The AAAS is the world’s largest association of scientists and engineers; this year’s theme was Flattening the World: Building a Global Knowledge Society. IDRC-supported research was the subject of several panels and activities during the meeting which drew more than 7,000 scientists, educators, and journalists from around the world:
Naser Faruqui, director of IDRC’s Science and Innovation program, chaired a symposium on the changing landscape of science and innovation across diverse countries with large Muslim populations. Three researchers presented their studies supported through the Atlas of Islamic-World Science and Innovation project.
David O’Brien, a senior program specialist with IDRC’s Science and Innovation program, moderated a panel discussion on research supported through the International Research Chairs Initiative (IRCI), an initiative co-funded by IDRC and the Canada Research Chairs Program. International Research Chairs Yiming Shao and Jianhong Wu discussed future directions for China's HIV/AIDS strategy. International Research Chairs Nelson Sewankambo and John Lavis spoke on the evolution of Uganda's HIV/AIDS policies, and the interaction between public health agencies, researchers, and policymakers.
The Global Health Research Initiative and the Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research mounted an interactive workshop on the challenges of creating sustainable career paths in global health research.
The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences – The Next Einstein Initiative held a workshop to describe lecturing, tutoring, or mentoring opportunities that exist at AIMS centres. IDRC is implementing Canada’s $20 million contribution to expand the AIMS network, which provides rigorous mathematics training to post-graduate African students. Neil Turok, who founded AIMS and is the director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, led the workshop with two professors from the University of British Columbia, Douw Steyn and James Ferguson, who shared their experiences as visiting AIMS lecturers
IDRC also produced three videos as part of its Ideas @ IDRC series about the roles of science and innovation in international development:
Naser Faruqui explains how to harness science and innovation to contribute to sustainable and equitable development. Read Faruqui’s op-ed about how science can reduce poverty in the Huffington Post.
Laurent Elder, of IDRC’s Information and Networks program discusses the impact of open science on the future of international development.
David O’Brien tells us why funding agencies have an important role to play in international scientific collaboration.
Vancouver marked the first time the annual meeting was held outside the United States. The next annual meeting is scheduled for Boston in February 2013.