World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries (TWAS)

The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries (TWAS), is a UNESCO programme, based in Trieste, Italy. TWAS is the world's pre-eminent academy of sciences dedicated to the promotion of science in the South, with over 1,100 members representing the best of science in developing countries, including 15 Nobel laureates.

TWAS was founded in 1983 by Nobel Laureate Abdus Salam (physics 1979) on the belief that developing nations, by building strength in science and engineering, could build the knowledge and skill to address such challenges as hunger, disease and poverty. It oversees a broad range of capacity building programmes and manages the largest global South-South PhD and post-doctoral research fellowship programme. TWAS also hosts several global initiatives, listed below.

TWAS has been operating under the administrative umbrella of UNESCO since 1991. The Italian government makes an annual financial contribution to the Academy's operation. Representatives of the Italian government and UNESCO are members of the TWAS Steering Committee.

InterAcademy Partnership (IAP - the global network of science academies)

IAP is a global network of 106 science academies. Launched in 1993, its primary goal is to help member academies work together to advise citizens and public officials on the scientific aspects of critical global issues. The IAP Secretariat is hosted by TWAS, and IAP activities are supported by the Government of Italy and by contributions of science academies worldwide. 

InterAcademy Medical Panel (IAMP)

IAMP is a global network of 73 national academies of medicine and academies of sciences or engineering with medical members committed to working together to improve health world-wide, especially in low-income countries. IAMP activities focus on institutional collaboration to strengthen the role of all academies in alleviating the health burdens of the world's poorest people; build national scientific capacity in research and higher education to improve health; and provide independent scientific advice on health and science policy to national governments and global organizations. The IAMP secretariat is hosted by TWAS.

The Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD)

OWSD is an independent, non-profit and non-governmental body based at the offices of TWAS. OWSD was founded in 1987 and is the first international forum to unite eminent women scientists from the developing and developed worlds with the objective of strengthening their role in the development process and promoting their representation in scientific and technological leadership. OWSD provides research training, career development and networking opportunities for women scientists throughout the developing world at different stages in their careers.

Gender in science, innovation, technology and engineering (GenderInSITE)

GenderInSITE is an international initiative to promote the role of women in science, innovation, technology and engineering (SITE). It aims to raise policy-makers’ awareness of the gender and SITE dimensions of development. The main message of this campaign is that SITE for developmental policies and programmes is more effective, equitable and sustainable when gender is taken into account – that is to say, when they reflect the vision, concerns, needs, knowledge and abilities of women and men from all over the world.

Back to top