Asia and the Pacific
- Open science was at the forefront of the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific’s (ROAP) activities in 2020. ROAP worked closely with the UNESCO Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, contributing to UNESCO’s regional consultation, and will continue to co-organize activities to support UNESCO’s Recommendation on Open Science.
- Together with the Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM) and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, ROAP advocated for open science to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). These efforts culminated in the endorsement by APEC Policy Partnership on Science, Technology and Innovation of the Open Science Statement that calls on all APEC economies to support open science, promote science-based evidence in the promulgation of domestic policies and enhance collaboration through capacity building and experience sharing.
- ROAP, together with the Mahathir Science Award Foundation (MSAF) and ASM, organized webinars as part of the ‘TropSc Webinar Series: The Future Belongs to the Tropics’ that aimed to highlight sustainability issues in the tropics. Webinars included ‘Youth for the Tropics’, focusing on climate change, harnessing and protecting natural resources and the role of youth in social entrepreneurship; ‘Black Gold of the Tropics’, on how to ensure a sustainable global coffee industry; ‘The Soul of the Cities’, on the importance of the arts, culture and the human aspects in constituting the soul of the city; and ‘Mountains and Life’, on the value of mountains in the tropics. All of the webinars were recorded and can be viewed on ROAP’s Facebook page.
- The African Scientists Directory was developed by the Regional Office for Africa (ROA) and the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), with funding made available by the South African Department of Science and Innovation. Officially launched in May 2020 as part of virtual Africa Day celebrations, the directory aims to foster joint research efforts and mitigate the ‘brain drain’ of African scientists leaving the continent.
- The Regional Office for Africa coordinated scientists across the continent to produce two books as part of a mandate to raise issues that are of importance to the continent:
- Climate Variability and Change in Africa: Perspectives, Experiences and Sustainability (currently with more than 4,000 downloads)
- Food and Nutrition Security in Africa.
- ‘Science for Development’ was a key theme for the region, with a workshop held in January at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) in Cape Town, South Africa. The aim of the workshop was to create a space for interaction between natural scientists, technology experts, social scientists and development practitioners, in order to encourage and develop interdisciplinary initiatives with tangible benefits to society which could contribute to the achievement of the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda. Later in the year, the Regional Office held a virtual meeting as part of Rethinking Human Development, which featured experts in education and astronomy for development.
Latin America and the Caribbean
- As part of the global relay on Rethinking Human Development, the ISC partnered with the Brazilian Academy of Sciences to highlight the nine new directions to a Brazilian audience. Speakers included ISC Vice-President Elisa Reis and Academy President Luiz Davidovich.
- The ISC encouraged its Members to share their views on the principles and recommendations for research evaluation, Towards a Transformation of Scientific Research Assessment in Latin America and the Caribbean, drafted by the Latin American Forum for Research Assessment (FOLEC, Foro Latinoamericano sobre Evaluación Científica) and coordinated by the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO).
- ISC Member, the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, is a partner in a major new initiative, The Science Panel for the Amazon, which was launched in August 2020.
Image: Bill Oxford on Unsplash
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