Report: IUPAB Contribution to the ICSU 29th General Assembly in Maputo, Mozambique, October 20-24, 2008

As agreed and discussed with Council prior to the ICSU meeting, IUPAB presented a poster that focussed on IUPAB workshops and taskforces, especially as they related to Africa.  The poster can be viewed here.

Outcomes of the IUPAB presentation: The Secretary-General presented this poster and provided 25 copies as A4 printed sheets. The poster was located just outside the meeting room for African delegates. All copies were taken on the first day of the four day meeting. The content of the poster was discussed with delegates from African countries and organizations, and the laminated poster was presented to Professor Sospeter Muhongo, Regional Director ICSU Office For Africa where it will be displayed at their regional office in Pretoria.

The Secretary-General provided names, titles and email addresses of a number of African contacts requested by Professor Greta Pifat-Mrzljak who will encourage African students to attend the workshop she has organized in Croatia in 2009.  This list of contacts will also be sent to the organizers of other IUPAB-approved Workshops (Sofia Bulgaria, Mumbai India, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) in 2009.

Cooperation between the Scientific Unions in Africa:  The Secretary-General had discussions with the following Union representatives:  (1) Professor de Leon (Union of Mathematical Sciences, UMS) was positive about cooperating on educational aspects of  mathematics in Africa and was supportive of the proposed IUPAB Taskforce on Computational Biophysics; (2) Professor  Jacques-Henry Weil  said that IUBMB has already send a workshop into African and will continue to do so. He expressed an interest in coordinating with other scientific Unions; (3) Professor Bruce McKellar representing IUPAP (Pure & Applied Physics, a very large Union with a significant subsection on biophysics) who agreed we should cooperate in this field and that there was a need to develop educational capacity in Africa. IUPAP is also active in the area of ethical conduct in science so there it may be possible to introduce this into African PhD courses. The Secretary-General will contact other Unions including Biology and Physiology (Professor Ann Sefton, International Union for Physiological Sciences, IUPS).

Actions: The Secretary-General will contact the Regional Office in Africa (ROA), the  Third World Academy of Science (TWAS), and representatives of IUPAP, UMS, IUPS, and IUIS.