Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS)


Participation of COMSATS’ Official in AAAS-TWAS Summer Course on Science & Diplomacy, Trieste, Italy

 Participation of COMSATS’ Official in AAAS-TWAS Summer Course on Science & Diplomacy, Trieste, Italy

In order to strengthen the organization’s capacity to effectively execute its Science Diplomacy programme, one of COMSATS’ officials, Mr. Abdul Majid Qureshi, Research Scholar, attended the 2015 AAAS-TWAS Summer Course on Science & Diplomacy, held in Trieste, Italy, from June 7-12, 2015. As part of the ongoing collaboration between the two organizations, The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) hosted the participation of the said official of COMSATS.

Around 51 participants and speakers from around the world had gathered to discuss and exchange ideas relevant to the relatively new and emerging theme of “Science & Diplomacy”. The seven interactive training sessions covered important sub-themes of the concept: Introduction to Science Diplomacy; Trans-boundary Science, National Circumstances and Approaches to Science Diplomacy; Networks and Mechanisms for Science Diplomacy; Science Advice/Communicating Risk to Policy Makers; and Risk Communication to the Public. An overview of TWAS’ programmes and opportunities relating to science diplomacy was also presented. A highlight of the event was a Lecture by Sir Peter Gluckman, Chief Science Adviser to the Prime Minister of New Zealand.

The Workshop also comprised of group projects whereby multi-national groups of individuals from diverse national, and scientific backgrounds were required to reach consensus over a problem statement of transnational nature by applying the skills gained during the technical sessions of the Workshop. The group projects were supervised by experienced mentors, and were later presented and defended on the last day of the Workshop.

Mr. Abdul Majid Qureshi represented Pakistan in a group comprising of participants from Bangladesh, Colombia, Korea (DPR), and Ghana. The project concerning establishment of an inter-regional vaccine research centre that Mr. Qureshi presented on the close of the workshop had been supervised by CEO/President of CRDF, Dr. Cathy Campbell and Foreign Secretary of the Cuban Academy of Science, Dr. Sergio Jorge Pastrana.

The Workshop concluded on the note that participants will use the networking developed with the alumni of the AAAS-TWAS Courses in 2014/15 in order to conduct similar exercises in their respective countries and share their outcomes with TWAS during the next year.