ISC Patron, Ismail Serageldin

Ismail Serageldin is Emeritus Librarian of Alexandria and Founding Director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the new Library of Alexandria, inaugurated in 2002. He is also the recipient of numerous awards from members of the International Science Council.

Ismail has been chosen as an ISC Patron for his commitment to promoting peace, advancing science, and reducing poverty across the world.

“This is a pivotal moment in history where the global scientific community must come together and respond sensibly and firmly to developments such as populism and post-truth. I am honoured to be a Patron of the ISC and will advocate open and accessible science as a way of driving breakthroughs for the benefit of people everywhere, particularly in the global south”.

Ismail Serageldin, 7 June 2019


About Ismail Serageldin

Ismail Serageldin is the Founding Director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina inaugurated in 2002 and currently serves as Emeritus Librarian, and member of the Board of Trustees of the Library of Alexandria. He also serves on a number of advisory committees for academic, research, scientific and international institutions, including as co-Chair of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center (NGIC), and as a member of the Board of the Science and Technology for Society (STS) Foundation of Japan.  He has held many international positions including as Vice President of the World Bank (1993–2000). He also co-chaired the African Union’s high-level panel for Biotechnology (2006) and again for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in 2012-2013, and was a member of the ICANN Panel for the review of the internet future (2013), and more recently, he was a member of the US National Academies’ panel on Human Genome Editing (2017).

He is also the recipient of numerous awards from members of the International Science Council, including the Public Welfare Medal from the National Academy of Sciences; the Nizami Ganjavi Gold Medal of the Republic of Azerbaijan from the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences and the Honorary Sign of the President awarded by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. Ismail is the 2008 recipient of the Knight of the French Legion of Honour, awarded by the President of France and is Commander of Arts and Letters of the French republic.  He also held a chair at the College de France.   In 1999 was the first recipient of Grameen Foundation (USA) Award for a lifetime commitment to combating poverty and has received many awards from many countries including the Order of the Rising Sun – Gold and Silver Star awarded by the Emperor of Japan (2008).

He has hosted a cultural program on television in Egypt (over 130 episodes) and developed a TV Science Series in Arabic and English. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering from Cairo University and a Master’s Degree and a Ph.D. from Harvard University and has received 40 honorary doctorates.

Ismail has published over 100 books and monographs and over 500 papers on a variety of topics, including biotechnology, rural development, sustainability, and the value of science to society.


About ISC Patrons

A Patron to the ISC is a prestigious title given to those who support science as a global public good, by dedicating their time to promote science and its potential to deliver knowledge which can inform transformative political and wider societal responses to contemporary global challenges.