Arab Academy of Sciences

The Arab Academy of Sciences is domiciled in Beirut, Lebanon. A non-political, non-governmental and non-profit-making scientific organization, the Academy was established by a group of Arab scientists at the initiative of UNESCO in 2002.

The Academy supports and promotes excellence in research by Arab scientists and encourages problem-solving R&D of relevance to the Arab world. The Academy also acts as a consultative body on scientific issues related to the Arab world. In its three years of existence, it has organized two international conferences, the first in Beirut in 2003 on Bioethics: How to Adapt Biotechnology to Culture and Values; and the second, in Amman, Jordan, in 2004 on Drug Biotechnology and Medicinal Plants.

In a drive to create linkages between scientists and governance, the Academy co-organized with UNESCO and ISESCO a meeting on Science, Technology and Innovation Policy: a Parliamentarian Perspective, in Cairo, Egypt, in December 2004. The Academy promotes co-operation both among researchers in Arab countries and between the latter and the international scientific community. Notably, it is a founding member of the Arab Network for Women in Science and Technology.

In a region where there is little scientific awareness, the Academy also promotes public understanding of science and respect for science.

The pet project of the Academy in 2004-2005 has been the production of an Arabic Encyclopedia on Knowledge for Sustainable Development supported by UNESCO. Once completed, the Encyclopedia will comprise four volumes covering the environmental, social and economic aspects of sustainable development. Contributions from experts in the Arab world were still being sought in 2005.

The Academy's flagship product will be a profile of S&T and higher education in the Arab region, which will be published on-line in 2006 and updated annually.

The Academy is governed by a General Assembly comprising all its members and by an Executive Council headed by Professor Adnan Badran, President of Philadelphia University in Jordan. The Academy's activities are sponsored by international and regional organizations that include UNESCO, the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO), the Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation of the Organization of Islamic Conference (COMSTECH), the Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) and the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) founded under the aegis of TWAS in 1994.

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Source: UNESCO Science Report 2005

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