22 February 2021

Introducing: The international TWAS family

Speaking different languages but sharing the same smile, 36 scientists from more than 30 countries thank TWAS for propelling their scientific career.

It's a journey that offers a glimpse into different nations and cultures. But, above all, it's a loving tribute to TWAS.

Thirty-six researchers from 32 countries agreed enthusiastically to participate in a COVID-19 lockdown experiment: filming themselves with mobile phones and non-professional cameras to thank TWAS for supporting their careers.

Young and mid-career researchers were selected on the basis of their scientific achievements oriented to bring innovative solutions to global problems and a higher quality of life, not only in their local communities but hopefully beyond. Women and men, equally distributed by gender and geographical origin, agreed to film from someplace close to them: their home, their backyard, public places, and when possible from the lab.

"This film is a heart-warming tribute to TWAS. It makes us happy because of the warmth the members of our extended family express towards TWAS, and also proud because it confirms now more than ever that TWAS is playing an important role worldwide," said TWAS Executive Director Romain Murenzi.

Including Venezuela, Kenya, Malaysia, Turkey, Nepal, Indonesia and many other countries: this journey gives a taste of the subtle but strong weave that binds together so many people through scientific excellence. Hearing their voices speaking foreign languages and dialects offers a cross-section of the diverse world of TWAS.

Today TWAS Fellows number almost 1300 from more than 100 countries and are accomplished scholars who have made significant contributions to the advancement of science in the developing world. They are elected to TWAS as life-long members. In the film, they say: “Recognition as a TWAS Fellow has allowed me to encourage scientific research and respond to the needs of young scientists in the Global South.”

TWAS Research Grants Awardees are the brilliant and enthusiastic recipients of TWAS Research Grants, recognitions provided to outstanding young researchers that the Academy has been distributing since 1986. Since 1991, the Research Grants programme receives essential programmatic funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), a TWAS long-standing partner, whose support has been essential across decades. So far, TWAS has supported more than 2,630 early-career scientists with research grants. In the film, they say: “TWAS has supported my research, and now I can support my community”.

TYAN members are scientists that make up the TWAS Young Affiliate Network, a fresh and dynamic international group established in 2016, during the TWAS's 27th General Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda. They promote cooperation to have a better impact on developing countries through the organization of scientific workshops, networks and public meetings with policymakers, entrepreneurs and journalists. In the film, they say: “As a young member of the international TWAS family, I can build a world connected through scientific cooperation.”

The quality of the videos was augmented by dedicated post-production work carried out at the Trieste-based Immaginario Scientifico (IS). IS is a network of interactive and experimental science museums in the Italian region Friuli Venezia Giulia, in the cities of Trieste, Pordenone and Adegliacco (Tavagnacco-UD). They allow visitors to touch, experiment and learn while having fun.


Cristina Serra

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