The conference was held on June 7-8 and focused on "Strengthening S&T in the Americas: A Tool for Development, Social Inclusion and Democracy". After the Opening Session, where the president of the host Academy and the IANAS co-chairs welcomed participants, Mary Kalin Arroyo, from the Chilean Academy of Sciences, delivered a Keynote Conference on “Science, Participation and Democracy: Reflections from the South”. In sequence, Simon Schwartzman (Brazil), Ana Fanelli (Argentina) and Andrés Bernasconi (Chile) participated in a round-table on “The Leading Universities in Latin America and their Contribution to Development”, presenting the conclusions of a study funded by the Ford Foundation and jointly developed by IANAS and IETS. After a break for lunch, representatives from ICSU (José Antonio de la Peña, Mexico), TWAS (Carlos Augusto di Prisco, Venezuela), IAP (Howard Alper, Canada) and the Caribbean Scientific Union (Sergio Pastrana, Cuba) participated in a session on “Strengthening S&T in the Americas: Views and Perspectives”. The first day of the conference came to an end with a session on “Water for the Americas: Access, Management and Social Justice), where José Galizia Tundisi (Brazil) and Blanca Jiménez (Mexico) discussed the IANAS Water Program.
The morning of the second day was devoted to the discussion of the other two IANAS programs. Michael Clegg (USA) delivered a presentation on “Capacity Building for Academies in the Americas: Insights from the IAP Strategic Plan”. Following the discussion on the capacity building program, José Lozano (Colombia), Claudio Bifano (Venezuela), Jorge Almeida Guimarães (Brazil) and Carlos Bosch participated in a roundtable on “Science Education in the Americas: Views and Challenges”. After the discussion of the science education program, a session on “S,T&I Policies in the Americas: Research for Development” was held, with Richard Isnor (IDRC, Canada), Juan Carlos Romero Hicks (CONACYT, Mexico) and Gabriel Macaya (representing the CONICIT, Costa Rica) bringing to debate the view of their organizations. The conference closed with a rich discussion on “The Role of IANAS in Strengthening S&T in the Americas”, coordinated by the IANAS co-chairs.
The IANAS General Assembly was held on June 9. After the opening ceremony, each of the seventeen IANAS member Academies delivered a presentation on the actions of each of them over the last three years, on the session “Benchmarking the Last Three Years: Achievements and Challenges”. In the afternoon, representatives from four countries that do not have a Science Academy were invited to deliver presentations on the state of the art of the level of organization of their respective scientific communities: Oris Sanjur (President of the Panamanian Association for the Advancement of Sciences); Jorge Huete-Pérez (Vice-President of the Nicaraguan Society for Science); Maximo Drets (Emeritus Professor of the Clemente Estable Institute of Biological Investigation, Uruguay); and Fritz Deshommes (Research Provost of the State University of Haiti). In sequence, the co-chairs presented a report on “Three Years of IANAS: The Road Since 2004 and the Way Ahead”, which was unanimously approved. The discussion of the new IANAS Statutes was the next issue in the agenda. After the presentation and discussion of the proposal drafted by the Statutes Committee, which had previously been circulated to Academies, the new statutes was unanimously approved. The General Assembly came to an end with the election of the new co-chairs, Hernan Chaimovich (Brazil) and Juan Pedro Laclette (Mexico) and Executive Board (Argentina, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Guatemala, USA, and Venezuela). The Academies also decided that the next General Assembly will be held in Canada in 2010.
For further information on the IANAS Conference and General Assembly, visit the links below.