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Insight April 2011

Insight April 2011

Insight newsletter, April 2011

Welcome to the first edition of the new look Insight newsletter. Insight is integrated into the new ICSU website and will keep you up to date with our global and regional activities, latest publications and events from our Members. We welcome your comments as we continue to improve the newsletter over the coming months.

If you are having problems viewing this email, please click here to view the newsletter online.


Global Data for Global Science

02 May 2011 The World Data System Scientific Committee is pleased to invite WDS Members and interested parties to 'Global Data for Global Science', the first ICSU World Data System Conference which will be held in Kyoto, 3-6 September 2011. This will be the first international gathering of the WDS community; a perfect occasion to launch this ambitious programme and a unique opportunity to share experiences and achievements, and promote the importance of data management and long term data stewardship.

Making the case for international data sharing

02 May 2011 The case for international data sharing, particularly overcoming challenges in developing countries, took centre stage at an international symposium that took place in Washington DC in April.

Global environmental change programmes appoint new Scientific Chairs

29 April 2011 New Scientific Committee chairs have been appointed to two of ICSU’s global environmental change programmes—the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP) and the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP).

Polar research boosts understanding of our climate & global environment

28 March 2011The largest coordinated research project ever undertaken into the Arctic and Antarctic regions yielded a treasure trove of information which will shape our understanding of the polar regions, global oceans, climate and climate change for decades ahead, according to a summary of the research released this month

Visioning: Towards a new initiative for global sustainability research

25 March 2011 The Earth System Visioning process concluded in February with participants at the third and final meeting agreeing on key elements for a new initiative that will address the Grand Challenges for Earth System Science—delivering knowledge to enable societies to meet their sustainable development goals in the next decade.

30th General Assembly of ICSU

03 March 2011 The website for the 30th General Assembly of ICSU is now open. The website provides delegates with information about the programme as well as practical information. The GA is open to ICSU National and Union Members, Interdisciplinary Bodies, Scientific Associates, Executive Board members, committee members and invited participants only. Online registrations are now open.

Geological sciences union celebrates 50 years

01 March 2011 The International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) celebrated its 50th anniversary at an event at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on Monday 21 February.

ICSU unveils new interactive website

01 March 2011 ICSU has unveiled its new interactive website, designed and built from the ground up. The new website has streamlined navigation, new functions, better tools and a new visual design—making it easier for you to find the information you need. The ‘Insight’ newsletter has also been revamped and is integrated into the website, enabling subscribers to keep up to date with ICSU’s global and regional activities, latest publications and events from ICSU’s Members. The newsletter will evolve as we endeavour to improve this publication over the coming months.

ICSU President-Elect awarded Science for Peace prize

02 February 2011 Professor Yuan-Tseh Lee, ICSU’s President-Elect, was awarded the Ettore Majorana Erice Science for Peace Award for his efforts in promoting science in the international community. The award was conferred at a ceremony in Rome on 31 January.

News from the regions


Introducing New ICSU Regional Office for Africa Director

28 January 2011 ICSU and National Research Foundation of the Republic of South Africa are pleased to announce that Dr Edith Madela-Mntla has been appointed Director of the ICSU Regional Office for Africa. Edith took up her appointment on 1 January 2011.

ICSU Regional Office for Africa 2009/10 Annual Report

18 November 2010 The ICSU ROA 2009/10 Annual Report focuses on the mid-term review of the Regional Office. During this financial year the Office also saw the departure of its founding Director, Professor Sospeter Muhongo, whose tenure finished in February 2010.

Asia and the Pacific

News about events in Japan from a former Regional Committee Member

22 March 2011 Motonori Hoshi (Ghen), a former Member of the Regional Committee for Asia and the Pacific, provides news from Japan following the earthquake and tsunami.

Rio+20 Regional Workshop for Asia and the Pacific

18 March 2011 The Regional Workshop for Asia and the Pacific, 16-18 April 2011, will bring together natural scientists, social scientists and engineers from across the region, along with high level policy-makers and representatives of other stakeholder groups. The workshop is part of the preparatory process for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) that will take place in 2012, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Message from the Chair

02 March 2011 The ICSU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific is a regional arm of a global organisation. We are excited about the migration of our regional website to the global ICSU website. Not only does it promise more efficiency and more functionality for us, and you, most importantly it clearly links us to the whole ICSU community.

New Regional Office website launched

01 March 2011 The ICSU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ICSU ROAP) has officially launched its brand new integrated website. The website known as “ICSU Asia and Pacific” (www.icsu-asia-pacific.org) will feature the latest news, scientific programmes and opportunities related to the enhancement of science in Asia-Pacific countries.

Latin America and the Caribbean

A new beginning for ICSU Regional Office in Latin America

15 March 2011 The new offices for the ICSU Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (ROLAC) have been inaugurated in Mexico City at the Mexican Academy of Sciences (AMC). The new offices were formally opened by ICSU, the AMC and the Mexican National Council for Science and Technology (CONACyT). ROLAC relocated to Mexico following the completion of the three-year agreement with the Brazilian Academy of Sciences.

Biodiversity policy brief now available

24 February 2011 ROLAC and partners have published a policy brief on 'Biodiversity and Human Wellbeing in Latin Amercia and the Caribbean'. The document provides resource managers and decision makers with a synthesis of the priority problems and paths of action.

ICSU Publications

Understanding Earth's Polar Challenges: International Polar Year 2007-2008

'Understanding Earth’s Polar Challenges' was prepared by the ICSU and World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Joint Committee and presents the findings from the International Polar Year 2007–2008—a massive research effort involving some 50,000 participants from more than 60 nations between March 2007 and March 2009. The report was published in March 2011.

Advisory note on science communication (Dec 2010)

The effective communication of scientific results and viewpoints to the public is an important responsibility of the scientific community. This is particularly so for science that has been publicly funded. New information and communication technologies provide both enormous opportunities and new threats for effective science communication. This advisory note was informed by a Forum on Science Communication that was held in Bogota on 18-19 November 2010 and co-sponsored by the ICSU Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in the conduct of Science (CFRS), the Colombian Academy of Sciences and the National University of Colombia, with support from several local and international organisations.

103rd Meeting of Executive Board (Oct 2010)

The decisions from the 103rd Meeting of the ICSU Executive Board are now available.

9th CFRS Meeting (Nov 2010)

The report and decisions from the 9th meeting of the Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in the Conduct of Science is now available. The meeting was held in Bogotà, in conjunction with the 'Forum on Science Communication' at the National University of Colombia.

Applications and nominations

Reminder: Call for nominations for ICSU Executive Board members

ICSU's National Scientific Members and International Scientific Union Members are reminded that nominations for Ordinary Members of the Executive Board are due on 26 July. Nominations for Officers closed on 26 March. The Nominating Committee met on 4 April to consider the nominations received for the positions of Officers of the Executive Board.  The call for nominations for the positions of President-Elect; Vice-President for Scientific Planning and Review; and Vice-President for External Relations was reissued and extended to 30 April.


Consultations with the ICSU community

ICSU has recently sought input from its Members and Interdisciplinary Bodies on a number of draft documents including: the Strategic Plan 2012-2017; the exploratory scenarios from the foresight analysis; the the rewording of ICSU Statute 5, the Principle of the Universality of Science; the science plan for urban health and wellbeing; and the science education review. The response to these consultations has been excellent and will help direct ICSU’s priorities over the coming years. There are no consultations currently open but there will be further opportunities to provide input over the coming months as we prepare for the General Assembly in Rome in September.

Important dates

26 May Nominating Commitee slate for Officers of the ICSU Executive Board distributed to ICSU Members

26 July Nominations due for Ordinary Members of the ICSU Executive Board


Events diary

17 - 18 May 2011 104th ICSU Executive Board meeting
Havana, Cuba

The ICSU Executive Board will meet in Cuba. This is a closed meeting.

25 - 26 May 2011 10th CFRS Meeting & ABS Workshop
Berne, Switzerland

The next meeting of the Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in the conduct of Science (CFRS) will be hosted by the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT). Adjoined to this is an International Workshop on 'Access to Genetic Resources and the Sharing of Benefits Arising from Their Utilization (ABS)'. Both events are closed meetings.

30 May - 01 June 2011 Rio+20 Regional Consultative Workshop
Saint George Hotel, Pretoria, South Africa

ICSU Regional Office for Africa in collaboration with UNESCO Regional Office for Africa is organising a Rio+20 Regional Consultative Workshop, which will be held in Pretoria, South Africa, 30 May - 01 June 2011. The workshop is being organised in partnership with the Applied Centre for Climate and Earth Systems Science (ACCESS), and with the support of Government Departments in South Africa.

28 June - 07 July 2011 Earth on the Edge: Science for a Sustainable Planet
Melbourne, Australia

25th General Assembly of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG)

03 - 05 July 2011 2nd Conference of the Southern African Young Water Professionals (Final Conference Announcement)
CSIR, Pretoria, South Africa

The International YWP (Young Water Professionals) programme was initially created to counteract a perceived loss of knowledge brought about by the impending retirement of many leaders in the water industry. the YWP programme provided a range of activities, services and initiatives to young professionals and student in the water and wastewater sectors. The programme connects with employers, academic institutions and other professional associations to ensure that the future needs of the sector are understood and addressed and that inter-generations dialogue is created to form links between senior professionals of the sector and the incoming young professionals.

19 - 26 July 2011 14th Congress of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science
Nancy, France

The congress will focus on the special topic 'Logic and Science Facing the New Technologies'.

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