The 25th General Meeting of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) was held in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman, on 25-28 October 2014. On invitation from the Executive Director TWAS, Prof. Romain Murenzi, and the Omanese Ministry of Higher Education, the Executive Director COMSATS, Dr. I. E. Qureshi, participated in the meeting as observer. More than 350 delegates, comprising of TWAS Fellows, representatives of Governments and international organizations, as well as academics of international repute, from across the world participated in four days of high-level scientific presentations and intensive discussions. Among the highlights of the meeting were the announcement of TWAS-2013 prizes for seven outstanding scientists in the developing world, one each in the categories of Agricultural Sciences, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Engineering Sciences, Medical Sciences and Physics. The prize winners delivered lectures in different sessions of the meeting, expounding their research work and the achievements made by them in their respective fields of specializations. Other special prizes included TWAS-Celso Furtado Prize, C. N. R. Rao Prize, Atta-ur-Rahman Prize and TWAS Regional Prize. The keynote lectures delivered by eminent scientists elaborated the cutting edge research in the areas of High Energy Physics, Laser Spectroscopy, Applications of Light, Materials Science, Chemistry, and Biology.
In his highly informative and inspiring lecture, the CEO of Grand Challenges Canada, Dr. Peter A. Singer, explained in detail the mechanisms used by his organization to solve the challenging problems of development through innovative research projects conducted by the recipients of competitive research grants from a $235 Million fund provided by the Government of Canada. He cited several examples of the successful implementation of the innovative solutions obtained by researchers, making enormously beneficial impact on the lives of the people in the developing countries.
Another special feature of the meeting was the announcement made by Executive Director COMSATS about COMSATS’ offer of Membership to Oman, with a few words of Introduction about COMSATS.
A number of meetings and consultations were held on the sidelines of TWAS General Meeting, by the Executive Director COMSATS in connection with the issues listed below:
- Prof. Romain Murenzi (Executive Director TWAS, Italy) and Prof. Rabia Hussain (TWAS Vice Chairperson for South Asia and Central Asia)
- Various options of holding conferences in South Asia and Central Asia under the auspices of TWAS Regional Office in Delhi, India, with the support of COMSATS;
- Possibility and mechanism of Science Diplomacy cooperation betweenTWAS and COMSATS;
- Prof. M. H. A. Hassan (Lifetime Honourary Member COMSATS Coordinating Council) and Prof. Glaucius Oliva (Member COMSATS Technical Advisory Committee and President CNPq, Brazil)
- Brazilian Membership of COMSATS;
- Financial support of CNPq for training of scientists at COMSATS’ Centre of Excellence in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), the Embrapa Agrobiologia;
- Exchange of faculty and students between COMSATS’ Member Countries and Brazil under the national programme of Brazil, ‘Science without Borders’;
- Prof. Khatijah Yusoff (Member COMSATS Technical Advisory Committee and Dean Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Putra Malaysia, Malaysia)
- Briefing about the role of Technical Advisory Committee members with respect to COMSATS international activities;
- Request for feedback on the Minutes of 17th Coordinating Council meeting;
- Possibility of Prof. Yusoff’s participation in 18th Coordinating Council Meeting;
- Dr. Rawiya Al Busaidi (Minister of Higher Education, Sultanate of Oman) and Mr. Talal Al Balushi (Director of International Relations, The Research Council, Oman)
- Presentation of the papers concerning offer of Membership of COMSATS to Oman;
- Possibility of CIIT and Sultan Qaboos University cooperation in S&T disciplines;
- Dr. Amir M. Khan, Dr. Qasim Mehdi, Dr. Anwar Nasim, Dr. Qasim Jan
Requests to send articles for publication in Science Vision;
- Prof. Keto Mshigeni (Vice-Chancellor, Hubert Kairuki Memorial University, Dar es Salam, former President Tanzanian Academy of Sciences, Tanzania)
- Support for coordination with Ministry of Science and Technology, Tanzania; Tanzanian Academy of Sciences, Commission on Science and Technology (COSTECH) Tanzania and COMSATS Centre of Excellence in Tanzania, TIRDO;
- Briefing about the COMSATS-ISESCO organized workshop held in Dar es Salaam (19-24 Oct, 2014) on ‘Internet Security’;
- Mr. Edward Lempinen (Public Information Officer, TWAS, Italy)
- The on-going cooperation between TWAS and COMSATS in connection with the publication of profiles of R&D organizations, under the TWAS programme ‘Excellence in Science’;
- Sharing of information concerning Science Diplomacy programme of TWAS.