» WAYS-UNESCO Science Forum in Latin America and the Caribbean
17.11.2014 - UNESCO Montevideo Office

WAYS-UNESCO Science Forum in Latin America and the Caribbean

Under the Ibero-American Congress on Science, Technology, Innovation and Education

Buenos Aires, Argentina, November 14, 2014, 15:00 to 18:00 h

On the last day of the Ibero-American Congress on Science, Technology, Innovation and Education, which brings together scientists, policymakers, science educators and administrators from Spanish and Portuguese speaking nations in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Europe, the voice of emerging Latin American scientists will be heard in two dynamic sessions featuring innovative projects that showcase science, culture, science advocacy and science diplomacy.

The Youth Science Forum is convened by WAYS (World Association of Young Scientists) and the Regional Office for Science in Latin America and the Caribbean of UNESCO (United Nations Education, Science, and Culture Organization), as the inaugural event of WAYS-LAC (World Association of Young Scientists-Latin America and the Caribbean).

WAYS-LAC (wayslac.org) is a new regional division of WAYS focused on providing a voice and highlighting the importance of young scientists in the development of science and technology in Latin America and the Caribbean as tools for economic growth, sustainable development, social inclusion and regional integration. WAYS-LAC will connect, articulate and scale emerging science initiatives driven by early career scientists throughout the region for collective impact. The inclusion of young scientists is essential from at least two perspectives: first, the young researchers of today are the science leaders of tomorrow, and in that sense are shaping what will be the future of science. Second, young scientists are the best role models students look to when choosing scientific careers. This dual role "hinges" between science today and the science and scientists of the future and should be reflected more in science and technology policies throughout the region.

There are few opportunities for representation of young scientists in high-level international fora, hindering the renewal of ideas and innovative perspectives that young people can contribute. The participation of early career Latin American scientists in the UNESCO Montevideo/WAYS-LAC Youth Science Forum in the Iberoamerican Congress also seeks to promote scientific cooperation, exchange of ideas and experiences and best practices with each other and with policymakers, empowering young scientists as agents of change in the region.

Specifically, the meeting will bring together leaders and representatives of the major organizations of young scientists from Latin America, with an innovative and interactive format that encourages networking to maximize its impact beyond the Congress. The participants chosen for the Forum were selected from several replying to the announcement for the session during 2013 World Science Forum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Priority was given to early career scientists who are leaders with inventive projects that can discuss the problems of young researchers (career development, integration outside the academic system, women in science, etc.), as well as strategies to incorporate the views of young people into national science policy agendas.

Youth Science Forum in Latin America and the Caribbean

Opening: Lidia Brito (UNESCO) and Mandë Holford (WAYS-Global, AMNH-CUNY)

Session 1: "Realities and Myths about Science Careers in Latin America and the Caribbean."
Panelists: Javier Santaolalla (Spain, postdoc in Brazil), Victoria Flexer (Argentina, Marie Curie postdoc in Belgium), Carolina Carrillo (Argentina, Gender and Science).
Moderation: Ernesto Fernández Polcuch (UNESCO)

Session 2: "Impacts of Young Scientists Associations on Science and Technology Policies in Latin America and the Caribbean".
Panelists: Fernando Valiente (Más Ciencia para Chile), Mónica Feliú-Mójer (Ciencia Puerto Rico), José Antonio Alonso (Más Ciencia por México), Alfonso Olivera Torres (Scientific and Technological Talent Foundation of México), Rodolfo Barrere (Argentina, RICYT).
Moderation: Marga Gual (WAYS-LAC)

More information about WAYS-LAC

WAYS-LAC was launched in November 2013 at the World Science Forum in Rio de Janeiro as the Latin American Chapter of the World Association of Young Scientists. The Network was born to foster the vital role of young scientists in the region to advance sustainable development through science, technology and innovation.

The principal mission of the WAYS-LAC platform is to articulate, give visibility, and provide a collective voice to organizations arising out of the growing interest of young scientists and technologists to contribute to decision making and bring science closer to all societal actors, including media, governments and the general public in Latin American countries.

WAYS-LAC is led by Dr. Marga Gual Soler and has the support of the Regional Bureau for Science in Latin America and the Caribbean of UNESCO and the Latin American Division of the International Council for Science (ICSU-ROLAC), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Georgetown University Latin American Board and Arizona State University. WAYS-LAC belongs to BidJuventud network and was recently accepted as a partner in the New Alliance for Youth in the Post-2015 Development Agenda launched by the Personal Envoy for Youth to the Secretary General of the United Nations.

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