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2 February 2009

TWAS Marks 25th Anniversary with Election of 41 New Members

TWAS, the academy of sciences for the developing world, has elected 41 new members. The election took place during the opening day of the Academy's 25th anniversary meeting in Mexico City.

his brings the Academy's total membership to 911. The new members, who were chosen from 167 candidates, include two scientists from Ethiopia and one from Uzbekistan. Scientists from Brazil, Cuba, China, Jamaica and India were also elected. For a complete listing of the new TWAS members, see Members Elected 2008.

25anniv.gifThe opening ceremony, which took place on Monday, 10 November, included speeches by Josefina E. Vázquez Mota, Secretary, Public Education, Mexico; Marcio Nogueira Barbosa, Deputy Director-General, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); Barbara Bregato, Consigliere, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Italy; Juan Carlos Gutiérrez, Director-General, the Mexican National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT); Rosaura Ruiz Gutiérrez, President, the Mexican Academy of Sciences; and Katepalli R. Sreenivasan, Director, Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP).

The afternoon session began with an address by TWAS President Jacob Palis, 'TWAS: Then and Now', which described the Academy's past and future challenges on the occasion of TWAS's anniversary. In the first of four Silver Jubilee Lectures, Nobel Laureate Mario Molina (Chemistry 1996) examined 'The Impact of Human Activities on Our Atmosphere', focusing special attention on the risks posed by climate change.

Presentations by the 2008 Trieste Science Prize winners followed. Beatriz Barbuy spoke on 'Chemical Elements in Old Stars and the Formation of the Galaxy', and Roddam Narasimha, in a lecture titled 'The Queen of the Tropical Sky', examined the fluid dynamics of the cumulus cloud. The Trieste Science Prize, funded by illycaffè and carrying a cash award of US$100,000, is given to the developing world's most distinguished scientists.

The first day's activities closed with a panel discussion that explored 'Strategies for Promoting South-South Cooperation for Education and Research'. Those participating in the panel included Tan Tieniu, Deputy Secretary General, Chinese Academy of Sciences; M.G.K. Menon, Founding Member of TWAS and Adviser to the Indian Space Research Organization; Turner T. Isoun, former Federal Minister of Science and Technology in Nigeria; Atta-ur-Rahman, Coordinator General, COMSTECH in Pakistan; and Mosibudi Mangena, Minister of Science and Technology in South Africa.

The TWAS 25th anniversary conference, which is being hosted by the Mexican Academy of Sciences, will continue through Thursday.

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