TWAS 21st General Meeting was held in Hyderabad, India, from 19 to 22 October 2010.
The event was sponsored and organized by the Indian National Science Academy (INSA), the TWAS Regional Office for Central and South Asia (TWAS-ROCASA) and the Hyderabad Eye Research Foundation, and supported by the Department of Science & Technology and other agencies in India.
Among the highlights of the four-day event were:
- The election of 58 new TWAS members from 21 countries; the award ceremony for the winners of theTWAS Prizes for 2009 and the announcement of the winners for 2010.
- An opening speech by India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in which he spoke fondly about his interactions with TWAS's founding president, Abdus Salam – first as a student in St. John's College in Cambridge and then as a collaborator on the South Commission's seminal report, The Challenge to the South. Prime Minster Singh also spoke at length about the critical role that science and technology plays in sustainable economic development, and he urged developing countries – both individually and collectively – to take advantage of their growing capacity in science and technology to chart a new path for development that does not pose the same levels of risk to the environment as the development paradigms devised by industrialized countries in the 19th and 20th centuries.
- A Ministerial Roundtable on Scientific Collaboration with Africa that featured presentations by ministers of science and technology from India, South Africa and Zimbabwe – Shri Prithviraj Chavan, Naledi Pandor and Heneri A.M. Dzinotyiweyi, respectively, as well as Jean Pierre Ezin, head of human resources, science and technology at the African Union and Carlos Alberto Aragão, president of the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) in Brazil. Each spoke about the tangible benefits that can be derived from South-South cooperation in science and technology.
- A series of symposia covering a broad range of topics that included Science in India, Science with Children, Agriculture and Food Security, and Mitigation and Adaptation to Climate Change. A group of eminent scientists from around the world also gave a series of TWAS Medal Lectures. There were a number of invited and plenary lectures as well.
- Representatives from the five regional offices of TWAS – in Brazil, China, Egypt, India and Kenya – outlined the growing list of activities in which they are engaged, including their efforts to support and honour young scientists within their region.
- Presentations from 17 of the 25 TWAS Young Affiliates from the class of 2010. Their participation in the meeting is a reflection of TWAS's commitment to the next generation of scientists in the South. The level of excellence displayed in their talks reflected positively on the future of science-based development in the developing world.
- And, finally, an official announcement that TWAS's long-standing executive director, Mohamed H.A. Hassan, will be retiring from the Academy at the end of the year, marking the end of more than a quarter century of service to the Academy.
Together with a broad overview of the state of science and technology in India written by TWAS editor Daniel Schaffer just prior to the conference and published in the TWAS Newsletter, the series of news releases written during the conference are designed to provide a window into the issues of consequence that were discussed during the course of the four-day event.
At the conclusion of the conference, it was announced that TWAS's 22nd General Meeting will take place in Rabat, Morocco, next fall. The Moroccan Academy of Sciences and Technology will generously serve as the local host.