Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Improving the assistance for scientists in countries with poor scientific resources

20–23 October 2009. Durban, South Africa. TWAS — the developing world's academy of sciences — is looking to double its endowment fund to support more scientists and researchers in the developing world. The academy, which held its 11th general meeting, said it wants to improve its assistance for scientists in countries with poor scientific resources.

The event was hosted by the Academy of Science and Technology of South Africa and supported by South Africa's Department of Science and Technology. The three-day meeting was highlighted by a series of symposia, ranging from an in-depth look at the state of science and technology in South Africa to an examination of the impact that the global financial crisis is having on investments in science in the developing world.

Jacob Palis, president of TWAS, told some 400 delegates, mostly from the developing world, that the academy hopes to hit a target of US$25 million in the next four years. In his opening address, Palis also said that the academy must continue to participate in discussions about the relationship between science and society — partly through debates on the state of science and technology in Africa.

Palis said the academy would exploit rapidly increasing scientific and technological capacity in Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa by fostering South–South cooperation. He said that although there have been impressive increases in the number of developing world scientists (see Poor countries spending more on science) most success has been in China.
Presentations related to African agriculture:
  • Increasing threats to forest health in South Africa: B. Slippers
  • Exploring the nutritional and functional value of Nile perch processing waste J.H. Muyonga
  • Water challenges in sub-Saharan Africa: towards sustainable solutions: Akiça Bahri
  • The antibacterial bioactivity of some medicinal plans used in reproductive health care from Western Uganda: Kamatenesi-Mugisha
  • Development of nanofiltration membrane from rice husk ash and clay composite for water treatmentE.O. Dare
  • Biotechnology for the production of value-added products from agricultural produceJei-Fu Shaw, Agriculture
TWAS aims to boost its science fund" was first published by SciDev.Net on 21 October 2009. It is republished under a Creative Commons licence.
Science and change in South Africa On the eve of TWAS's 11th General Conference in Durban, Daniel Schaffer, the Academy's public information officer, explored the current state of science in South Africa.