My TWAS picks as curtains come down

Hello, and its curtains down for the TWAS meeting.  It is a significant moment too—Mohamad Hassan, TWAS executive director steps down after a quarter-century association with the organization. Many consider him to be the ‘face of TWAS’ in developing countries. But as current TWAS president Jacob Palis assured us all at the opening ceremony, “we (TWAS) will not let him go.” Which is good. Hassan will still continue as an honorary member.

Some lasting impressions

1)       Carlos Nobre – Brazilian scientist who warns of the tipping point — that if the temperatures are not contained within 3 degrees Celsius globally,  the Amazon forest could turn into a Savanna

2)       Rafael Navarro-Gonzalez – on Mars-like soils found in the Atacama desert

3)       Badri Goswami – added another tipping point – monsoon could turn into a mega drought

4)       Toymaker Arvind Gupta  — we need more smiling souls like him at academy meetings

5)       Social insects guru Raghavendra Gagadkar – though I forgot to check out if they have select insect academies

6)       The school kids who patiently listened to concepts of ‘directed basic research’ and ‘pre-competitive applied research’

And I sign off.

T V Padma, South Asia Regional Coordinator, SciDev.Net

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