Academy of Sciences on the organization of the workshop. She stated that the three non Mexican members of the workshop’s organizing committee (Alice Abreu, from Brazil; Roberto Markarian, from Uruguay; and herself) have been waiting for a long time for a position from the Mexican Academy of Sciences and only four days ago they received an agenda proposal .
J.P.Laclette distributed the proposal mentioned by M.d.C.. Samayoa, explaining that several problems had occurred. Notwithstanding, he was happy to see that now there was a concrete proposal on the table, which should be appraised by the IANAS EC.
H. Chaimovich suggested that the EC should approve the proposal as it was, to assure that the workshop would happen. The organization of this activity had been very complicated and this had already led to the postponing of the workshop in the past. Thanks to a meeting held in Mexico last November, during the 19th TWAS General Meeting, assembling members of the IANAS EC with the Mexican Academy of Sciences, the organization of the meeting was re-established. At that opportunity it was decided that the IANAS member Academies should be invited to nominate potential speakers and participants to the workshop, rather than having these being decided by the local organization of the meeting. Chaimovich mentioned that he had further comments to make on this issue, but before doing that he would wait for the approval of the proposal.
Following this recommendation the proposal was submitted to a vote and unanimously approved.
Once the decision was made, Chaimovich stated that the president of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, Jacob Palis Jr., had personally sent a message to the Mexican Academy of Sciences nominating three potential speakers/participants to the workshop. Of these, only one was incorporated into the agenda, but other two Brazilian names were listed. He affirmed that the Brazilian Academy of Sciences had absolutely nothing against these names, but it should be clear to the members of the IANAS EC that these had not been suggested by the Brazilian Academy. This agenda item was closed with a recommendation presented by M.d.C. Samayoa, and accepted by all, that JP Laclette should closely monitor the next steps, to make sure that the invitations were sent out shortly to assure that the workshop would effectively happen.
5 – Science Education Program
Under the invitation of the co-chairs, J. Asenjo presented a report on the IANAS Science Education Program. He listed the major achievements of the program in the last years and emphasized the significant support that the OAS has been providing through the FEMCIDI funds. He stressed that until 2006, funding came exclusively from IAP. In 2005 Jorge Allende brought to discussion the idea of developing a project, to be submitted to the OAS, applying for support from that organization to the Science Education Program. After several consultations, a proposal requesting USD 330,000 for a three year period was submitted. The proposal that was approved by OAS-FEMCIDI granted a support of USD 63,700 for 2007, USD 144,100 for 2008 and USD 119,000 for 2009. Additionally, J. Asenjo noted that in 2007 the Mexican Academy of Sciences signed agreements with the Science Academies of seven countries (Bolivia, Costa Rica, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Panama and Peru) to support them in the implementation of Science Education Programs.
Another issue that was highlighted by J. Asenjo was the approval by the Science Ministers of the Americas, in a meeting in Lima on November 2004, of the IANAS Science Education Program as an OAS Hemispheric Initiative. This provided big visibility to the program, helping in the fund raising efforts.
In closing, J. Asenjo mentioned the existence of an agreement signed between the Academies of Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Colombia, the “Convenio Andrés Bello” and the Andes University, for the implementation of the webpage “IndagaLa”, which was officially launched in Bogotá in 2008. The idea of this site is to promote a permanent discussion platform on education issues, where scientists are mobilized to advise teachers and educational materials are made available. Five more countries are in the process of joining this agreement.
The co-chairs thanked J. Asenjo for updating the members of the EC on the state of the art of the program. In sequence, G. Macaya reported on the evolution of the program in Costa Rica. He stated that the Academy had already developed several capacity building activities for the structuring of the national program, but the support of the government has not been as effective as initially expected. Notwithstanding, this scenario is starting to change. The government has now officially announced the program and national funds will be allocated for the establishment of seven resource centers, which will be very important for the implementation of the program in the country.
J.P. Laclette stated his contentment with the Science Education Program, emphasizing the important leadership played both by J. Allende and J. Lozano in the structuring of the program. He stated that in Mexico the “La Ciencia en tu Escuela” program has been developing its activities in a very successful manner and that the Mexican Academy of Sciences was very happy to see that the Mexican government is not only very supportive to the national program, but also to the promotion of the program in other countries in the region.
E. Charreau briefed the EC on the recent activities of the Argentinean program. As of Argentina’s engagement in the regional program, the National Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences hosted in Buenos Aires, on November 2008, in a partnership with the Argentinean Ministry of Education, a Latin American Workshop on Scientific Literacy.
H. Chaimovich then reported on the status of the Brazilian program. He stated that the Brazilian Academy had restructured the coordination of the national program to allow a closer coordination by the Academy. He also mentioned the support that the national program is receiving from Petrobras, which besides funding ongoing activities is also funding a big evaluation of the program. More than just looking at the “ABC na Educação Científica”, the evaluation under development will be looking at existing national science education experiences and appraise how can these be compared to what is being implemented by the program implemented by the Academy. Chaimovich stressed that there is a need for more quantitative data on the effectiveness of the program, comparing schools that adopt the IBSE methodology with others that don’t. The results of this evaluation will be made available by the end of the year.
After a general discussion on the reports, the EC expressed its satisfaction with the evolution of the program.
6 – Water Program
The report on the Water Program was presented by M. Cortesão. He stated that the IANAS member Academies had been challenged to establish multidisciplinary Water Committees to assist the Academies in the discussion of water related issues. These committees were invited to prepare a white paper presenting a strategic view on the country’s national water resources. A first version of these papers will be presented for discussion at the next meeting of the focal points of the program, which will be held in Nicaragua in May 2009.
The reaction from the Academies was very positive. Several Academies are working on the white paper, which will be the first that will be produced by many of the Academies. M. Cortesão stressed that this effort will represent not only a significant contribution from the Academies to national debate on water policies, but also a clear example of how can the Water Program help enhance an Academy’s social relevance and visibility, strengthening its capacity to contribute to national policy and decision making processes.
M. Cortesão added that a very interesting aspect is that the host country of the next meeting of the program is a country with no Academy. The participation of leading scientists from Nicaragua in IANAS activities helped in the establishment of the Nicaraguan Society for Science and, during the coming meeting of the Water Program, a meeting will probably be held to discuss the possible establishment of a national Science Academy. This is being discussed with the focal point of the Water Program in Nicaragua and the leadership of the Nicaraguan Society for Science. This is a demonstration that the Water Program can be an important tool not only for capacity building of water managers, but also for the support to the creation and capacity building of Academies.
The report was concluded with the information that the program had been approached by the Rosenberg International Forum on Water Policy, which proposes to hold its seventh biennial meeting as a satellite event to the 2010 meeting of the IANAS Water Program. To provide further details on this proposal, Henry Vaux, who is the national focal point from the NAS at the Water Program, had come to the meeting of the IANAS EC.
The floor was given to H. Vaux., who thanked for the opportunity to discuss the proposal directly with the IANAS Board. He explained that besides being the focal point from the NAS at the program, he was also the Chairman and principal organizer of the Rosenberg International Forum on Water Policy. This Forum is an activity of the University of California and is funded in part by an endowment gift to the University of California from the Bank of América honoring Richard Rosenberg, on the occasion of his retirement as Chairman of the Bank.
H. Vaux stated that the Forum is held every two years at different locations around the world. To date Forums have been held in San Francisco, USA; Barcelona, Spain; Canberra, Australia; Ankara, Turkey; Banff, Canada; and Zaragoza, Spain. The Zaragoza Forum was held in June 2008. Attendance at the Forum is by invitation only and is restricted to 50 water scholars and senior water managers. At the Zaragoza Forum there were 48 participants from 25 countries. Each Forum has a specific theme, developed by the Forum Advisory Committee. Papers are commissioned and shared with Forum participants in advance. Authors then provide brief summaries of their papers so that the Forum is devoted largely to round table discussion and exchange. The papers are ultimately published by Routledge Press of London, following peer review.
H. Vaux explained that he had been discussing with José Tundisi and M. Cortesão – and more lately also with H. Chaimovich and E. Charreau – the possibility of holding the next Forum in the Americas, as a joint activity to the 5th Meeting of the National Focal Points of the IANAS Water Program. He stated that the Argentinean Academy had been approached and manifested the interest to host this joint meeting. He also had a meeting in Washington with Clovis Baptista, Director of the OAS Department of Science, Technology and Innovation, who reacted very positively to the proposal and will discuss, within the structure of OAS, what type of support his organization can be able to provide. In closing, he thanked again for the opportunity to participate in the EC meeting, stating that he was looking forward to a positive reaction from IANAS to this proposal.
E. Charreau informed that the National Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences of Argentina was very receptive to the proposal. He has discussed the idea with the national focal point of the Water Program in Argentina, Raul Lopardo, who is also the president of the National Institute of Water and the Environment, as well as with governmental authorities. He stated that he was glad to announce that the Argentinean Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation will be allocating USD 25,000 to support this joint meeting.
The EC appraised that the Water Program was evolving very well and the proposal of the joint IANAS – Rosemberg Forum was considered a very important initiative not only for the program, but for IANAS as a whole. The stakeholders involved in the process were a clear evidence that IANAS and the Water Program have become an active actor in the regional scenario. The members of the EC praised the achievement of the program and thanked M. Cortesão for the report and H. Vaux for coming to the meeting to contribute to the discussion.
7 – Secretariat – Host Academy
As decided at the last meeting of the IANAS EC, the discussion on the headquarters of the IANAS Secretariat was back on the agenda. The members of the EC appraised that the Secretariat has been working very effectively in Rio de Janeiro. J. Asenjo stated that IANAS should be practical and keep the Secretariat in Brazil. J. P. Laclette argued that although he recognized the effectiveness of the Secretariat in Rio, he considered that as Brazil will not occupy one of the co-chairmanships in the next term of office, it might be good to transfer the Secretariat to a country where one of the new co-chairs is based. This would also be positive for the capacity building of another Academy that would be able to benefit from the experience of hosting the IANAS Secretariat. M. Clegg remembered that IAP operates quite well with a secretariat in Italy, which is a country that never had an IAP co-chair. H. Chaimovich stressed that the decision on the host country to the Secretariat will have to be made by the 2010 General Assembly. All agreed with this and it was decided that prior to the General Assembly, IANAS will issue a call for Academies willing to host the Secretariat.
8- Governance Committee
M. Clegg reported on the meeting of the IANAS Governance Committee that was held in Mexico during the TWAS General Meeting past October. At the opportunity, the committee made a thorough discussion on the IANAS Statutes, drafting the revised Statutes version that were distributed to the members of the EC prior to the Irvine meeting. M. Clegg then read the revised version and the modifications listed below were proposed.
In the preamble, instead of “The main goals of IANAS will be” it should be stated “The main goals of IANAS are”. Additionally, on item 3 of the preamble, instead of “To influence the scientific decision-making processes in the Americas”, it should be stated “To increase the provision of scientific advice in the decision-making processes in the Americas”.
In Chapter 1, on Members and Organization, in article I.1 instead of “Academies of the countries of the Americas, with science components – such as Social Sciences, Engineering and Health Sciences…” it should be stated “Academies of the countries of the Americas – including those that comprise Social Sciences, Engineering and Health Sciences…”. Still in Chapter 1, in article 1.2, instead of “Membership in IANAS shall be for nine years, with renewal based on reapplication…” it should be stated “Membership in IANAS shall be for nine years, with renewal based on a letter of reapplication…”.
In Chapter 2, on The General Assembly, in item a of article II.3 the words “and their budgets” should be suppressed from the end of the phrase.
In Chapter 3, on The Executive Committee, in item b of article III.1, instead of “Five elected member Academies from countries not represented in the citizenship of the Co-Chairs”, it should be stated “Five elected member Academies from countries not represented by the countries of the Co-Chairs”. Additionally it should also be sated that “No country can have more than one vote on the Executive Committee”. In article III.5, the phrase “The Co-Chairs shall not be responsible for hosting a General Assembly” should also be suppressed from the beginning of the article. Finally, article III.9 should be the first article in Chapter 3, being all others consequently renumbered. The reference to OAS, UNESCO, PAHO, IDB and IACD should also be suppressed from this article.
In Chapter 4, on The Secretariat, in article IV.3.2 instead of “If the host Academy wishes to terminate its role as host Academy, it shall notify the Executive Committee of that intention at least two years before the date of actually ending its role as host Academy…” it should be stated “If the host Academy wishes to terminate its role as host Academy, it shall notify the Executive Committee of that intention at least one year before the date of actually ending its role as host Academy”
A new chapter on Budget and Finance should be included as Chapter 5, stating in article V.1 that “The Co-Chairs shall present a financial report at each General Assembly. As a consequence the following chapters need to be renumbered.
In conclusion, a Transitory Article should be included at the end of the Statute, stating that “Only for the occasion of the 3rd General Assembly the requirement in article IV.3.1 shall not apply”.
Taking into account the spirit of the revised Statutes, the Governance Committee shall review and adapt the Rules of Procedure. Once this is submitted electronically to the EC, the new versions of the Statutes and Rules of Procedures will be distributed to IANAS member Academies for review. The final version of the Statute and Rules of Procedure will be approved by the 2010 General Assembly.
9 – Science Funding Landscape workshop
The discussion on the IANAS Science Funding Landscape Workshop was introduced by M.d.C. Samayoa, who reported on the approval of the support to this activity by IAP, IDRC and CONCYT. She stated that IAP and IDRC had respectively approved grants of USD 30,000 and USD 25,000, while the Secretary of Science and Technology of Guatemala had promised a support of USD 20,000. She acknowledged the support of J.P. Laclette, who personally discussed the matter with CONCYT on a recent visit he made to Guatemala. It was important to make the local S&T authorities aware of the significance of the workshop.
M.d.C. distributed a document for discussion, where the objectives and structure of the workshop were detailed. Based on projections, she also presented a preliminary budget where she demonstrated that, if the meeting was to be held in Antigua, the cost would be approximately USD 15,000 higher. Based on these documents, this agenda item was examined by the members of the Executive Board.
Taking into account the projected costs, it was consensually decided that the workshop should be held in Guatemala City. Besides cost considerations, it was noted that it will be easier to obtain good press coverage for the workshop if it is held in the capital city.
There was also a debate on the structure of the workshop. It was decided that rather than a traditional meeting with a set of presentations, IANAS should adopt a more flexible structure to stimulate the interaction between participants. Very few plenary talks should be given, while most of the discussion should take place in parallel roundtables including a small number of participants from the scientifically lagging countries and representatives from organizations that offer funding opportunities in the hemisphere. The representatives from the funding organizations will sit permanently in the same roundtable, while participants from Latin American and Caribbean countries will be moving from one roundtable to the other. The understanding of the Executive Committee was that this structure will allow all country participants to sit in a roundtable with all the representatives from the organizations, enhancing the exchange of visions, experiences and opportunities.
Another decision was that the workshop should not have a specific focus. The organizations providing funding opportunities will be given a space to present their views and foci, but, most important, the representatives from the countries will have the opportunity to present their specific needs. Rather than predetermining a focus, each country shall be stimulated to present their real needs. This innovative structure will allow, from one side, the targeted countries to become aware of existing opportunities. On the other hand, funding organizations will have the opportunity to become acquainted with what are the needs of each of the countries.
It was also agreed that besides the roundtables, there will be slots for bilateral meetings (“exchange time”), which will be a time dedicated to bilateral contacts between participants and organizations. During the “exchange time”, participants will be able to further discuss with the organizations issues raised during the roundtables.
As for the plenary talks, it was decided that J.P. Laclette will deliver a dinner conference on the night prior to the opening of the workshop, focusing on what is IANAS and what are the objectives of the Science Funding Landscape Workshop. On the morning of the first day, G. Macaya will deliver a talk providing an overview on the vision of the organizations that provide funding opportunities in the Americas, while H. Chaimovich will deliver another talk focusing on the view of the scientifically lagging countries in the region. Both the organizations and the targeted countries will have to be contacted in advance to provide inputs for these two presentations.
The Executive Committee also decided that the countries to be targeted are Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad & Tobago, Uruguay and Venezuela. Each of these countries will be invited to send three participants, being one a representative from the National Research Council (or equivalent organization), another a representative of a major national University, and the third a talented young scientist. The organization will cover the total costs for the young scientists and, if the budget allows, the local expenses of the representatives from the Universities and Research Councils.
To decide upon the details of the meeting, an Organizing Committee was established, being this constituted by H. Chaimovich, J.P. Laclette, M.d.C. Samayoa, G. Macaya, John Boright, Darren Gilmour (Executive Director of the RSC), and M. Cortesão. This committee will adopt as a reference the organizational experience of the Energy Workshop held in Buenos Aires.
10 – Follow-Up Activities for IANAS Workshops
H. Chaimovich introduced the discussion stating that the EC should consider the possibility of implementing follow-up activities for the IANAS workshops. He recognized that it was important to bring together key regional stakeholders to discuss the recommendations of the IAC studies, but IANAS should also develop mechanisms that would stimulate Academies to implement initiatives that would help bring into action these recommendations.
The members of the EC agreed with this vision, although there was some scepticism on the viability and effectiveness of this type of initiative. It was agreed that IANAS should look to upcoming events where the network could join effort with other organizations, trying to link to events that are connected to the activities of IANAS and that can be related to future topics of the 2010 General Assembly.
Energy was identified as an issue that will be in the agenda for the next years. Having IANAS already organized a successful workshop on this topic, a follow-up activity on the Energy Workshop was considered appropriate. It was decided that a IANAS Working Group (WG) on Energy should be established, being this WG coordinated by John Millhone, from the US, who had played a very active role in the organization of the Energy Workshop. The team that was involved in the organization of the Buenos Aires workshop will be in charge of establishing the Energy WG.
11 – Capacity Building Program
Under the invitation of the co-chairs, J. Asenjo presented a document for discussion, which was prepared by him, in collaboration with C. Bifano. This document stated that it is well known that National Science Academies have played an important role in the development of science and technology not only in developed countries, but also in many developing ones, giving as examples the cases of Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Argentina. On this basis, Academies should also play a central role in promoting the development of S&T in scientifically lagging countries.
J. Asenjo proposed that to strengthen the regional Science Academies and to support their action, the IANAS Capacity Building Program should focus on two types of activities: (1) the creation of National Science Academies in those countries that do not have one; and (2) the establishment of a Scientific Capacity and Mobility Program.
He stressed that the development of appropriate human resources that can be active and productive at an international level in science and technology is an essential feature in building a scientific community. To pursue this objective, two main avenues with a focus on countries or regions with limited scientific capabilities were proposed. The first would consist of a program that will support doctoral studies of outstanding students from scientifically lagging countries in more developed countries in the region. Fellowships for this program would be coordinated with the Science Academies that have either national programs that provide fellowships or whose universities can provide support for outstanding Ph.D. candidates. The Academies pursuing such fellowships should focus on potential areas of interest and should be partly responsible for the initial selection of suitable candidates.
The second avenue would consist of a program of short stays (e.g. 3 – 9 months) for young investigators including doctoral students, which would allow them to interact and obtain specialized training in frontier laboratories and/or use specialized or sophisticated equipment not necessarily available in their home institutions. The National Science Academies should help in selecting the appropriate candidates, as well as identifying potential funding sources.
According to the proposal, every year the IANAS EC should advise on the countries and/or regions that would benefit from the Capacity Building Program. In order to carry out the selection of candidates, the IANAS website should have a standard form including a case for the specific needs of the country or the region being considered and stating how this activity would strengthen the scientific level of that country. A register should be produced regarding offers of individual countries for such fellowships (e.g. Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico, USA) and of the mechanisms that universities in specific countries use to select potential awardees (e.g. Canada, USA). Evidently the idea is that these Ph.D. students will be fully supported by the fellowship (fees, living and travel expenses). The Academies of individual countries that are interested in participating on this program should promote this information thoroughly throughout the interested and potential institutions.
The co-chairs thanked J. Asenjo for the presentation of the proposal, congratulating him and C. Bifano for providing to the IANAS EC a very comprehensive framework for the Capacity Building Program. The general outline of the proposal was positively appraised, but considering the complexity of the proposal it was decided that the next meeting of the IANAS EC should dedicate a complete day for the discussion of the IANAS Capacity Building Program.
H. Chaimovich then reported on a discussion that he had with the Department of Science and Technology of the OAS on a potential partnership to launch a pilot “Short Technical Traineeship Program”, to be initially funded by OAS scholarships. The role of the IANAS Academies would be to help identify the needs of the scientifically lagging countries of the Americas and the Caribbean region, select the trainees, identify the centres were the training would be developed and evaluate the results. H. Chaimovich mentioned that this proposal was in line with the proposal presented by J. Asenjo and that the OAS was very interested in signing a MOU with IANAS to launch this program. He had explained to the OAS Department of Science and Technology that he would submit this proposal to the meeting of the IANAS EC to see if IANAS would agree to develop this partnership with OAS. The EC approved the proposal and authorized H. Chaimovich to discuss with the OAS the basis of the MOU.
In sequence, J.P. Laclette mentioned that under the request of IANAS, the member Academies had provided information on the history, structure, and mission of the Academies. He complained that to the present this info had not been made available at the IANAS website. He stressed that the diffusion of this information is important to help the countries that are interested in establishing a Science Academy. M. Cortesão recognized that, in fact, the info on the templates had still not been uploaded to the website, explaining that this was due to the difficulties faced by the website in the past year. He informed that very recently the Brazilian Academy of Sciences had contracted a webmaster for the website and that in the near future the data provided by the Academies will be online. It was agreed that by the next meeting of the IANAS EC this should be done.
M.d.C. Samayoa then announced that a Science Academy had been established in Honduras and that El Salvador had established a Physical and Mathematical Association. The co-chairs thanked her for the information and highlighted the importance of these initiatives. The EC then evaluated that to support more effectively these processes, it is important to identify more clearly the structure and dynamics of the academic communities of countries willing to establish Academies. It was agreed that members of the EC should be visiting these countries to better understand these local realities.
In conclusion, M. Cortesão briefed the EC on the proposal submitted to IAP on the IANAS ‘‘Inventing a Better Future’’ Workshop. As the members of the EC were aware, by the end of January 2009 IANAS received an invitation from IAP to submit, by the deadline of February 23, a proposal for the organization of IAP/IAC Regional Workshops in 2009. Considering the time frame and that IANAS had already organized a workshop based on the “Towards a Sustainable Energy Future” Report, and will be holding a workshop based on the “Women for Science” Report coming April in Mexico, it was electronically discussed and decided that a proposal for a workshop based on the “Inventing a Better Future: A Strategy for Building Worldwide Capacities in Science and Technology” Report should be submitted. This was done and if the proposal is approved, this initiative will perfectly match the momentum of the IANAS Capacity Building Program, representing a good follow-up activity for the “Science Funding Landscape Workshop” coming July. As a venue was needed for this workshop, it was proposed to the Mexican Academy of Sciences to host this activity. J.P.Laclette informed that he would consult with the Academy and provide an answer in the near future.
12 – Other Business
H. Chaimovich informed the EC that the Cuban Academy of Sciences will be celebrating 150 years in 2011. In this context, Cuba offers to host a meeting of the IANAS EC in 2011, inserting this meeting among the roster of activities that will be held as part of the proposed celebrations. The EC unanimously approved this proposal and the date of this meeting will be negotiated with the Cuban Academy and settled by the future IANAS EC, which will be elected in the next General Assembly in Canada.
Although C. Bifano could not come to Irvine, he had sent an e-mail to the IANAS Secretariat offering to host in Caracas the next meeting of the IANAS EC. Members of the EC also raised the proposal of holding the next meeting of the EC in Mamirauá, Brazil. The date of this meeting will be around mid November 2009 and the two proposed venues will be considered, taking into account the availability of the lodge in Mamirauá and the conditions offered by the Venezuelan Academy. In the near future the members of the Executive Committee will be receiving further details on this meeting.