At International Gathering, Grantees Focus on Regional Science Issues in the Developing World

Grantees in this story

Lack of mobility, inadequate equipment and human resources, brain drain: these are some of the many challenges faced by scientists in developing countries, and were among the many topics of discussion during the International Centre for Theoretical Physics’ meeting on “Science and Development for a Changing World” held this week in Treiste, Italy.

The meeting’s theme, "Science within a Changing Geopolitical Framework", brought together ministers, policy makers and high-level scientists from four world regions--Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Balkans, and Latin America and the Caribbean--to showcase regional success stories as well as challenges regarding science and mathematics education in developing countries. 

Among the meeting’s discussants were leaders of two Carnegie Corporation-supported initiatives:

Helen Quinn, Chair of the National Research Council's Conceptual Framework for New Science Education Standards Committee.  Quinn, a professor of physics at Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, National Accelerator Laboratory, is leading the National Research Council's rigorous study and review process that will develop a science learning framework to reinforce the importance of science education in our increasingly science-dominated society.  

Arlen Hastings, executive director of the Science Initiative Group of the Institute for Advanced Study, manages the Africa Regional Initiative in Science and Education (RISE), an initiative to help increase the number of well-trained university faculty capable of teaching the next generation of African scientists and engineers.

Jean-Pierre Ezin, Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology for the African Union, chaired the African regional session, which spotlighted the difficulties in mobility for scientists on the continent as well as an inequality in university equipment and human resources. Session speakers recommended that ICTP could help by holding localized schools in Africa and by emphasizing regional cooperation in its programs.