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THE LATE PROF. IBRAHIM GAMIL BADRAN FIAS (EGYPT)

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Badran-GIt 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 Egyptian  scientist: Prof. Ibrahim Badran, Fellow of the Islamic World Academy of Sciences. He was 91.

He obtained his M. B. CH. (1947) and his MCh & MD (1951), both from the University of Cairo, Egypt. He has also been awarded Honorary Doctorates from Menoufia University, Egypt (1983) and the American University in Cairo, Egypt (1988).

Prof. Badran has been a University Professor and Chairman of the Department of Surgery at Cairo University (since 1966), and President of Cairo University (1978-1980). During this time he has established one of the biggest medical schools in surgery, and is known as the Father of Surgery in Egypt. He served as the Egyptian Minister of Health (1976-1978).

He was President of the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology (1980-1984), Chairman of the Specialized Research Council of Medical Sciences (since 1984), Chairman of the National Social Services Council (since 1996), a member of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, a member of the Islamic Research Organization at Al-Azhar University (since 1995), a member of the Medical Consultants Group to the WHO, a member of the Medical Consultants of the Armed Forces Hospitals, a member of the Board of Governors of the Islamic Medical Sciences Organization in Kuwait, a member of the Permanent Committee of the Holy Qur’an Scientific Miracles Organization, a Founding Fellow of the Centre of Holy Qur’an Medical Miracles in Kuwait, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, and Chairman of the Specialized National Council for Medicine in Egypt. He was an Honorary Fellow of the World Surgeons Faculty (1990).

Prof. Badran has given presentations and participated in more than 150 international conferences on medical sciences, science and technology, the development of human resources and higher education policy. He represented Egypt and chaired sessions in most of these conferences. He has authored 120 scientific papers on surgery and articles on a range of other medical and social disciplines. He is author of seven books dealing with health policy in Egypt, the future of scientific research, the development of university education and the development of human resources.

He has been awarded the Republic Order First Grade, Egypt (1983), Honorable Order, France (1983), and the Order of Recognition First Grade, Egypt (1985) and was recently honoured by President Sisi.

Prof. Badran was elected as a Fellow of the IAS in 2001.

Prof. Ibrahim Badran will be greatly missed by his colleagues and fellow scientists in Egypt 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 through the World.

UNESCO Science Report 2015

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Research at the forefront of the global race for sustainable development, says UNESCO report

Paris, 10 November – Most countries, regardless of their level of income, now see research and innovation as key to fostering sustainable economic growth and furthering their development. This is one of the conclusions of the UNESCO Science Report: towards 2030, to be launched at UNESCO Headquarters on World Science Day, 10 November.

 “In the wake of the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals to 2030 by the United Nations General Assembly, the UNESCO Science Report clearly shows that research is both a motor for economic development and a cornerstone in the construction of societies that are more sustainable and more respectful of the planet,” said the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova.

The Report’s first lesson is that, despite the economic crisis that hit industrialized countries in 2008, gross domestic expenditure on research and development (GERD) increased globally by 31% between 2007 and 2013, rising from USD 1,132 billion in 2007 to USD 1,478 billion in 2013. This increase was more rapid than that of global gross domestic product (GDP) during the same period (20%).

The USA still leads, with 28% of global investment in R&D, followed by China (20%) – now ahead of the European Union (19%) – and Japan (10%). The rest of the world represents 67% of the global population but just 23% of global investment in R&D. Nevertheless, research investment by countries such as Brazil, India and Turkey is increasing rapidly.

Cuts in public investment

The increase in R&D spending owes a great deal to the private sector, which has compensated for frozen or reduced public spending in a number of industrialized countries, such as Italy, the United Kingdom and France. This trend is particularly apparent in Canada (whose world share of R&D spending dropped from 2.1% in 2007 to 1.5% in 2013) and Australia, where significant cuts were made to research funding and applied sciences were prioritized to the detriment of basic research.

Moreover, say the authors of the report, basic research does not only generate new knowledge; it also contributes to the quality of higher education. In the long term, the balance of funding between applied and basic research can also affect the pace at which knowledge spreads. The Green Revolution, which enabled a significant increase in global agricultural output starting in the 1950s, drew almost entirely on research by public sector laboratories and universities. The picture is very different today, with advances in genetics and biotechnology largely coming out of private companies that are much more protective of their knowledge.

If global spending on R&D has increased despite the economic crisis, it is largely because it has been identified as a key factor in promoting economic growth and development. As a result, a great many countries, regardless of the size of their income, now see research and innovation as a way to keep up in a highly competitive world or find their place in it.

This is the case in Africa, where there is growing recognition that the development of modern infrastructure, such as hospitals, roads, railways, etc., and a more diversified economy require investment in science and technology, as well as the constitution of a skilled workforce. Kenya, for example, devoted 0.79% of its GDP to R&D in 2010 compared to just 0.36% in 2007. R&D spending is also increasing in Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique and Uganda.

In the context of increased R&D investment, technologies fostering sustainable development are an emerging priority for a number of countries, which fits with the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations in September 2015. This is especially the case in Latin America where 19 countries have adopted policies in favour of renewable energy. Uruguay intends to generate 90% of its electricity from renewable sources by the end of 2015. Chile and Mexico have significantly increased their wind and solar energy production capacity.

Similar projects are being undertaken in the Arab States. Morocco, for example, inaugurated Africa’s largest wind farm in 2014 and is developing what could turn out to be Africa’s biggest solar farm. In 2015, Saudi Arabia announced a programme to develop solar energy.

More scientists, greater mobility

The investment in research also translates into an increase in the number of scientists, estimated at 7.8 million worldwide, which is up by more than 20% since 2007. The European Union has the most (22% of the world share), followed by China (19%) and USA (16.7%).

There has also been a parallel explosion in the number of scientific publications, which have increased by 23% since 2008. In 2014 there were around 1.27 million per month. Europe also leads in this field (34% of world share), followed by the USA (25%), although their respective shares have seen a slight decrease. The number of publications coming out of China has almost doubled in five years, achieving nearly 20% of the world total, compared to 5% ten years ago. This demonstrates the maturity of the Chinese research system in terms of investments, number of researchers and publications.

As well as being more numerous, scientists are also more mobile. Despite the development of the Internet and the multiplication of online networks, doctoral-level researchers still feel the need to travel. The increasing mobility of PhD students in turn influences the mobility of researchers. “This is perhaps one of the most important trends of recent times,” say the authors of the Report.

Students from the Arab States, Central Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and Western Europe are the most likely to study abroad. Europe and North America are still the preferred destinations for students. The USA alone receives almost half (49%) of international students enrolled in doctoral science or engineering courses. The United Kingdom comes second (9%), followed by France (7%) and Australia (4.6%).

Since the economic crisis of 2008, Europe and North America have lost some of their attraction. Meanwhile, students who wish to study abroad now have a wider choice. South Africa hosted about 60,000 international students in 2009. Cuba is one of the most popular destinations for students from Latin America, attracting 17,000 from the continent, compared to 5,000 who study in Brazil and 2000 in Chile. Another example is Malaysia, which expects to become the sixth most popular destination for international students by 2020. From 2007 to 2012, the number of international students in Malaysia almost doubled to 56,000.

Even countries suffering from brain drain are now attracting researchers. Sudan, for example, lost 3,000 researchers who went to neighbouring countries where conditions are better, notably Ethiopia, between 2002 and 2014. But Sudan also became a host country for students from the Arab world and Africa.

Research is still a very male world

 While, globally, women have achieved parity at Master’s level, their share diminishes at PhD level to 43% of all doctoral graduates. The gap continues to widen after this, as women only represent 28.4% of the world’s researchers. They also have more limited access to funding than men and are less well represented in prestigious universities. They remain a minority in senior positions, whether on faculty boards or at the higher levels of decision-making in universities.

The regions with the greatest number of women researchers are Southeast Europe (49%), the Caribbean, Central Asia and Latin America (44%). Interestingly, in the Arab States 37% of researchers are women, which is a higher proportion than in the European Union (33%).

A number of countries have put in place policies to reverse this trend. In 2013 Germany, for example, introduced a 30% quota for women on corporate boards of directors. Japan’s selection criteria for large university grants also seek to increase the representation of women among teaching staff and researchers.

Investing in research and development – some difficult choices

“Formulating a successful national science and innovation policy remains a very difficult task”, conclude the authors of the report. This will require simultaneous action on several fronts, whether it is education, basic research, technological development or indeed private investment in R&D. The 2008 economic crisis, which made many industrialized countries tighten their budgets, has rendered this task even more difficult.

While most R&D takes place in high-income countries, innovation is now occurring in a large number of countries, whatever their income level. Some innovation is occurring without any R&D activity at all. The authors of the report therefore encourage policy makers not to focus exclusively on designing corporate incentives for R&D, but also to target innovation, in the form of technology transfer and the acquisition of machinery, equipment and software, which are all key elements in the innovation process.

While most science policies advocate stronger links between the private sector, universities and public research institutions, these commitments often come to nothing, the report observes, quoting a 2013 survey carried out by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics in 65 countries. The report encourages policy makers to draft strategies to try to reverse this trend.

The UNESCO Science Report also emphasises the importance of good governance for innovation-driven development. Corruption in the university system is an obstacle to the education of qualified graduates. It is also a disincentive for the private sector. Companies will have little interest in investing in R&D if they cannot rely on the justice system to defend their intellectual property.

The UNESCO Science Report is prepared by a team of international experts. It presents a picture of the trends in global research and development, based on a wealth of qualitative and quantitative data. The report is divided into chapters focusing on different regions,* presenting new insights into some countries** and essays on specific themes, such as the role of indigenous knowledge. The UNESCO Science Report is published every five years.

Related links:

UNESCO Science Report, Towards 2030

Table of contents – download the full report

Order a copy

Launch of the Report

Live Webcast*** of the official launch of the report, including a roundtable with authors (06:30 pm, Paris):  Floor | English | Français

 Media contact:

Agnès Bardon,

UNESCO Press Service.

+33 (0) 1 45 68 17 64, a.bardon(at)unesco.org

* Arab States, Central Africa, Central Asia, countries bordering the Black Sea, European Union, Latin America, Member States of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Southern Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia and Oceania, West Africa.

** Brazil, Canada, China, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, United States of America.

*** The interpretation of proceedings serves to facilitate communication and does not constitute an authentic record of the proceedings. Only the original speech is authentic.

– See more at: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/about-us/single-view/news/research_at_the_forefront_of_the_global_race_for_sustainable_development_says_unesco_report/#.VkRKadIrJQJ

SCIENCE AT THE UNIVERSITIES OF THE MUSLIM WORLD

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Muslim Science TaskForce report
on ‪#‎Science‬ at ‪#‎Universities‬ of the‪#‎Islamic‬ world is finally here. The Full report is available for FREE DOWNLOAD here: www.bit.ly/UniversitiesReport

The Task Force was chaired by Tan Sri Zakri Abdul Hamid, Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia and Convened by Prof. Nidhal Guessoum of the American University of Sharjah The report calls for a radical rethink of University Science Education in the Muslim World to revive a new Islamic Golden Age of science

 

Prince Hassan receives Honorary Doctorate in Land, Water and Environment Management

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ZARQA — HRH Prince Hassan on Monday received an honorary doctorate of philosophy in land, water and environment management from the Hashemite University in recognition of his efforts to build bridges in this field between world countries in this field based on mutual respect.

Hashemite University President Kamal Bani Hani presented the doctorate and the university plaque to the prince at the ceremony, attended by their Royal Highnesses Prince Raad, Chief Chamberlain, and Princesses Rahma and Sumaya.

In remarks at the ceremony,attended by their Royal Highnesses Prince Raad, Chief Chamberlain, and Princesses Rahma and Sumaya, the prince said it is the country not the individuals that deserve recognition, noting that the tribute is for the country through which the achievements came to be.

Prince Hassan added that safeguarding natural and environmental resources requires integrating knowledge of interrelated subjects — such as water, energy and the human environment — and adopting a scientific framework to improve these ecosystems.

Protecting these resources and managing them efficiently are the only guarantee to sufficient reserves of water, food and dignity for the next generations, he added.

Since the establishment of its faculty of natural resources and environment in 2003, Hashemite University has greatly focused on research in the environmental field, Prince Hassan said, praising the role of the university and civil society.

The sustainable administration of land and water resources does not only guarantee food and energy security, but is also the pillar of comprehensive regional security, the prince sainoted, calling for “humanitarian” programmes to combat poverty and increase people’s connection to their lands. 

Bani Hani said the university is proud of performing its national duty at its maximum scientific, research and logistic capacities to serve the country, expressing pride in Prince Hassan’s stances and achievements.

Prof. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim FIAS has become Mauritius’s first female president, the third on the African continent

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Port Louis – Prominent scientist Ameenah Gurib-Fakim was on Thursday approved by the parliament of Mauritius as the Indian Ocean island nation’s new president, making her the first woman to hold the ceremonial position.

Parliament speaker Maya Hanoomanjee, who is also the first woman to hold that post, said the overwhelming approval of Gurib-Fakim’s designation was an historic day for the country. The opposition also supported her appointment, making the vote a mere formality.

 Her inauguration ceremony will take place on Friday, officials said.

Gurib-Fakim, aged 56, becomes the first female president of the island, which gained independence from Britain in 1968 and replaced Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state in 1992.

Dr Gurib-Fakim has also been serving in different capacity in numerous local, regional and international organisations.  She has authored or co-edited 26 books and several book chapters.  She has authored numerous scientific articles and lectured extensively across the world within the field of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.

She has been elected Fellow of the Linnaean Society of London in 2007; Fellow of the Islamic World Academy of Science, Jordan in 2009; Fellow of the African Science Institute in 2010 and Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences in 2013.  She received the 2007 L’Oreal-UNESCO prize for Women in Science and Laureate of the National Economic and Social Council.  She is recipient of the African Union Commission Award for ‘Women in Science’ for the Eastern African Region in 2009.

 Dr Gurib-Fakim was elevated to the Order of the Commander of the Star and Key by the Government of Mauritius in 2008 and admitted to the Order of the Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques by the Government of France in 2010.  In 2013, she received the Honorary DSC (Doctor Honoris Causa) from the prestigious Université Pierre Marie Curie of the Sorbonne, Paris, France.  In April 2014, she was elected on the Governing Council of the African Academy of Sciences as the Regional Representative of the East African Region.

Mauritius is one of the richest, and least corrupt countries in Africa, a middle-income nation of some 1.3 million people with a per capita GDP of just over $9 000.

Gurib-Fakim is currently director of the Mauritius-headquartered Centre for Phytotherapy Research (CEPHYR), which carries out research on plants for use in cosmetics, nutrition and therapy.

The late Prof. Uğur Dilmen 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/ doctor of medicine: Prof. Uğur Dilmen, Fellow of the Islamic World Academy of Sciences, Executive Editor/ Medical Journal of IAS.

Prof. Dilmen passed away on 7 May 2015. He was 60.

Dilmen obtained his MD from Hacettepe University Ankara/Turkey in 1979, his MSc from the same University in 1982 and his PhD from Ataturk University in Turkey in 1994.

He was Professor of Pediatrics, Ataturk University, Medical Faculty, 1994-1996 and Dean, Fatih University Medical Faculty; and Professor of Pediatrics and Neonatology; 1996-the present.

Prof. Dilmen was awarded the Cihad Tahsin Gürson Research Award (Platelet antibodies in sepsis) in 1982; the TÜBİTAK (Turkish Scientific and Technical Research Council) Award (Nifedipine in hypertensive emergencies of children in 1988); and the IAS Ibrahim Memorial Award in 1996.

Prof. Dilmen was a lecturer in Pediatrics, Turkish Health and Therapy Foundation from 1987-1988; a Physician in Chief, Turkish Health and Therapy Foundation Medical Center from 1990-1994; a Professor of Pediatrics and Neonatology, Atatürk University, 1994-1996; and Dean, Fatih University Medical Faculty, 1996-2001.

Prof. Dilmen was a member of the Turkish Medical Society; National Pediatric Society; Perinatology Endockrinolody Societyi; Neonatoloji Societyi; and the World Medical Association.

Prof. Dilmen was elected as a Fellow of the IAS in 2001.

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

Task Force on Islam’s Response to Science’s Big Questions

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Leading Muslim Scholars take on Big Questions at the intersection of Science, Faith, and Modernity

Istanbul, February 12, 2015 – By resolving the perceived conflict between Muslim faith and Science, the Muslim world can embark upon a new scientific awakening or renaissance, proposed a group of scholars – scientists, historians, and theologians – meeting to discuss Big Questions at the intersection of Islam and Science. The scholars put forth new ideas on navigating the religious and ethical questions posed by Science, such as, how Muslim scientists can produce scientific research and remain people of faith; and from the origins of the Universe to human evolution, how people of faith must reconcile their beliefs with cutting-edge scientific developments.

Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the former Secretary General of Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) and a noted thinker and scholar of Islam and Science kicked off the discussion as the Chair of the Muslim-Science.com Task Force Meeting on Islam’s Response to Science’s Big Questions.

“Muslims over the centuries have helped develop science and its underlying foundations but today the scientific enterprise in the Islamic World has almost come to standstill. On the one hand, this Task Force seeks to dispel the impression that Islam and Science are necessarily in conflict with each other. On the other hand, it also identifies some critical factors that we, Muslims, must pay attention to if we want to successfully navigate in these exciting scientific times and utilize science for the benefit of Islamic countries and the World at large. ” Prof. Ihsanoglu said.

Among the 12 scholars on the Task Force are Usama Hasan, a scientist and a traditionally trained religious scholar, who is the Convenor of the Task Force, Prof. Nidhal Guessoum the author of Islam’s Quantum Question, Sheikh Afifi Al-Akiti a noted Malaysian Theologan, and Prof. Mehdi Golshani an Iranian Philosopher of Science, among others. The Task Force is sponsored by Templeton Foundation and hosted by the Turkish Society of the History of Science.

The Task Force members noted that Islam has followed a very different historical trajectory vis-a-vis its support and tolerance for scientific ideas and developments in its early days as compared to other major world faiths such as Christianity or Judaism. When scientists were being burnt at the stake in the Christian World, Science in Muslim lands was thriving under the patronage of competing Caliphs. However, with the passage of time, this tolerance and support has waned with the resultant decline in the scientific fortunes of the Islamic World.

Addressing some of these questions is critical to the future of the Islamic Project and its ability to embrace modernity – in particular free thinking and critical inquiry that is so instrumental to robust scientific development – and hence address the myriad of challenges it faces to provide for the socio-economic salvation of more than 1.5 billion people worldwide.

 “This is critical to creating a tolerant and moderate Islamic World at peace with itself and its place in the World,” noted Usama Hasan, the Convenor of the Task Force.

 “In answering these questions, the task force also seeks to reclaim the narrative of science within the Islamic Community – a narrative that in the recent years has been imposed from outside rather than created from inside – and hence begin an inside-out process of scientific revival within the Islamic World,” said Dr. Athar Osama, the founder of Muslim-Science.Com and the Director of the Task Forces Initiative.

Muslim-Science.com will formally release the report of the Task Force in July 2015 and to seek to work with partners to advance this important discourse within the Islamic World.