President Hu Jintao makes surprise visit to TWAS meeting

September 18, 2012

Li Jiao
China correspondent, SciDev.Net


The Chinese president, Hu Jintao, surprised attendees with an appearance at the opening ceremony of the conference this afternoon in the Tianjin Great Hall. He presented several TWAS prizes to scientists from the developing world, including the TWAS Regional Prizes in Building Scientific Institutions; the Ernesto Illy Trieste Science Prize; and first ever TWAS-Celso Furtado Prize in Social Sciences.

Hu told the meeting that “China will help developing countries build science research equipment and technology demonstration platform”.

One of the winners, Jason Yi-Bing Lin, senior vice-president of National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan told me: “I’m inspired by the President of China, Hu, presenting me [with my certificate] and I’ll continue to work hard”. He said that the TWAS 23rd General Meeting has been very inspiring so far, and will help promote the cooperation of scientists from different developing countries.

TWAS meeting (Credit: Li Jiao)

Another winner, Valakunja Nagaraja — from the Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore — said he was surprised to accept his certificate from the president and shake hands with him. “I was very excited,” he said.

Samar Hasnain from Pakistan, who has been a member of TWAS for almost twenty years, said the fact that “Hu attended the meeting seems [to imply that the] Chinese government pays great attention to developing countries’ cooperation and especially pays great attention to science research”.

This blog post is part of our TWAS 12th General Meeting blog, which takes place 18 and 21 September 2012, in Tianjin, China. To read news and analysis on South-South cooperation please visit our website.


Crewe next NASAC president?

November 10, 2010

The next president of NASAC? Credit: InterAcademy Council

The Network of African Science Academies (NASAC) will meet tomorrow as an add-on to the ASADI meeting – a ‘two birds with one stone’ sort of thing.

On the agenda is choosing a new president to replace the ubiquitous Mohamed Hassan, who has to step down after being selected as a co-chair of the Interacademy Panel (IAP) earlier this year. Sudan-born Hassan is also retiring from his post as executive director of TWAS, the academy of sciences for the developing world.

Rumour has it that Robin Crewe, vice-rector of the University of Pretoria in South Africa and president of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAF) will be the next NASAC president.

Linda Nordling, SciDev.Net columnist


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