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PISA Worldwide Ranking – average score of math, science and reading for some OIC Countries

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Source: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), 2015-2016

The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a worldwide study by OECD in 70 nations of 15-year-old  students’ scholastic performance on mathematics, science and reading.

Average Score of PISA Mathematics, Science and Reading:

1.        United Arab Emirates432.7
2.        Turkey424.3
3.        Albania415.0
4.        Qatar407.3
5.        Jordan399.0
6.        Indonesia395.3
7.        Lebanon376.3
8.        Tunisia371.3
9.        Algeria362.0

PISA Mathematics Scores:

1.        United Arab Emirates427
2.        Turkey420
3.        Albania413
4.        Qatar402
5.        Lebanon396
6.        Indonesia386
7.        Jordan380
8.        Tunisia367
9.        Algeria360

PISA Science Scores:

1.        United Arab Emirates437
2.        Albania427
3.        Turkey425
4.        Qatar418
5.        Jordan409
6.        Indonesia403
7.        Lebanon386
8.        Tunisia386
9.        Algeria376

PISA Reading Scores:

1.        United Arab Emirates434
2.        Turkey428
3.        Jordan408
4.        Albania405
5.        Qatar402
6.        Indonesia397
7.        Tunisia361
8.        Algeria350
9.        Lebanon347
PISA Worldwide Ranking – average score of math, science and reading

Opening Ceremony of The International Fractional Differentiation Applications 2018

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Under the Patronage of
Her Royal Highness :
Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan ,
Opening Ceremony of The International Fractional Differentiation Applications 2018
تحت رعاية صاحبة السموّ الملكي ، الأميرة سميّة بنت الحسن ، بدء فعاليات المؤتمر العالمي للتفاضل الكسري وتطبيقاته ٢٠١٨

The ICFDA’18 is a specialized conference on fractional-order calculus and its applications. It is a generalization of the integer-order ones. The fractional-order differentiation of arbitrary orders takes into account the memory effect of most systems. The order of the derivatives may also be variable, distributed or complex. Recently, fractional-order calculus became a more accurate tool to describe systems in various fields in mathematics, biology, chemistry, medicine, mechanics, electricity, control theory, economics, and signal and image processing.
Topics of interest include, but not limited to:
• Automatic Control
• Biology
• Electrical Engineering
•​ Electronics
• Electromagnetism
• Electrochemistry
• Finance and Economics
• Fractional Dynamics
• Fractional Earth Science
• Fractional Filters
• Fractional Order Modeling and Control in Biomedical Engineering
• Fractional Phase-Locked Loops
• Fractional Variational Principles
• Fractional Transforms and Their Applications
• Fractional Wavelet Applications to the Composite Drug Signals
• History of Fractional Calculus
• Image Processing
• Mathematical methods
• Mechanics
• Physics
• Robotics
• Signal Processing
• Singularities Analysis and Integral Representations for Fractional Differential Systems
• Special Functions Related to Fractional Calculus
• Thermal Engineering
• Viscoelasticity

IAS 2013 Conference Proceedings Online

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IAS 2013 Conference Proceedings has  recently been uploaded onto the IAS website www.iasworld.org under the section Recent Publications or directly  www.iasworld.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Bangladesh-Contents-Final.pdf  

Proceedings of the 19th IAS Science Conference on

Achieving Socioeconomic Development in the Islamic World
Through Science, Technology and Innovation

organised in Dhaka/ Bangladesh;
5-9 May 2013

Sir Peter Gluckman named President-elect of International Science Council

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Sir Peter Gluckman FRS FRSNZ was elected to the position of President-elect of the newly formed International Science Council at its inaugural meeting in Paris.

The International Science Council combines two longstanding organisations — the International Council for Science and the International Social Science Council, and is intended to provide global leadership on complex issues that can be addressed through application of transdisciplinary science.

Sir Peter will hold the role of President-elect of the Council until 2021 and will then serve as President for three years until 2024.

Royal Society Te Apārangi Chief Executive Dr Andrew Cleland FRSNZ was at the election in Paris.

“It was clear what great esteem Sir Peter is held in across the widest diversity of science disciplines and regions of the globe.

“This is the first time a New Zealander has held such an important and significant role in global science.  His election to this role is well-deserved. It is clear that the world appreciates his ongoing contributions, including his continuing leadership in the International Network of Government Science Advisers.”

“On behalf of the Society, I congratulate Sir Peter and we wish him well in this new and very significant role for New Zealand science.”

Sir Peter Gluckman is New Zealand’s science envoy and has served as New Zealand’s Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor for almost a decade until this week, when Professor Juliet Gerrard FRSNZ has taken over the role.

Sir Peter says the need for a stronger global voice for science has never been more apparent.

“Our world is becoming more fractured at the very time we need concerted efforts to address global and domestic issues. Technological and social changes create both challenges and opportunities for enhancing the environment, society and the economy.

“All knowledge disciplines and sciences ranging from basic/fundamental to stakeholder-engaged have critical roles to play: undertaking excellent research, building capacity and global collaboration, and communicating results and their implications to both society and policy makers.

“Yet our voice is not always clearly heard.   Scientists in all parts of the world must have the freedoms to operate to achieve lasting impact, while recognising that trust is key in the evolving relationship between science, society and policy-making.

Peter Cluckman 4 July Paris Custom

Sir Peter Gluckman addresses the International Science Council ahead of his election as President-elect

“As knowledge communities, we must look to ourselves, promoting inclusivity, diversity, equity, accessibility, ethical conduct, publication practices and outreach that strengthen trust and engagement with all sectors of society.

“The International Science Council can be the premier international science body — the persuasive, integrated voice for research-based knowledge while strengthening disciplines, national science communities, unions and associations to better contribute to a world that needs our knowledge.”

Source: Royal Society Te Apārangi https://royalsociety.org.nz/news/sir-peter-gluckman-named-president-elect-of-international-science-council/

 

Fuat Sezgin passes away: the departure of the famous Turkish historian at the age of 94 years

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Turkey lost an important scientific symbol on the death of the famous Turkish historian Professor Fuad Szegin, who passed away on Saturday 30 June at the age of 94. Majd Jatin Qaya, chairman of the Board of Trustees and the Board of Trustees,“He told the Anatolia news agency that Szegen died last Saturday at a hospital in Istanbul. He praised Szegen’s status as one of the most prominent historians and scientists in Turkey and the world. “Leave Turkey a library and a museum that is invaluable.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan personally mourned the death of the thinker and historian Sezgin, and offered condolences to the Turkish people by twittering on his Twitter account. He explained that Professor Sezgin was a great scientist and was able to revive the Islamic civilization again, Through research and studies conducted in the field of the history of Islamic sciences.

The world and the Turkish historian «Fouad Sizgin», in the state of «Beatles» in the south-east of Turkey, on 24 October 1924, is one of the most involved in the Arab and Islamic heritage in the world, and is «Szegin», one The students of the famous oriental orientalist Helmut Ritter, who had convinced him to study Islamic history, began to learn Arabic since then and received his doctorate in 1954 through his research thesis “Sources of Bukhari.”

During the same year, he became a professor at the University of Istanbul. He published his doctoral dissertation entitled “Studies on Al-Bukhari Sources” in 1956, before his professor left Turkey for Germany after being prevented by the military coup government. Turkey in 1960, accompanied by 146 Turkish academics to continue working and study at the universities of the country, to continue his studies at the University of “Frankfurt” German.

Five years later, in 1965, the Galilean world presented a second dissertation on the Arab chemist, Jabir ibn Hayyan, after which he won the title of Professor after only one year of submission. He soon married the Orientalist Shortly before his death, Fouad Seizgen continued to write the 18th volume of the History of Arab Heritage, which was first published in 1967. This great research work is the most comprehensive book dealing with the history of human beings. the world.

The famous Turkish historian is known to have mastered about 27 different languages, including the Syriac, Hebrew, Latin, Arabic and German languages, and he mastered these languages ​​very well. And Islamic technology in Istanbul.

During his scientific career, Fouad Sizgin won several international awards and accolades from various institutions, the most important being the Arabic Language Complex in Cairo, the Arabic Language Complex in the Syrian capital Damascus, the Arabic Language Complex, In the Iraqi capital Baghdad, in addition to the Academy of Sciences in Turkey, and was «Szegin» was crowned honorary doctorate by many universities, such as the University of «Ataturk» in the state of Erzurum Turkish, and «Solomon Demiral» in the state of Sparta and Istanbul University, Frankfurt am Main Goethe, and the Federal Service Medal of Honor The first prize in Germany, and the Grand Presidential Prize for Culture and Arts in Turkey.

https://ranodjo.net/personality-today-the-departure-of-the-famous-turkish-historian-fouad-sizgin-at-the-age-of-94-years/

2018 Templeton Prize Laureate – King Abdullah II of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

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WEST CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. – King Abdullah II of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, who has done more to seek religious harmony within Islam and between Islam and other religions than any other living political leader, was announced today as the 2018 Templeton Prize Laureate.

Known for his grace and humility, the King’s long quest to promote peace-affirming Islam gained momentum in 2004 in the wake of the Iraq war when the fragile unity of Sunni and Shi’a Muslims in the region was at substantial risk. During that period, increasingly vocal rhetoric from marginal Islamic groups threatened to create deeper schisms within the Islamic community. In the face of these challenges, the King launched the breakthrough Amman Message that articulated a clear understanding of the central elements of Islam, and affirmed that terrorism and violence have no place in the religion.

The following year, he assembled 200 scholars from 50 countries representing all schools of jurisprudence in Islam who, under his guidance, issued a declaration now known as the “Three Points of the Amman Message.” The first point recognized the validity of all eight legal schools of Islam. The second forbade declarations of apostasy (known as takfir) between Muslims, while the third established conditions for issuing fatwas, Islamic legal rulings. The Three Points have come to represent an unprecedented and almost unanimous religious and political consensus by Muslims around the globe. Since then, more than 450 Islamic scholars and institutes from more than 50 countries have endorsed it.

In 2006, King Abdullah II supported and funded the initiative known as “A Common Word Between Us and You,” which led to a 2007 open letter from Islamic religious leaders to Christian religious leaders. A Common Word contains a call for peace and harmony between Muslims and Christians based on the twin commandments shared by both faiths, namely “love of God” and “love of the neighbor.” Originally signed by 138 Muslim leaders and scholars from 52 countries, it now has more than 400 signatories including nearly 300 endorsements from a wide range of Christian leaders, and is considered by many to be the most important Muslim theological initiative towards Christians.

In 2010, he proposed the annual UN World Interfaith Harmony Week with a General Assembly resolution expanding the twin “love” commandments by adding “love of God or love of the good” to “love of one’s neighbor,” thus including all people of goodwill, with or without faith. Adopted unanimously by the General Assembly, the resolution established the first week of February as UN World Interfaith Harmony Week to stress the moral imperative of promoting and understanding the values of peace inherent in all religions. It is generally acknowledged as the first and only time that the United Nations approved a resolution explicitly citing belief in God.

Through these groundbreaking initiatives and many others, King Abdullah II has led a reclamation of Islam’s moderate theological narrative from the distortions of radicalism. But these efforts have come with great personal cost including condemnation and death threats from radical terrorist groups. As a result of Jordan’s key geographical location, his efforts have required extraordinary courage to advance cooperation within Islam and between Islam and other religions.

The Templeton Prize, valued at 1.1 million British pounds, is one of the world’s largest annual individual awards and honors a person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works. The announcement was made online at www.templetonprize.org today by the John Templeton Foundation, based in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.

Established in 1972 by the late global investor and philanthropist Sir John Templeton, the Prize is a cornerstone of the Foundation’s international efforts to serve as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the deepest and most profound questions facing humankind. The Foundation supports research on subjects ranging from complexity, evolution, and emergence to creativity, forgiveness, and free will.

In a videotaped message on www.templetonprize.org, Heather Templeton Dill, president of the John Templeton Foundation and granddaughter of Sir John Templeton, said: “His Majesty King Abdullah’s work is indeed inspiring. He has underscored the importance of Islam’s diversity rather than seeking to invent or enforce uniformity where none exists. He has built upon the power of principled pluralism to extend religious harmony among the 1.8 billion followers of Islam, the world’s second largest religion, so that each can recognize one another as Muslims.”

She added: “Sir John Templeton often used the phrase ‘spiritual entrepreneur’ to describe Templeton Prize Laureates. King Abdullah offers the world the true definition of a spiritual entrepreneur, a person shaped by temporal and political responsibilities, yet who holds both the belief and free expression of religion as among humankind’s most important callings.”

Beyond his activities within Islam and between Islam and other faiths, the King has also tirelessly defended and supported refugees from across the Middle East, hosting and offering safe haven for millions fleeing conflict. Additionally, he has protected Jerusalem’s Islamic and Christian holy sites at considerable personal and monetary expense.

His Majesty King Abdullah II, in his videotaped acceptance of the Prize on www.templetonprize.org, said: “Our world needs to confront challenges to our shared humanity and values. They are the very ground of the coexistence and harmony our future depends on. And this is why I feel it is so urgent to promote tolerance and mutual respect, support inclusion and hope, speak out against Islamophobia and other wrongs, and make our values a real force in the daily life of the modern world.”

His Majesty continued: “The Templeton Prize has blazed a trail for all of us, by upholding the importance of spiritual discovery and spiritual values across religions. And I am pleased and humbled to share your path. It is my deep and sincere hope that this award will continue to promote love and harmony within and among religions, and that in doing so, will invite the blessings of God upon us all.”

In his letter endorsing King Abdullah II‘s nomination for the Prize, the Very Reverend Professor Iain R. Torrance, Pro-Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen, wrote: “The immensely important work of King Abdullah II lies in his decisive leadership and convening authority in world-wide Islam to call a principled halt to sectarianism and to mutual denunciation.” The King’s work, Torrance added, epitomizes progress “in the sense that through scholarship, example, encouragement, and publication, King Abdullah has offered the inherently flexible structures of Islam space to re-set and look again at matters of justice, inter-faith relations and neighbourliness.”

In her reference letter, Dr. Georgette F. Bennett, president and founder of the Tannenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, a New York-based organization dedicated to fighting religious prejudice, stressed the King’s efforts: “His leadership. His courage. His grace under fire. His unwavering commitment to expanding the boundaries of interreligious understanding.”

Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein, 56, was born in Amman in 1962, the eldest son of King Hussein bin Talal and Princess Muna Al Hussein. A member of the Hashemites, the royal family of Jordan, he is a 41st generation direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammad, peace and blessings be upon him. Jordan’s monarchy is the world’s second oldest royal house, after the Imperial House of Japan. Following education in Great Britain and the United States, and a military career in Great Britain and Jordan, he assumed the throne in February 1999 after the death of his father, who had reigned since 1952.

In awarding the Templeton Prize to King Abdullah II, the Foundation emphasized his unwavering commitment to protect religious sites in Jerusalem, which he maintains is crucial to the hope for peace in the Holy Land. The Hashemites have been Custodians of the sites since 1924, and in 2013 a formal treaty between President Mahmoud Abbas of the State of Palestine and King Abdullah II officially reaffirmed King Abdullah II as the Custodian of Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif, one of Islam’s three holiest sites, and of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the presumed site of the crucifixion and tomb of Jesus. In 2016 he provided personal funds to restore the tomb, completing a restoration which had been abandoned since 1947.

In recent years King Abdullah pushed for legislation to restore and develop Al-Maghtas, also known as Bethany beyond the Jordan, on the Jordan River’s east bank, which most Christians consider the site of Christ’s baptism. UNESCO unanimously approved it as a World Heritage Site in 2015. He has ensured that various denominations received blocks of land to build churches there, and a conference center opened in 2012. King Abdullah’s protection of holy sites stands in stark contrast to the destruction of countless historical treasures by ISIS (Daesh) in territories it previously controlled.

King Abdullah’s leadership also has guaranteed safe haven for Jordan’s ethnic and religious groups, including several denominations of Christians who are free to worship according to their own traditions. Moreover, Jordan has hosted waves of millions of refugees since its independence in 1946 – Palestinians, Iraqis, Libyans, Yeminis and, most recently, Syrians fleeing the Syrian Civil War – representing the embodiment of the Islamic requirement to care for strangers and affirm the dignity of life.

Other milestones of the King’s reign include cultivating interfaith harmony through new organizations and programs such as the World Islamic Sciences and Education University in Amman, a fellowship for the study of love in religion at Regent’s Park College, Oxford, and the establishment of critical centers of thought, such as the Royal Aal-al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought in Amman.

Through speeches, writings and other forms of commentary in the media and at key international forums, the King continues to draw attention to what unites humanity, and to call for collective global action to address crises around the world and build a bright, peaceful future for all.

His Majesty King Abdullah II joins a group of 47 Prize recipients including Mother Teresa, who received the inaugural award in 1973, the Dalai Lama (2012), and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (2013). The 2017 Laureate was the American philosopher Alvin Plantinga, whose half century of rigorous scholarship made theism – the belief in a divine reality or god – a serious option within academia. Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, the former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, was recognized for his work in 2016 after spending decades bringing spiritual insight to the public conversation. Canadian philosopher and theologian Jean Vanier, the founder of L’Arche, an international network of communities where people with and without intellectual disabilities live and work together as peers, received the Prize in 2015.

His Majesty King Abdullah II will be formally awarded the Templeton Prize in a public ceremony in Washington, D.C. on November 13.

http://templetonprize.org/currentwinner.html

 

Adel Mahmoud, global health leader and Princeton faculty member, dies at 76

Written by iasworld on . Posted in News

June 13, 2018 11:35 a.m.

Adel Mahmoud

During a storied medical career, Mahmoud was an influential leader in academia, biopharmaceutical research and development, and global health policy. His chief contributions to science and public health involve the study of neglected tropical diseases, especially parasitic infections.

Mahmoud began his Princeton career in 2007 as a senior policy analyst at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and transferred to the faculty in 2011 as a lecturer with the rank of professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and international affairs, Woodrow Wilson School. He also was an integral part of the Global Health Program.

“Adel was a beloved teacher, mentor and colleague,” said Bonnie Bassler, the Squibb Professor in Molecular Biology and chair of the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton. “Our students flocked to him because he made learning science entirely relevant to saving lives. He was devoted to helping budding scientists believe they could make a difference. As a colleague, he was a sought-after leading intellect who coupled deep thinking with a cheerful, can-do attitude, inspiring all of us to do more.  We will miss him terribly.”

Mahmoud’s emergence as one of the most prominent and widely respected voices in global health was unlikely. Born in Cairo in 1941, Mahmoud’s first brush with infectious disease came at the age of 10 when he sprinted to a pharmacy to procure penicillin for his father, who was dying of pneumococcal pneumonia. He didn’t make it back in time.

Mahmoud received his M.D. from the University of Cairo in 1963. As a medical student, he became active in politics, serving as a leader in former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s youth movement. But as the political climate in Egypt evolved, Mahmoud recommitted himself to medicine and left Egypt in 1968 for the United Kingdom. In 1971, he obtained a Ph.D. from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

His early research focused on the role of eosinophils, a type of white blood cell, in the body’s defense against parasitic worms.

Rather than return to a hostile political climate in Egypt, Mahmoud immigrated to the United States in 1973 as a postdoctoral fellow at Case Western Reserve University. He subsequently rose through the ranks to lead the Division of Geographic Medicine and ultimately to chair the Department of Medicine from 1987 to 1998.

“Adel’s keen intelligence, wit and genius for problem-solving were legendary,” said Dr. Pamela Davis, dean of the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University. “The world is a little less bright without his light.”

Beloved for his sharp intellect and dynamic personality, Mahmoud had an impact on thousands of medical students, physicians and scientists, including many of today’s leaders in medicine and research.

“Not only was he my lifelong mentor, he was a true force of health for people everywhere,” said Dr. Julie Gerberding, Merck executive vice president and former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 1998, Mahmoud was recruited to serve as president of Merck Vaccines, a position he held until 2006. During his tenure at Merck, Mahmoud played a pivotal role in the development and commercialization of new vaccines to help prevent severe gastroenteritis, human papillomavirus (HPV) and shingles, as well as the quadrivalent formulation of measles-mumps-rubella-varicella vaccine. As of 2017, more than 500 million doses of these four vaccines have been distributed globally, according to the company.

“Adel was as beloved as he was accomplished, said Ken Frazier, Merck’s chairman and CEO. “He leaves an enduring legacy of protecting the health of infants, adolescents and adults around the world. Few physician-scientists have had the global public health impact that Adel Mahmoud had.”

Mahmoud frequently provided scientific advice to the World Health Organization, the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, the National Academies, the Rockefeller Foundation, and universities and research institutions around the world. He served as president of the International Society of Infectious Diseases from 1990-92 and on boards of directors at GAVI, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, International Vaccine Institute and several companies in the private sector.

“Adel was always one of the very first people to whom we turned when we needed sage advice about difficult policy issues,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “His judgment was flawless.”

After retiring from Merck in 2006, Mahmoud returned to his academic roots. At Princeton, he engaged in public policy discussions and worked to imbue the next generation with the love of learning and commitment to public health that guided his life and career.

In the wake of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014, Mahmoud began advocating for the creation of a global vaccine-development fund. “We cannot let financial burdens stand in the way of solving deadly global health crises,” he said.

“Adel was not only a brilliant scientist and scholar; he fundamentally understood that research needs to be advanced through sound health policy in order to improve lives,” said Cecilia Rouse, dean of the Woodrow Wilson School and the Lawrence and Shirley Katzman and Lewis and Anna Ernst Professor in the Economics of Education. “We will miss his wisdom, insights, intellect and — perhaps most of all — his wonderful infectious laugh.”

“Adel was a key player in the development of Princeton’s Global Health Program,” said Janet Currie, the Henry Putnam Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, chair of the Department of Economics and director of the Center for Health and Wellbeing.  “Students loved him. He had very high expectations, but he knew they could meet them and helped them to learn that too. His passion and good humor will be greatly missed.”

Mahmoud is survived by his wife of 25 years, Dr. Sally Hodder, and a son, Jay Thornton, as well his siblings, Dr. Olfat Abdelfattah and Dr. Mahmoud Abdelfattah.

A celebration of Mahmoud’s life will be held 6 p.m. Saturday, June 30, in the University Chapel.

https://www.princeton.edu/news/2018/06/13/adel-mahmoud-global-health-leader-and-princeton-faculty-member-dies-76

Apollo scientist stresses value of S&T degree

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Dr. Farouk El-Baz, a geologist who played a leading role during NASA’s Apollo space program in the 1960s, assured graduates that their degrees from Missouri S&T have prepared them for whatever they will encounter in their professional lives.

El-Baz, director of the Center for Remote Sensing and research professor at Boston University, spoke during commencement ceremonies at Missouri S&T on Saturday, May 12. El-Baz earned master of science and Ph.D. degrees in geology and geophysics from Missouri S&T.

“I am happy to say that every single course I took had an effect on my career,” El-Baz said. As an example, he cited a project in a graduate-level tectonics course in geology that required him to study a photo of the moon and write a report about its tectonics. He got an A on the paper but learned after joining NASA’s Apollo program that his interpretations were wrong.

“However, Professor (Paul) Proctor had taught me how to gain information from a single photograph,” El-Baz said. “That experience helped me to become secretary of the lunar landing site selection committee and trainer of all Apollo astronauts in visual observations and photography.

“The lesson here is that the education you received at S&T has prepared you for whatever you encounter in your future professional life,” El-Baz said. “I can assure you that, from my experiences, the S&T education is second to none.”

El-Baz compared his studies at S&T with time spent at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At MIT, he took a full course load, dated his future wife, was heavily involved in student organizations and hosted a weekly Arabic radio variety show – but still earned mostly A’s, something that El-Baz said rarely happened at S&T.

“Be conscious of the great education you received here,” he said. “You should realize that the degree you acquire today basically means only one thing, and that is: until today you required someone to take you by the hand and teach you. But from this day forward, you can begin to teach yourself.”

El-Baz, who also holds a bachelor’s degree from Ain Shams University, conducted graduate research at Asyut University in Egypt. He later taught at Germany’s Heidelberg University, then participated in oil exploration in the Gulf of Suez.

In 1967, El-Baz was appointed by NASA as secretary of lunar landing site selection and chairman of astronaut training in orbital observations and photography. His role was chronicled by Tom Hanks in the TV series From the Earth to the Moon, in a segment titled: “The Brain of Farouk El-Baz.” In addition, the name El-Baz was immortalized on a shuttlecraft in the TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation.

After the Apollo Program ended, he joined the Smithsonian Institution to establish and direct the Center for Earth and Planetary Studies, and to plan exhibits of the National Air and Space Museum. He then joined Itek Optical Systems as vice president for science and technology.

In 1986, he joined Boston University to establish and direct the Center for Remote Sensing. He developed methodologies for applying space-born data to scientific research efforts in geology, geography and archaeology. His work resulted in the location of groundwater resources in the Western Desert of Egypt, the Rajasthan of India, in Darfur of northwestern Sudan, the Sultanate of Oman, the Northern United Arab Emirates and Republic of Chad.

A member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), El-Baz serves on the editorial boards of several international professional journals. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Royal Astronomical Society in London and the Explorers Club in New York.

Mahathir, 92, sworn in as Malaysia’s seventh prime minister

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KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Mahathir Mohamad was sworn in as Malaysia’s seventh prime minister on Thursday after a stunning election comeback, defeating the coalition that has ruled the nation for six decades since independence from Britain.

 

Malaysia’s constitutional monarch, Sultan Muhammad V, administered the oath of office just before 10 p.m. (1400 GMT), in a ceremony carried live on state television from the palace.

Mahathir, 92, dubbed the “Father of Modern Malaysia” during his previous 22 years in power until 2003, was dressed in a traditional black “baju melayu” tunic and sarong, with an Islamic cap on his head. His return from retirement makes him the oldest elected leader in the world.

Hundreds of Malaysians lined the road leading to the palace, waving party flags and cheering. The Election Commission announced the result long before dawn and there was some consternation in the capital Kuala Lumpur over the time taken to swear in the new prime minister.

At a press conference after being sworn in, Mahathir reassured the financial community and said he would prioritize stabilizing the economy and return billions of dollars lost in a graft scandal at state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

“We believe that we can get most of the 1MDB money back … we have to increase the confidence of investors in the administration,” he told reporters.

Malaysian markets were closed and will reopen only on Monday, but overseas investors were nervous about the ouster of Prime Minister Najib Razak after a decade in office and the ringgit lost four percent in offshore trading.

An overseas Malaysian equity fund initially showed a 6 percent drop in share values but partly rebounded on Thursday.

“There should be no cause for any devaluation of the ringgit,” Mahathir said.

“As you know, we cannot revalue the ringgit too much, or else we will not be competitive, but we will try to make the ringgit as steady as possible,” he added.

 Mahathir was known for his strongarm, sometimes pugnacious style of rule intolerant of dissent from 1981 to 2003, but also for transforming his Southeast Asian country from a sleepy backwater into a modern industrialized nation.

He came out of retirement to take on his ex-protege Najib.

Mahathir’s alliance of four parties trounced Najib’s Barisan Nasional (BN), the first time it had ever lost an election.

Earlier on Thursday, Najib appeared to raise doubts that Mahathir would immediately take office because no single party had won a simple majority of seats in the 222-member parliament, and it would be up to the monarch to decide.

Official results showed that Mahathir’s coalition won 121 seats, comfortably more than the 112 required to rule. But it has not been formally registered as an alliance.

In a jubilant mood, Mahathir joked about his age and about being labeled a dictator at the news conference.

Mahathir has repeated a promise to repeal a deeply unpopular goods and services tax (GST) introduced by Najib and review foreign investments, including major infrastructure projects that are part of China’s Belt and Road initiative.

Some economists raised concern his populist election promises could undermine economic prospects at an increasingly challenging time for emerging markets, despite hopes elsewhere he might revive his bold approach to economic management.

“This upset ranks up there with Brexit and the Trump election,” said Aninda Mitra, a senior sovereign analyst at BNY Mellon Investment Management. “I believe the ringgit will come under pressure as policy continuity will come under a cloud.”

Mahathir said some of Malaysia’s debt are “too big” and need to be renegotiated.

New Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad gestures beside Wan Azizah, the wife of a jailed opposition figure Anwar Ibrahim, during a news conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia May 10, 2018. REUTERS/Lai Seng Sin

Najib’s BN coalition won 79 seats, a collapse from the 133 taken in the 2013 election, which was itself the coalition’s worst performance at the polls ever at the time.

In a tweet, Najib congratulated Mahathir on his appointment as premier and said he would assist in a smooth transition of power.

Few had expected Mahathir to prevail against a coalition that has long relied on the support of the country’s ethnic-Malay majority.

However, he joined hands with jailed political leader Anwar Ibrahim, his one-time deputy with whom he famously fell out 20 years ago, and together their alliance exploited public disenchantment over the cost of living and the multi-billion-dollar 1MDB scandal that had dogged Najib since 2015.

Mahathir said that one of his first actions would be to seek a royal pardon for Anwar. Before the election he had promised to step aside once Anwar was free and let him become premier.

Anwar’s wife, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, was sitting next to Mahathir at his news conference. Under an agreement with Mahathir, she is to be deputy prime minister.

Anwar was imprisoned, first under Mahathir’s rule on charges of corruption and sodomy. He was released in 2004 but jailed again under Najib in 2015. Anwar denied all charges against him.

Mahathir and Najib were once allies but they clashed over a scandal around 1Malaysia Development Berhad, a state fund from which billions of dollars were allegedly siphoned off.

The 1MDB affair is being investigated by at least six countries, although Najib has denied any wrongdoing and has been cleared by Malaysia’s attorney-general.

Mahathir had vowed to investigate the scandal if elected and bring missing funds back to Malaysia. On Thursday, he said that if Najib had done anything wrong he would “face the consequences”.

Najib conceded the election in a news conference but has not been seen in public since. He did not attend the swearing-in ceremony at the palace.

Additional reporting by A.Ananthalakshmi, Joseph Sipalan, Emily Chow, Praveen Menon, and Fathin Ungku; Writing by Praveen Menon; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan and Mark Heinrich

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-malaysia-election/mahathir-92-sworn-in-as-malaysias-seventh-prime-minister-idUSKBN1IB03S

The late Prof. Mahmud Salakhitdinov FIAS (Uzbekistan )

Written by iasworld on . Posted in News

It is with a sense of sadness and sorrow that the President and the Director General of the Islamic World Academy of Sciences (IAS) in Amman, Jordan, announce the passing away of the eminent academician of the Republic of Uzbekistan: Prof. Makhmud Salakhitdinov has been a fellow of the Islamic World Academy of Sciences since 1993. He died at the age of 85.

Dr Salakhitdinov was born on November 23, 1933 in Namangan, Namangan region. In 1955, he graduated from Central Asian State University (now National University of Uzbekistan) and studied postgraduate study at this university. He defended his PhD in 1958 and defended his doctoral dissertation in 1967. In 1974, he was elected as a member of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

For more than 60 years of his scientific and pedagogical and organizational activities, he was the Director of the Institute of Mathematics of the Academy of Sciences, vice president, president of the Academy of Sciences, Minister of Higher and Secondary Special Education, Physics and Mathematics Department of the Academy of Sciences and worked as a professor at the National University of Uzbekistan and head of the Department of Mathematics at the Academy of Sciences.

Academician M. Salakhitdinov was awarded the State Prize of the Republic of Uzbekistan named after Abu Rayhon Beruniy, Honored Worker of Science of the Republic of Uzbekistan, “Buyuk xizmatlari uchun”, “Fidokorona xizmatlari uchun”, “Mehnat shuhrati”.

The memory of the famous scientist, a good teacher, humble man Mahmud Salakhitdinov will always remain in our hearts.

Prof. Salakhitdinov will be greatly missed by his colleagues and fellow scientists in Uzbekistan and the Islamic world. “Ina Lillah Wa Ina Ilaihi Raj’oon.”

IAS President, Fellows and staff offer their heartfelt condolences to his family and friends throughout the world.

 

45th Session of OIC-CFM begins, Rohingya issue in focus

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The two-day 45th Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (OIC-CFM) begins in Dhaka Saturday 5 May 2018 with a special attention on Rohingya crisis.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the high level meeting at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) where the chairmanship of the CFM passed from incumbent Cote d’Ivoire to Bangladesh for the next one year.

Over 600 representatives of 52 out of 56 member states of OIC and other five countries, including around 40 ministers and state ministers, have joined the two-day conference with the theme of ‘Islamic Values for Sustainable Peace, Solidarity and Development’. “Rohingya crisis will get special attention at the conference and there will be a special session on the issue,” Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali said at a press briefing on Thursday.

The minister said the government wants to work together with the international community and the Muslim World to have a peaceful solution to the Rohigya crisis.

“We’ll discuss the possible ways to resolve the Rohingya crisis and intensify the efforts of the intentional community and the OIC member countries to face it,” he said. Echoing the foreign minister, OIC Assistant Secretary General Hashmi Yousuf said Rohingya issue will be one of the main agenda of discussion at the 45th Session of the OIC-CFM, while he visited Rohingya refugee camps in Ukhia upazila of Cox’s Bazar on Friday afternoon along with other ministers and representatives of the OIC countries.

The Canadian Prime Minister’s special envoy to Myanmar, Foreign Minister Bob Rae, will deliver a speech at the session at OIC-CFM, official sources said. The Foreign Minister said Bangladesh will get a scope to present its different initiatives, experiences and achievements before the international community, including the Muslim World, through the high level conference.

“We hope all the decisions to be taken at the conference and the Dhaka declaration will be considered as the outcome document…the successful holding of the conference will add a new dimension regarding the cooperation between the OIC and Bangladesh,” he said. Mahmood said the challenges facing by the Muslim Ummah–the conflicts, division, tension and instability of the Muslim world–will get the main focus at the CFM of the OIC.

He said the conference will discuss ways to overcome the humanitarian disasters the Muslims are facing across the globe, and the means to remove the Islam phobia. The issue of realising the justified rights of Palestinian people and Al-Quds will get due importance like in the past, the minister said.

http://en.sahos24.com/bangladesh/15572/45th-Session-of-OIC-CFM-begins-Rohingya-issue-in-focus

Bangladesh to host 45th OIC Council of Foreign Ministers in May 2018

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The decision was made during Meeting of 44th CFM of OIC in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

Bangladesh will host 45th Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Dhaka in 2018.

The decision was made during Meeting of 44th CFM of OIC in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, the 44th CFM was inaugurated by Cote d’Ivoirian President Alassane Ouatara on July 10, 2017.

The meeting was chaired by the Cote d’Ivoirian Foreign Minister Marcel Amon Tanoh and Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister A H Mahmood Ali was leading the Bangladesh delegation.

With this opportunity of hosting CFM, Bangladesh has become a part of the OIC Troika and an influential member of the important 8 member OIC Executive Committee for the next three years.

The theme chosen for this year’s Council was ‘Youth, Peace and Development in a World of Solidarity’.

Mahmood Ali conducted a brainstorming session during the Abidjan CFM where referring to the theme Mahmood Ali suggested full participation of the Muslims especially the youth in human endeavours for transforming the world emphasising on a life of enlightenment, scientific enquiry, technology and innovation to bring positive change in our societies.

Centring the Palestine issue the member States also discussed challenges of internal conflicts, fratricidal civil wars, factional and sectarian feuds, instability and tension across a large part of the Muslim world, terrorism and violent extremism, Islamophobia, humanitarian crises, regressions and ills of Muslim societies including problems of poverty and underdevelopment.

Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister also spoke for Rakhine Muslims by reminding CFM member to support Rakhine Muslims’ repatriation by restoring their rights.

He also suggested undertaking of bold collective initiatives and joint projects under the newly taken up OIC second ten year development plan called OIC 2025 Programme of Action.

Mahmood Ali’s delegation includes Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque and Bangladesh Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and permanent representative to OIC Golam Moshi as well as officers from the Foreign Ministry and Bangladesh Mission in Riyadh.

Foreign ministers of a large number of member states and Representatives of observer states, various OIC institutions and international organisations attended the Council.

Bangladesh to host 45th CFM in 2018

The Arab Thought Foundation launches its tenth cultural development report from Dubai

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The Arab Thought Foundation published the 10th Arab Cultural Development Report titled “Innovation or Exhaustion – Arab Scientific Research: Its Reality, Challenges and Perspectives” at a Special Ceremony in Dubai.

The ceremony was attended by HE Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development in the United Arab Emirates, Prince Khalid Al Faisal, President of the Arab Thought Foundation, Prince Bandar Bin Khaled Al Faisal, Professor Henry Al Await, Director General of the Arab Thought Foundation, part. Minister of Culture of Jordan, Mohamed Ali Al-Hakim, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of ESCWA, Egyptian scientist Farouk El-Baz, members of the Board of Trustees and the Administration and personalities from culture, science, science and diplomacy.

Khalid Al Faisal thanked the UAE in general, and Dubai in particular for the hospitality and hospitality and for all that we have found and blessed in these blessed days of the greatness of culture and thought in the Arab world. This time is the harbinger of proverbs for the young state, which sets no limits to success and every day represents a new example of progress, prosperity and means of knowledge in every direction. He also thanked Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, Noura Al Kaabi, for their presence and participation in the presentation of the 10th Arabic Report of the Arab Thought Foundation.

and stated: “The Arab Thought Foundation has for the tenth year in a row presented its Arab report on cultural development, while the Arab world is experiencing more wars, conflicts and political differences, and the resulting economic, social and cultural crises with environmental problems such as Desertification and decline of forest areas and water scarcity are associated And pollution. The tenth report addresses all these issues objectively and in numbers, focusing this year on the activities of scientific research, technological development and innovation, and its role in comprehensive and sustainable development, in our belief in the role of thought, science and culture in promoting the bitterness of reflecting this reality ». “The emphasis on scientific research, technological development and innovation and their relationship to comprehensive and sustainable development is a scientific need that is necessitated by the concepts and demands of the age, this knowledge-based age and the knowledge-based economy., And economic growth, and where In this third millennium and in its new developmental concepts, Al-Faisal believed that improving the quality of life and raising living standards was not just based on economic growth, but also on knowledge in general and its scientific and technological sources in particular. “A knowledge society is society that generates, publishes and invests knowledge for the well-being of nations and the well-being of its citizens. Thus, Arab countries are no longer able to spend more on education than many developing countries, while their economic growth rates are lower than in other countries. “The report makes a significant contribution to providing scientific foundations, accurate data and accurate statistics in various scientific areas, which is an indispensable first step in delivering recommendations and visions that enable planners and decision makers, depending on their role From our crises, which point out that “the report urges us to devote future research strategies and allocations to funding as if to alarm, warns us to miss the opportunity to gather knowledge of the fourth revolution Because the Possibilities Are Still Available and the Decision Is Back To Addressing the Key Challenges of Poverty and Unemployment, Migrations, Political Tensions and Societal Disruptions, a complete and integrated system will begin that will involve scientific research, technological development and innovation t lead to comprehensive and sustainable development, or we remain prisoners of the scientific culture in which we are victims of our failure. “

Al-Faisal thanked coordinators, consultants, thinkers, experts, academics and technicians inside and outside the Arab Thought Foundation, and expressed hope to all those who contributed to the completion of this report, to Arab readers, researchers and academics Contributing to the Arab Conflict and Contributing to the Renaissance and Achieving Comprehensive and Sustainable Development.

Minister Noura al-Kaabi gave a speech in which she outlined the central role of the Arab Thought Foundation in developing and promoting joint development The report draws on its importance from the various scientific themes and represents a holistic and groundbreaking dimension for the Arab library. He s relies on several methods for the most accurate diagnosis of the situation, presenting data, numbers and statistics and explaining the future with recommendations and suggestions.

and stressed that “scientific research in the Arab countries below the level of ambition and without the amount of resources that prevails in these countries, and the reality sees a big gap clarified the Arab scientific research and its global counterpart”. In her speech, she explored the role of knowledge that has become a strategic resource in business life: an inexhaustible wealth that grows every day. “Cultural and artistic innovation is an essential activity for the formation of the knowledge society and for the creation of cultural and intellectual industries based on cultural and intellectual production, which is part of the tenth Arab Cultural Development Report, which provides an accurate diagnosis of the activities of scientific research The United Arab Emirates has published its National Innovation Strategy, which aims to make the UAE one of the most innovative countries in the world, by playing its role as the main driver of government development and as a key factor in economic development

In her speech, Al Kaabi called for this report to be an important step in promoting cultural development in our Arab countries by increasing understanding and understanding of the importance of international development deepening changes in research, development, innovation and the creation of new patterns of integration.

 She thanked the Arab Thought Foundation for the election of the UAE to launch the tenth Arab Cultural Development Report, which coincides with the UAE celebrations in Zayed, the leader who recognized the importance of culture and knowledge as fundamental components of the UAE And the potential to accelerate development makes the UAE today an oasis of thought, culture and art.

On the other hand, in his speech, Professor Henry Al-Await, Director-General of the Arab Thought Foundation, referred to three points related to the report, its characteristics and characteristics, and highlighted its conclusions and recommendations. He pointed out that the reasons for assigning this report to the scientific research, technology and innovation activities in the Arab countries focus primarily on the achievements of scientific research and innovation in recent years, with profound developments and spectacular discoveries global level. An integrated report presents the present reality in our Arab homeland, outlines its challenges and outlines its perspectives and mechanisms. He pointed out that the Foundation does not claim to monopolize the initiative to explore the reality of scientific research in the Arab world, has in the past developed a series of reports to the conditions of scientific research systems and technological development and innovation diagnose in the Arab countries. He stressed the need to periodically publish Arabic reports dealing with scientific research issues, the development of concepts of scientific research and their relationship to different sectors, and their ability to meet the challenges of states.

Al-Aweit focused on the features and characteristics of the report in order to meet the aspirations of our societies and to reflect the services that it most desires to deliver. The most important of these is its holistic character, which is reflected in the first five chapters: scientific research and higher education, the use of innovation and development, culture and available scientific directions, innovation and technological development, mechanisms to build a knowledge-based economy; The second topic is the twenty-five papers with more than 500 pages covering various aspects of scientific research, technology and innovation. Third, it is reflected in its geographical coverage, which has excluded no Arab country in Mashreq and the Maghreb. The fourth is reflected in the nationalities of the participants in the composition, representing different parts of the Arab world.

Al-Awaite referred to the abundance of topics in the report, including Arab scientific research in the axes of the social sciences and humanities, the ethical principles in scientific research and the credibility of its activities, the Arab scientific culture, the role of the Arabic language in the creation of an Arab knowledge society, creative thinking, development results of the research and innovation system, artificial intelligence and robotics, patterns of Arab and European cooperation, women, technology and knowledge production, scientific information and publication and other new topics not covered by the Arab departments or rarely have the status they deserve.

Al-Awaite emphasized that one of the key benefits of the report is the central position of the development goals that meet the needs of the Arab countries. He pointed out that the report points to the United Nations-led initiative to implement the Sustainable Development Plan in early 2016 and stresses that this sustainable development is comprehensive in all dimensions of this dimension and calls on the Arab countries to do so To introduce mechanisms Adequate and effective work to link scientific research and technological development with the priorities of such a development.

He explained that this report is an experiment to analyze the performance of Arab countries in developing national science, technology and innovation systems in terms of sustainable development goals.

and concluded the conclusions and recommendations of the report and identified the mechanisms for its implementation by returning to the experience of developed and developing countries, the comprehensive reviews of their existing science and technology systems, in particular, strengthening the contributions of the central government, higher and Closer cooperation with the private sector, scientific and technological capabilities and promotion of innovation at local level within specific disciplines and full consideration of education and training at all stages. And, on the basis of a solid political and legal foundation, to develop innovative methods of Arab cooperation in science, technology and innovation, and to develop creative initiatives that enable Arab institutions to benefit from Arab scientists and innovators in countries of proliferation.

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اطلاق التقرير العربيّ العاشر للتنمية الثقافيّة- مؤسسة الفكر العربي

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أطلقت مؤسسة الفكر العربي، اليوم الإثنين تقريرها العاشر للتنمية الثقافية تحت عنوان “الابتكار أو الاندثار: البحث العلمي العربي واقعه وتحدياته وآفاقه” خلال مؤتمرها السنوي العاشر الذي تستضيفه دبي. ويعرض التقرير واقع المكتبة العربية الحالي في دول المنطقة ويبرز تحدياتها ويستشرف آفاقها ومآلاتها.وخصص التقرير فضاءً واسعاً للبحث العلمي وأنشطة التكنولوجيا والابتكار في الدول العربية، وما حفلت به أنشطة الابتكار من اكتشافات مذهلة على الصعيد العالمي.طابع شمولي ويتميز التقرير بطابعه الشمولي الذي يتضمن 5 فصول هي تباعاً: البحوث العلمية والتعليم العالي، رافعة الابتكار والتنمية، الثقافة والتوجهات العلمية المتاحة، الابتكار والتطوير التكنولوجي: آليات بناء اقتصاد المعرفة، البحوث في خدمة المجتمع، بالإضافة إلى ذلك يتضمن التقرير أيضاً 25 ورقة بحثية امتدت على أكثر من 500 صفحة.ولم يستثن التقرير أي بلد عربي في المشرق والمغرب، وشارك في تأليفه باحثون من دول الخليج العربي، وبلاد الشام، ووادي النيل، والمغرب العربي، كما يستجيب التقرير العربي العاشر للتنمية الثقافية في توجهه للمبادرة التي أطلقتها منظمة الأمم المتحدة في مطلع عام 2016 لتحقيق خطة التنمية المستدامة 2030.ويركز التقرير على أهمية صياغة رؤى وتصورات واقتراحات حول المستقبل المرجو والممكن لما تخطط له الدول العربية من مبادرات على الأمدين القريب والمتوسط. الاستنتاجاتوخلص  التقرير إلى أن الأزمات التي تمر بها الدول العربية اليوم سببها القصور في استثمار وإعادة إنتاج المعرفة العلمية والتكنولوجية، ما انعكس سلباً على التنمية الاقتصادية والاجتماعية فيها.وأكدت المؤشرات المعتمدة في التقرير أن الدول العربية ما زالت في الصفوف الخلفية بين دول العالم فيما يتعلق بمدخلات العلوم والتكنولوجيا الحديثة.ورصد التقرير قلة عدد البلدان العربية التي تضم مراكز متخصصة بالبحث العلمي، إضافةً إلى أن معظم أنشطة البحث العلمي تنجزها مؤسسات التعليم العالي.ورغم زيادة التحاق الإناث بالتعليم في الدول العربية وما أحرزنه من تقدمٍ علمي، إلا أن ذلك لم يؤد إلى نمو اقتصادي نظراً لعدم ارتباط التعليم بالاقتصاد.توصياتوأوصى التقرير بتعزيز مساهمات الحكومات المركزية وتوثيق تعاونها مع القطاع الخاص، وبضرورة تنمية القدرات العلمية والتكنولوجية وتحفيز الابتكار محلياً، وبذل عناية فائقة بالتعليم والتربية في جميع مراحلهما وبالأخص برعاية المؤسسات الجامعية غير الربحية، وطالب التقرير بتبني أساليب مبتكرة للتعاون العربي في مجالات العلوم والتكنولوجيا والابتكار لإطلاق مبادرات خلاقة للاستفادة من المبتكرين العرب.ودعا التقرير إلى تدريس العلوم والتكنولوجيا باللغة العربية لوقف هجرة العقول إلى خارج الدول العربية، وبحث أسباب هذه الهجرة، وإرساء نظام حاضن يربط الكفاءات العلمية المهاجرة بوطنها الأم.وأشار التقرير العربي العاشر للتنمية الثقافية  إلى أن براءات الاختراع في الدول العربية تمثل أكثر من 80% من القيمة السوقية للشركات الكبرى، داعياً الدول العربية لتبني سياسات ذكية تستند إلى بناء مستقبل في صناعة الملكية الفكرية، مؤكداً ضعف الإعلام العلمي في الدول العربية، وتواضع أدائه، إذ لا يتجاوز عدد المجلات العلمية في الدول العربية 24 مجلة، فضلاً عن 34 موقعاً إلكترونياً علمياً.وأكد التقرير أن البلدان العربية حالات منفردة ومتباينة من حيث قدراتها العلمية والتكنولوجية، ويجب التعامل معها على هذا الأساس عند تطوير الخطط التنفيذية، منوهاً بضرورة الاستثمار في تنمية يكون محورها الناس ويرصد التهميش الذي يطال العلوم الاجتماعية في الدول العربية، داعياً إلى تكوين مدارس عربية في العلوم الاجتماعية والأنثروبولوجية والاستثمار في الإنسانيات والآداب.وأشار التقرير إلى الاعتراف الضعيف بالجماعة العلمية في البلدان العربية، رغم غناها بالجامعات والمستشفيات ومراكز البحوث العامة المتخصصة إلى حدٍّ ما في الإنتاج العلمي، داعياً إلى إطلاق حوار دائم وبناء صلات مهنية بين مكونات المجتمع العلمي العربي على الصعيد الوطني والإقليمي.تحدياتوشدد التقرير على أن من شأن انخراط النساء في العلم والتقنية والابتكار والثقافة العلمية، أن يسهم في تمكين المرأة العربية مجتمعياً، إنساناً فاعلاً ومتفاعلاً في محيطه وخارجه في الوقت نفسه، موصياً  بنشر الثقافة العلمية باعتبارها منطلق نجاح الثقافة التنموية لتوليد فرص عمل جديدة ومكافحة الفقر، إلى جانب التأكيد على ضرورة وضع استراتيجيات بديلة لتحفيز الابتكار، وتأسيس منظومات وطنية للابتكار يمكنها تحقيق أهداف التنمية المستدامة.وأوضح التقرير العربي العاشر للتنمية الثقافية أن التحدي الرئيس للتنمية المعاصرة في العالم العربي يتمثل في الاعتماد المفرط على الموارد الطبيعية والمصادر غير المتجددة، مشدداً على ضرورة دخول العرب مجتمعات المعرفة والإنتاج والتخلي عن الاعتماد المفرط على الريع، برفع مستوى الطلاب، وتدريب اليد العاملة، وزيادة الإنفاق على البحث والتطوير وفق خطة طويلة الأمد.ودعا التقرير إلى ضرورة إعادة النظر في السياسات والبنية التحتية للمؤسسات الصحية العربية بهدف ملاءمة الحاجات الاجتماعية والاقتصادية في المنطقة، والعودة إلى مفهوم الصحة باعتبارها حقاً، لاسلعةً، والتركيز على الإثراء المعرفي للسياسات الصحية الوقائية، والنظر في الذكاء الاصطناعي والثورة الصناعية الرابعة، على أنها جزء أساسي من المستقبل التنموي للعالم العربي. باحثون من أنحاء الوطن العربييُذكر أن الأوراق البحثية في التقرير العربي العاشر للتنمية الثقافية من إعداد نخبة من الباحثين والاختصاصيين من أنحاء الوطن العربي هم بحسب ترتيب أوراقهم في التقرير الدكاترة: عمر بزري، رمزي سلامة، محمد الربيعي، محمد المعزوز، نايف سعادة، معين حمزة، خضر الشيباني، محمد المراياتي، محمد نور الدين أفايا، سهيل مارين، معتز خورشيد، منيف الزعبي، عاطف قبرصي، عبد الإله الديوه جي، محمود صقر، جواد الخراز، نجيب صعب، عمر الديوه جي، محمد نجيب عبد الواحد، مازن الحمادي، ساري حنفي، فاديا كيوان، مها بخيت زكي، عبد الله القفاري، عماد بشير.

Dr Zabta Khan Shinwari FIAS, got Sitara-I-Imtiaz from the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, on 23 March 2018

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Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra on Friday, on behalf of the President Mamnoon Hussain, honoured one personality of the province with Sitara-I-Imtiaz, three with Presidential Pride of Performance Award and one with Tamgha-I-Imtiaz in recognition of their illustrious achievements in their respective disciplines at the ceremony held at the Governor’s House, Peshawar on Friday.

Dr Zabta Khan Shinwari, got Sitara-I-Imtiaz in acknowledgement of his extraordinary services in the field of Bio Technology. Dr Bashir Khan in the field of Bio Technology, Dr Abul Samad in the field of Archeology and Kahlid Noor in Martial Arts got the President’s Award for Pride of Performance. Dr Asifullah in the field of Computer Science was also awarded with Tamgha-I-Imtiaz for his remarkable achievements in their respective fields.

On the occasion, the governor congratulated the recipients of the National Awards and also paid tributes to the martyrs of the Pakistan Movement.

 

 

The Late Prof. Salambek Khadjiev FIAS (Chechnya)

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 It is with a sense of sadness and sorrow that the President and the Director General of the Islamic World Academy of Sciences (IAS) in Amman, Jordan, announce the passing away of the eminent Chechen scientist: Prof. Salambek Khadjiev, Fellow of the Islamic World Academy of Sciences. He was 77.

He was Former Minister of Petro-fining and Petrochemicals in the former Soviet Union.

An IAS Fellow since 1989, Prof. Khadjiev’s held the post of Director General of NPO “Grozneftechim” Institute in Grozny, USSR.

Prof. Khadjiev was a Doctor of Chemical Sciences with a diverse interest in almost every branch of chemistry, as well as a keen interest in the economics of the petrochemical industry.

Prof. Khadjiev has published over 200 scientific papers including many dealing with the development of the petroleum-refining technology and the various new techniques in the petrochemical industry.

As well as editing and publishing 4 books, Prof. Khadjiev has 90 patent certificates to his name in the field of Petroleum Refining and Petrochemistry.

Prof. Khadjiev will be greatly missed by his colleagues and fellow scientists in  (Russia/ Chechnya) and the Islamic world. “Ina Lillah Wa Ina Ilaihi Raj’oon.”

IAS President, Fellows and staff offer their heartfelt condolences to his family and friends throughout the world.

https://www.kavkazr.com/a/29076443.html

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Moneef R. Zou’bi

Director General

Islamic World Academy of Sciences (IAS)
PO Box 830036, Amman 11183, Jordan.
Tel +9626-55-22-104 & +9626-55-23-385
Fax +9626-55-11-803
www.iasworld.org

Abdel Salam Majali

President

Islamic World Academy of Sciences (IAS)
PO Box 830036, Amman 11183, Jordan.
Tel +9626-55-22-104 & +9626-55-23-385
Fax +9626-55-11-803

www.iasworld.org

The late Prof. Naci Bor FIAS (Turkey)

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It is with a sense of sadness and sorrow that the President and the Director General of the Islamic World Academy of Sciences (IAS) in Amman, Jordan, announce the passing away of the eminent Turkish scientist/ medical doctor: Prof. Naci Bor, Founding Fellow of the Islamic World Academy of Sciences. He was 90.

Born in Bor, Turkey in 1928, he completed his first degree from the Medical Faculty of Istanbul University in 1952.

He went to the United States in 1952 and studied internal medicine. Later he specialized in cardiology. He then went on to do research in cardiac physiology for which he was appointed to the staff at Emory university, Atlanta, Georgia (1958). He taught and conducted research there for three years and then he was invited to Philadelphia Presbyterian Hospital to initiate research in fetal physiology. He was simultaneously appointed as a member of the teaching staff at the University of Pennsylvania.

Prof. Bor returned to Turkey in 1963 to become the founding director of physiology in a new medical school in Ankara. In 1976, he took over the research facility and organized “The Medical and Surgical Research Center” in the same University.

He was a member of the science council of TUBITAK (Turkish Scientific and Technical National Research Council) and has taken part in its administration.

He has established two science journals (Doga, and Turkish Journal for Medical Sciences) and has served as their editor. He has also been on the board of three other science journals.

Prof. Bor was a chairman of the Research Center at Hacettepe University, and Chairman of the Anadolu Health and Research Foundation.

Prof. Bor was a Founding Fellow of the Islamic World Academy of Sciences (1986), and Founding Editor of its journal (1988). He was elected to the Council of the IAS for the period 1994-1999, and re-elected for the same post in 1999 and 2003.

Prof. Bor will be greatly missed by his colleagues and fellow scientists in Turkey and the Islamic world. “Ina Lillah Wa Ina Ilaihi Raj’oon.”

IAS President, Fellows and staff offer their heartfelt condolences to his family and friends throughout the world.

Professor Malik Maaza FIAS received the African Union prize of scientific excellence: “Kwame Nkrumah 2017”

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The Kwame Nkrumah Scientific Excellence Awards for 2017 were presented during the official opening of the 30th African Union Assembly in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 28th January 2018. The awards were presented by President Paul Kagame, newly elected Chair of the African Union, and Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the AU Commission. The EU was represented at the Opening Ceremony by Neven Mimica, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development.

The prestigious Award programme was launched by the AU in 2009 and the EU has been supporting it since 2012, with the allocation of USD 603,048 in 2017 alone. The Awards aim to encourage research contributing to the wellbeing and improved quality of life of African citizens.

The 2017 laureates of the continental awards are:

For the Earth and Life Science Award: Professor Robert P. Millar from South Africa has carried out world-class research on peptide regulators of reproductive hormones. He pioneered the discovery of the Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (GnRH) prohormone, novel GnRH structures, and the first cloning of the GnRH I and GnRH II receptors. He has participated in, and led, a number of programmes developing GnRH analogues for use in a wide range of clinical pathologies. His research opened up markets for the primary treatment of prostatic cancer, precocious puberty (the sole treatment), hormone-dependent diseases in women (e.g. endometriosis) and for In Vitro Fertilization. Since 2016, he has been the Director of the Center of Neuroendocrinology at the University of Pretoria.

For the Basic Science, Technology and Innovation Award: Algerian Professor Maaza Malik is the pioneer and the architect of nanosciences and nanotechnology in Africa. His long history in stimulating academic excellence and communication between academia, researchers, local communities and society within the continent gained him the international recognition of UNESCO, which bestowed him the 1st South-South Chair: the UNESCO UNISA Africa Chair in Nanosciences & Nanotechnology in South Africa. Prof. Maaza has pioneered and implemented numerous continental and national initiatives such as the African Laser Centre, the Nanosciences African Network, the National Laser Centre of South Africa (NLC SA) and the South African Nanotechnology initiative (SANi).

Each of the awardees received a cheque of 100,000 USD to further boost their research capacity in the fields of Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation and Life and Earth Sciences. The European Union wishes to express its congratulations to the two laureates of these prestigious awards.

 

The Late Prof. Ishfaq Ahmad FIAS (Pakistan)

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It is with a sense of sadness and sorrow that the President and the Director General of the Islamic World Academy of Sciences (IAS) in Amman, Jordan, announce the passing away of the eminent Pakistani scientist: Prof. Ishfaq Ahmad, Fellow of the Islamic World Academy of Sciences. He was 88.

Prof. Ishfaq Ahmad was born in Gurdaspur (India) on 3rd November 1930. He was Chairman of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, 1991-2001. Prof. Ahmad was awarded his MSc (Physics) from the University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan, in 1951, and in 1958 was awarded a DSc (Physics), from the University of Montreal, Canada. He was a Senior Member, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), 1988-1991, after serving for thirteen years as Member (Technical) of the same Commission.

Prof. Ishfaq Ahmad was the Advisor to the Prime Minister of Pakistan (2001-2007) with the status of Federal Minister. He joined the Planning Commission with the status of a Minister of State, 2007-2009; Advisor on Development and Global Climate Change in the Planning Commission with the status of a Minister of State, 2009-2012; Chairman Board of Governors (BoG), National Centre for Physics (NCP), since its start. Prof. Ishfaq also started the only centre of the Science of Climate Change in Pakistan and also the Earthquake Studies Centre (ESC) for forecasting earthquakes.

Prof. Ishfaq Ahmad served as Director, Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology (PINSTECH), Islamabad, Pakistan, 1971-1976; Director, Atomic Energy Center (AEC), Lahore, 1969-1971; Secretary, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), 1967-1969;Senior Scientific Officer, Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), 1960-1966; and Lecturer, Government College, Lahore, 1952-1960. He was Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Sorbonne, Paris (France), in 1969; and at the Niels Bohr Institute of Theoretical Physics, Copenhagen (1961-1962).

Prior to that, in (1963-1964), Prof. Ahmad was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at both the University of Montreal, and the University of Ottawa, Canada. Prof. Ishfaq was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the Punjab University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore (2000). In the same year, he was elected a Fellow of the International Nuclear Energy Academy. He is the recipient of the three highest official awards in Pakistan namely Sitara-I-Imtiaz, the Hilal-I-Imtiaz and the Nishan-I-Imitiaz, the last of which was awarded to him in 1998.

Prof. Ishfaq was also instrumental in the creation of Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA). He has over 40 major publications to his credit including a series of PUGWASH Conference proceedings. He also developed Pakistan’s Scientific Cooperation with the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN) and also with the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ASICTP).

The main research interest of Prof. Ishfaq Ahmad was in Particle Detectors, Nuclear and High Energy Physics, as well as Nuclear Technology. He became a Fellow of the Pakistan Academy of Sciences in 1983, and was elected a Fellow of the Islamic World Academy of Sciences (IAS) in 2000.

Prof. Ahmad will be greatly missed by his colleagues and fellow scientists in Pakistan and the Islamic World. “Ina Lillah Wa Ina Ilaihi Raj’oon.”

IAS President, Fellows and staff offer their heartfelt condolences to his family and friends throughout the world.

Moneef R. Zou’bi

Director General

Islamic World Academy of Sciences (IAS)
PO Box 830036, Amman 11183, Jordan.
Tel +9626-55-22-104 & +9626-55-23-385
Fax +9626-55-11-803
www.iasworld.org

Abdel Salam Majali

President

Islamic World Academy of Sciences (IAS)
PO Box 830036, Amman 11183, Jordan.
Tel +9626-55-22-104 & +9626-55-23-385
Fax +9626-55-11-803

www.iasworld.org

 

 

Recipient Played Central Role in Apollo Space Missions and Worldwide Desert Groundwater Exploration

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Photo of Farouk El-BazPhoto of Inamori Ethics Prize

 

As Apollo 11 slowly descended to the moon’s surface, the team of NASA scientists responsible for choosing the first lunar landing site was as anxious and in awe as the rest of the world.

“All our hearts were pounding,” recalled geologist Farouk El-Baz, a NASA scientist on the Apollo space program’s site-selection committee. “What if the moon was completely different than we thought? We were not 100 percent sure of all aspects, so there was room for error.”

The capsule, in fact, touched down July 20, 1969—4 miles from the predicted landing point and about a minute-and-a-half sooner than scheduled. But as commander Neil Armstrong proclaimed “the Eagle has landed,” made his historic “giant leap for mankind” and returned the spaceship safely to Earth, the mission—and five Apollo lunar landings that followed—was considered a rousing success.

El-Baz was involved in site selection for each of those missions. He also created and still directs a NASA-recognized “Center of Excellence,” the Center for Remote Sensing at Boston University. The center uses space technology to study the earth and its environment, including finding critically needed groundwater in arid regions around the globe.

For his life’s work, El-Baz will receive the 2018 Inamori Ethics Prize from the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence at Case Western Reserve University during a ceremony and academic symposium Sept. 13-14, during which he will deliver a public lecture about the focus of his research and the challenges ahead.

“Dr. El-Baz has shown tremendous ethical leadership throughout his life,” said Inamori Center Director Shannon French, the Inamori Professor in Ethics and a professor in the Department of Philosophy and at the School of Law. “Not only did he serve all of humankind with his essential contributions to NASA’s historic Apollo space program, but he has since turned his talents to the task of locating desperately needed scarce resources here on the Earth to save lives and resolve deadly conflicts. As many have stated, he is truly a national—and international—treasure.”

As part of its mission to foster ethical leadership worldwide, the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence at Case Western Reserve University annually presents the Inamori Ethics Prize to a recipient who demonstrates exemplary ethical leadership. First awarded in 2008, the prize honors outstanding international ethical leaders whose actions and influence have greatly improved the condition of humankind.

Pioneer in space and groundwater exploration

El-Baz is known for pioneering work in applying space images to groundwater exploration in arid lands. Based on the analysis of space photographs, his recommendations resulted in the discovery of groundwater resources in Egypt, India, China, Sudan, Sultanate of Oman, United Arab Emirates and Chad.

To honor his research on the understanding of arid lands and their groundwater resources, the Geological Society of America Foundation established two annual awards: The Farouk El-Baz Award for Desert Research to reward professional excellence in arid land studies, and The Farouk El-Baz Student Research Award to be awarded to two students—one male and one female—to encourage geological research on arid lands.

A veteran of NASA’s Apollo program, El-Baz served as secretary of the lunar landing site-selection committee and chairman of astronaut training in orbital observations and photography.

His outstanding teaching abilities were confirmed by the Apollo astronauts: While circling the moon for the first time during Apollo mission 15, command module pilot Alfred Worden said, “After the King’s (El-Baz’s nickname) training, I feel like I’ve been here before.”

In his honor, one episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation featured a shuttle spacecraft named “El-Baz.” He was also the focus of an episode of the Tom Hanks-produced HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon, in a segment titled, “The Brain of Farouk El-Baz.”

Vast knowledge and leadership

The Egyptian-born El-Baz received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and geology from Ain Shams University in Cairo, received a master’s and PhD from from the Missouri University of Science and Technology (after conducting research at MIT), taught mineralogy at Heidelberg University in Germany and worked in Egypt’s oil industry. He became a naturalized United States citizen in 1970.

In 1973, he established and directed for a decade the Center for Earth and Planetary Studies at the National Air and Space Museum of Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. He was vice president for Science and Technology at Itek Optical Systems from 1982 until he joined Boston University in 1986.

El-Baz is a member of the United States National Academy of Engineering, the Committee for Geological Sciences of the National Academy of Sciences and serves on several boards, including the Arab Science and Technology Foundation, the Egyptian Center for Economic Studies, the Egyptian-American Affairs Council, the Moroccan-American Council, the World Affairs Council of Boston, the Library of Alexandria and the British University in Egypt.

He is a member of many national and international professional societies and a Fellow of the Geological Society of America, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Royal Astronomical Society in London and the Explorers Club in New York.

About the Inamori Ethics Prize

The Inamori Center was endowed by a generous gift from Kazuo Inamori, who established Kyocera Corp. and is a global telecommunications leader and founder of the Inamori Foundation that presents the annual Kyoto Prize in Kyoto, Japan.

Previous Inamori Ethics Prize winners were:

  • Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund, 2017;
  • Peter Eigen, founder of Transparency International and pioneer of the global fight against corruption, 2016;
  • Martha C. Nussbaum, celebrated philosopher and groundbreaking scholar at the University of Chicago, 2015;
  • Denis Mukwege, physician and human rights activist from the Democratic Republic of Congo, 2014;
  • Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, 2013;
  • David Suzuki, environmentalist and broadcaster, 2012;
  • Beatrice Mtetwa, a human rights lawyer in Zimbabwe, 2011;
  • Stan Brock, founder of Remote Area Medical, 2010;
  • Mary Robinson, former United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights and Ireland’s first woman president, 2009; and
  • Francis S. Collins, leader of the Human Genome Project and director of the National Institutes of Health, 2008.

Call to change educational practices to allow future generations to tackle climate change

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Call to change educational practices to allow future generations to tackle climate change

The world’s academies of science release a ‘Statement on Climate Change and Education’

For the remainder of the 21st century and beyond, climate change poses an existential threat to humanity.

Under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, the world’s nations agreed to keep global temperature rises to within 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels. One degree of that rise has already occurred. However, in the recent COP23 meeting held in Bonn, Germany, we are still heading towards 3 degrees rise, and possibly more.

The Paris Agreement also states “Parties should take measures … to enhance climate change education” (Paris Agreement, Art.12).

“Decisions on how to tackle the effects of climate change need to be based on sound science and rational judgement,” says Krishan Lal (India), co-chair of IAP for Science. “They will also need to be made through the coming years – so it is the younger generation, currently in schools and learning about science, who will need to make those decisions.”

Unfortunately, in many countries, science education is often poor and does not develop the rational thinking or provide the inter-disciplinary study required to learn about climate change.

IAP and its member academies have a long track record in improving science education in many countries through the promotion of inquiry-based science education (IBSE), whereby children learn teamwork and rational thinking through the scientific process of developing hypotheses, designing and carrying out experiments to test them, and evaluating their results to develop conclusions. Currently, however, even the best science education tends to be taught in traditional silos – biology, chemistry, physics, etc, whereas climate change education requires a more inter-disciplinary approach.

The IAP ‘Statement on Climate Change and Education’ recognizes this and, to start the process of revitalizing education, lays out a series of recommendations on how effective climate change education can be promoted in schools around the world.

Among the specific recommendations of the Statement are the wider uptake of IBSE in schools around the world; the need to provide teachers with adequate training and resources; and that the periodic Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) ‘Assessment Reports’ and accompanying ‘Summaries for Policy Makers’ can be used as the basis for producing ‘Resources & Tools for Teachers’.

“We believe that climate change is a real threat to humanity, but also could be a formidable opportunity for all of us to modify the current unsustainable way of living, as recently outlined by more than 15,000 scientists in their call to the humanity. During major civilization changes, education has played a capital role to prepare the youth and convey the new ideas. Our goal in releasing this Statement is to contribute to this process,” says Pierre Léna of the Académie des sciences, France, who chaired the working group that produced the IAP Statement.

“We hear everywhere pessimistic statements about the future of our planet,” adds Marie-Lise Chanin, also of the French Académie des sciences, who co-chaired the development of the Statement with Pierre Léna. “but engaging the young generation in this issue and empowering students as ‘agents of change’ will bring hope and optimism.”

The IAP for Science ‘Statement on Climate Change and Education’ will be released on 12 December in Paris, France, at the One Planet Summit, being held under the auspices of the President of France, Emmanuel Macron.

“This Statement on Climate Change Education builds on IAP’s track record in promoting science education,” says Volker ter Meulen (Germany), the other co-chair of IAP for Science. “And by releasing it during President Macron’s One Planet Summit we hope that it will reach the eyes and ears of governments and decision-makers worldwide and convince them that they need to take both individual and collective action on this existential issue.”

The preparation IAP Statements is led by one of its member academies (in this case the Académie des sciences, France). A working group of experts nominated by IAP member academies is established to develop and refine the Statement. A Statement is released only when it has been approved by the IAP for Science Executive Committee and more than half of IAP members have endorsed its contents. Thus, the contents of this IAP Statement is supported by the credibility and independence of the majority of the world’s academies of science.

About IAP

The InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) was formally launched in South Africa in March 2016 and brought together three established global networks of academies of science, medicine and engineering.

Under the InterAcademy Partnership, more than 130 national and regional member academies work together to support the special role of science and its efforts to seek solutions to address the world’s most challenging problems. In particular, IAP harnesses the expertise of the world’s scientific, medical and engineering leaders to advance sound policies, promote excellence in science education, improve public health, and achieve other critical development goals.

IAP for Science (founded in 1993 as the InterAcademy Panel) brings together a sub-set of 113 academies from among the 130-plus members of the InterAcademy Partnership.

IAP and its member academies have a strong track record in trying to improve science education by promoting inquiry-based science education (IBSE) through its Science Education Programme, which has been active since 2003, including through a prior ‘IAP Statement on Science Education’ signed by 69 member academies.

Copies of the Statement are available for download from: http://www.interacademies.net/10878/32036.aspx

New STI Agenda Reflects Aspiration for Change in Islamic World

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On 10-11 September this year, the city of Astana, in northern Kazakhstan, hosted the first Summit on Science and Technology in the history of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Representatives of all 57 member states, including several heads of state and government, were there to adopt the organization’s first action plan oriented solely towards science, technology and innovation (STI), the OIC STI Agenda 2026. Moneef Zou’bi, who is Director General of the Islamic Academy of Sciences and co-author of the chapter on the Arab States in the UNESCO Science Report (2015), delivered a keynote speech to the summit. In this blogpost, he explains why this Agenda reflects a long-overdue aspiration for change in the Islamic world.

From the outset, the OIC STI Agenda 2026 strikes a refreshing tone. ‘Science is disruptive and flourishes in an environment of irreverence’, states the preamble.

Of the twelve priorities highlighted by the Agenda, nurturing the thinking mind by building a culture of science and innovation comes first. The Agenda observes that, ‘notwithstanding some important gains in the past decade, a true scientific culture is conspicuous by its absence. There should be no fears about the disruptive nature of knowledge and science, as this has been part of our heritage and traditions for centuries’… ‘Catch them young’, the Agenda urges, ‘so that critical thinking, integrity, curiosity, and creativity can flourish in the school systems’.

The reference to the golden era of Islamic science is not fortuitous. The Agenda argues that the marginal role science plays today in the Islamic world is a result of the loss of three key features that enabled Islam to enrich humanity’s accumulated reservoir of knowledge for 1000 years (circa 6th-16th centuries in the Gregorian calendar). The first of these three features is the recognition that science cannot emerge without a scientific culture which appreciates precision, learning and inquiry, encourages curiosity and criticism and interacts with the rest of the world to exchange ideas and share information.

The second feature is the recognition that science needs patronage and political support to flourish. During the golden age of Islamic science, the Umayyad and Abbāsid periods, science blossomed thanks to rulers’ direct and indirect political patronage. At the OIC Summit in Astana last September, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev proposed establishing a forum similar to the G20, in order to utilize such a grouping to develop science and economies in the Islamic world.

The third feature is the recognition that science needs openness and diversity to prosper. Interdisciplinarity was the norm for Islamic science of the classical period, with no subject being out of bounds. Critical thought was supported and promoted by philosophy and debate was encouraged.

The Agenda embraces all three features. It encourages critical thought and creativity and calls upon governments to invest in every sphere of science: education, basic science, big science, etc.. It also encourages member states to establish science and technology funds to nurture joint bilateral and multilateral projects.

Targets for greater investment in research

The Agenda fixes a number of targets for investment. For instance, the fifth priority concerning improving the quality of higher education and research invites member states to ‘consider doubling the annual expenditure by 2025 on scientific infrastructure and research and development (R&D) in those countries which spend less than 0.3% of GDP, and aim for a target of 2.0% in countries which are at a relatively advanced level, in accordance with the relevant national laws in each member state’.

Currently, the two OIC countries with the greatest research intensity are Malaysia (1.30% of GDP in 2015) and Turkey (1.01% in 2014). When you consider that both countries have doubled their research intensity since 2004, the 2% target for 2026 seems within reach. Malaysia is even planning to reach this target by 2020. Turkey has even greater ambitions, with the government’s Strategic Vision 2023 document advancing a 3% target for the year the Republic celebrates its centenary in 2023. The world average in 2013 was 1.70% of GDP.

The great majority of Islamic countries spend much less of their GDP on R&D, according to the UNESCO Science Report. Burkina Faso, Oman, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan have all hovered at the 0.2% mark for the past decade and spending levels have actually dropped in Iran and Pakistan to about 0.3% of GDP. Qatar devotes about 0.5% of GDP to research and Kuwait 0.3%. It is hard for oil-rent economies to have a strong research intensity, owing to their high GDP. This said, Saudi Arabia actually now spends a respectable 0.87% of GDP on R&D, according to figures published by the Ministry of Higher Education1 in 2013.

The situation can evolve rapidly with sufficient political backing. Egypt raised its research intensity from 0.27% to 0.72% of GDP between 2004 and 2015 and even inscribed the 1% target in the Egyptian Constitution of 2014. The United Arab Emirates published data for the first time in 2011 and, by 2015, had – jointly with Saudi Arabia – the greatest research intensity of any Arab country: 0.87% of GDP.

The United Arab Emirates has achieved a similar feat when it comes to researchers. When it published related data for the first time in 2015, it immediately took the lead for the number of researchers per million inhabitants (2 003 in full-time equivalents), ahead of the traditional champion for this indicator in the Arab world, Tunisia (1 787). Among Muslim countries as a whole, only Malaysia had a higher ratio (2 261). The world average was 1 083 per million.

Data are unavailable for about one-quarter of Muslim countries but, according to the UNESCO Science Report, a growing number are developing national STI observatories to ensure better data collection and analysis in order to inform policy-making. Examples are Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Tunisia. For its part, the African Union established an African Observatory of Science, Technology and Innovation in Equatorial Guinea in 2011 which publishes pan-African R&D data in the African Innovation Outlook every three years. As of 2010, Mali and Senegal devoted 0.58% and 0.54% of GDP to R&D, respectively.

Time is of the essence

It will be imperative to capture the moment. Many politicians in OIC countries are under pressure from their populations to succeed in terms of achieving strong national economic growth, cutting unemployment and raising living standards.

The economic fallout from the current insecurity in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen will ultimately be felt by all Arab countries, slowing the influx of foreign direct investment and hurting real estate markets. This will cause a slowdown in economic growth and push up unemployment in the region. Both Arab states reliant on exporting goods and services to the USA and European Union and those that normally receive aid from these quarters may be affected.

In parallel, OIC countries are conscious that, if they do not manage to adapt their workforces to the new knowledge economy, they will face growing unemployment. After relocating much of their production to the developing world in the 1980s, industrial countries are now investing in advanced manufacturing to revitalize their domestic manufacturing sector. In what has been dubbed the Fourth Industrial Revolution, technological fields such as biotechnology, nanotechnology, informatics and cognitive sciences are converging to blur the boundaries between the virtual world and reality, services and industry. Artificial intelligence is transforming society at a breakneck pace, changing the face of fields as disparate as medicine, manufacturing and cybersecurity. On the factory floor, robots and other cyber-physical systems are being designed to monitor production and make independent decisions.

This revolution is producing technological and organizational changes in manufacturing that are already reducing demand for unskilled labour in both developed and developing countries. It is no wonder that the OIC STI Agenda 2026 lays such heavy emphasis on high technology. It states, for instance, that ‘computational chemistry and computational biology now offer the possibility of manipulating atoms and molecules to create totally new entities, systems, membranes, materials and also fuel cells, which are critical for energy storage’.

A reinvigorated organization

The OIC is experiencing something of a revival that is particularly noticeable in the area of STI. This revival began in June 2011, when another summit in Astana decided to rename the Organisation of the Islamic Conference the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to signal the start of a new era and emphasize the cooperation aspect of the organization’s mandate, particularly with regard to other international bodies and United Nations agencies.

The OIC was founded in 1969 as a political organization grouping Muslim-majority countries. In 1981, the heads of state of the OIC decided to establish a number of specialized bodies to enhance co-operation between member states in a number of areas, including science and technology. This task was entrusted to the Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Co-operation (COMSTECH), based in Islamabad (Pakistan). The Islamic World Academy of Sciences (IAS) soon followed and was launched in Amman (Jordan) in 1986. Since the 1980s, a lot of effort has been expended by individual OIC countries and offshoot organizations to develop science and technology in member states but success stories have been few and far between.

The OIC Summit in Malaysia in 2003 adopted a yardstick for measuring progress in science and technology in member states, Vision 1441. The year 1441 in the Islamic Hijri Calendar corresponds to 2020 in the Gregorian calendar. Vision 1441 contained both collective and individual targets. Collectively, OIC countries were to account for at least 14% of the world’s scientific output by the year 1441, through greater investment in science and technology, including research and development (R&D). Individually, OIC countries were to develop a competent workforce of at least 1441 researchers, scientists and engineers per million inhabitants and to devote at least 1.4% of GDP to R&D by the year 1441.

These three targets are, of course, extrapolated from the 1441 figure. This approach was chosen to ensure that people, especially top decision-makers, could relate to these targets. The choice of indicators is fortunate, particularly as the latter two have been chosen by the United Nations as the yardsticks for measuring progress worldwide towards Sustainable Development Goal 9.5, which encourages all countries to ‘enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors … including, by 2030, encouraging innovation and substantially increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million people and public and private research and development spending’.

When Prof. Ekmeleldin Ihsanoglu took the helm in 2005 as Secretary-General of the OIC, he encouraged member states to include a major component on STI in their Ten-Year Plan of Action to 2015. Owing to a lack of financial resources, interest among decision-makers in implementing the Plan of Action gradually dwindled, at least in the field of science and technology. In the higher education sector, however, a growing number of universities joined the ranks of the world’s top universities, including several from Malaysia, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

The number of scientific publications catalogued in international journals also tripled. This was partly a result of the growing number of researchers and partly thanks to pro-active policies designed to attract foreign experts to OIC campusesor, indeed, persuade highly cited international researchers to adopt an OIC-based university for their second affiliation. Despite these positive trends, OIC countries generally still lag behind other fast-developing nations.

The OIC’s STI Agenda 2026 was drafted by COMSTECH and discussed at a number of meetings in Pakistan, as well as at the OIC Secretariat in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia). It is an ambitious document that is perhaps less utilitarian than it ought to be. It places great emphasis on mechanisms for building collective competence in a wide array of areas ranging from water, food and agriculture to energy, the basic and applied sciences, along with large multinational projects, in addition to strengthening international linkages with the best in the world. Recommendations and targets in this document are aspirational rather than prescriptive, with each government setting its own list of national targets to reflect its particular circumstances and ambitions.

The OIC STI Agenda 2026 will remain a stand-alone silo, unless a core group of countries commit to pursuing its ambitious recommendations and, ‘critically,’ allocate the financial means needed to realize its exciting ideas.

1 Ministry of Higher Education (2013) Actual Expenditure on Scientific Research and Development in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the fiscal year 1434/1435 H (in Arabic). Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Ministry of Higher Education, Secretariat for Planning and Information, General Directorate for Planning.

Source: Moneef Zou’bi and Susan Schneegans, with excerpts from the UNESCO Science Report: towards 2030 (2015). See in particular the chapters on the Arab StatesMalaysiaWest AfricaCentral and East AfricaCentral Asia, the countries around the Black Sea basin and the Caricom countries (for Suriname and Guyana)