Santiago de Chile
Santiago do Chile - May 2004
From May 5-7, 2004, following the invitation of the Brazilian and the Chilean Academy of Sciences, the Science Academies of Latin America held the inaugural meeting of the InterAmerican Network of Science Academies (IANAS). At this opportunity, the Academies, besides discussing and approving the statutes of the network, discussed and also approved the establishment of the first two initiatives of IANAS: the Science Education Programme and the Water Programme. Invited multilateral organizations such as the Organization of American States (OAS), UNESCO and the InterAmerican Bank for Development were also present, presenting opportunities for collaboration.
This meeting brought together the National Academies of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, USA, Venezuela, as well as the Presidents of the Caribbean Scientific Union, the Caribbean Academy of Sciences, the Latin American Academy of Sciences, and representatives of the Uruguayan scientific community.
Wednesday, May 5th, 2004
List of Participants
Inter-American Network of Academies of Sciences (IANAS)
The Academies of Sciences of the countries of the Americas, in the spirit of the Inter Academy Panel (IAP), establish an InterAmerican Network of Academies of Sciences, IANAS.
The main goals of IANAS will be:
1. To assist in the building of national scientific capacities by strengthening science and technology relationships among the countries of the Americas, as a tool for societal development;
2. To cooperate in building capacities for the Academies of the region through exchange of information and experience and to aid in the creation of new Academies in those countries of the Americas desiring assistance in the establishment of a Science Academy;
3. To influence the scientific decision-making processes in the Americas, with the goal of promoting prosperity and equity in the Hemisphere.
Such actions shall always be undertaken with due respect for the spheres of activity, competences and interests of the respective national Academies..
I. Members and Organization
I.1. Academies of the countries of the Americas, with science components – such as Social Sciences, Engineering and Health Sciences - may be members of IANAS provided they represent national scientific communities through a peer selection process and play an acknowledged nationwide role. Other Academies may apply to become members of IANAS. Acceptance is decided by the General Assembly.
I.1.1. If a country or region does not have an academy of sciences that is a member of IANAS, an equivalent organization may be admitted to membership.
I.1.2. If a member academy has not participated in IANAS or its programmes and activities for more than three consecutive years, the IANAS Co-Chairs shall consult with that academy and, if the situation of non-activity persist for another two years, propose to the Executive Committee that membership be suspended pending a decision of the General Assembly on the termination of membership.
I.2. The bodies of the IANAS are the General Assembly and the Executive Committee.
II. The General Assembly
II.1. The General Assembly is the meeting of the representatives of members of IANAS. The place and date of the Ordinary Session shall be decided by the General Assembly, or, failing that, by the Executive Committee. Each member Academy is invited to send to the General Assembly the President or his or her designate who shall be the voting member in the General Assembly. Member Academies may indicate additional, non-voting members.
II.2. Other related organizations or individuals from countries lacking academies may, at the discretion of the Executive Committee, be invited as observers to the General Assembly.
II.3. The General Assembly shall, in particular, make the following decisions:
a. Approve general IANAS policies and initiatives; and IANAS programmes and their budgets;
b. Elect new member academies, the IANAS Co-Chairs, the IANAS Executive Committee, and the academy hosting the IANAS Secretariat;
c. Direct the Executive Committee to carry out specific tasks deemed necessary for achieving the objectives of the IANAS; and
d. Amend these Statutes and adopt rules of procedure governing its own work and that of the other organs of the IANAS.
II.4. The General Assembly shall adopt and may amend these Statutes with a two-thirds majority vote, abstentions not considered a vote.
II.5. The General Assembly may delegate specific tasks or responsibilities to the IANAS Executive Committee.
II.6. Unless explicitly otherwise provided in these Statutes or in rules of procedure, the General Assembly shall decide by a majority vote, abstentions not considered a vote. A vote shall be taken by hand raising if the vote does not relate to a person or persons or by a secret ballot if the vote relates to a person or persons.
II.7. The General Assembly will be held every three years.
II.8. Travel and living expenses of Academy representatives at General Assemblies or other IANAS activities are the responsibility of the individual Academies. The host Academy and other academies in position to do so will, however, try to provide assistance where appropriate.
III. The Executive Committee
III.1. Composition of the Executive Committee
a) Two Co-Chairs, from Academies of countries with different degrees of development.
b) Seven additional full members
• One from the Academy that hosts the General Assembly;
• One from the Academy that will host the next General
• Five elected member Academies from countries not represented in the citizenship of the Co-Chairs.
III.2. The Co-Chairs of IANAS shall be elected as named individuals, though s/he will need to be a member of an Academy that is member of IANAS and that is willing to meet his/her expenses.
III.3. The Executive Committee shall consult members about possible candidates for Co-Chairs, not less than three months before the completion of the term of the existing Co-Chair, and then propose one or more names to the membership for election at the General Assembly. A simple majority of the voting members of IANAS shall determine the outcome.
III.3.1. The Executive Committee shall decide by a majority of votes, abstentions not considered a vote. During meetings a vote shall be taken by hand raising if the vote does not relate to a person or persons or by a secret ballot if the vote relates to a person or persons. Between meetings a vote shall be taken by an electronic ballot with the individual votes of a member to be kept confidential if the vote relates to a person or person.
III.4. The Co-Chairs will serve a term of three years, starting at the date of the General Assembly. For the purpose of ensuring continuity and rotation among the regions, only one Co-Chair may be eligible for re-election. A Co-chair may serve at most two consecutive terms.
III.5. The Co-Chairs shall not be responsible for hosting a General Assembly. The Co-Chairs may invite individuals to work with the Executive Committee on a particular issue. Such individuals shall have no voting rights.
III.6. Other than the Co-Chairs, all members of the Executive Committee are Academy representatives rather than named individuals. The member Academies may choose the representative to the Executive Committee, but should try to ensure continuity of representation, in order to facilitate the efficient working of the Executive Committee.
III.7. The five elected member Academies shall stand down at each General Assembly. At least one of the elected member Academies shall change at each election. The maximum continuous service of a full member of the Executive Committee shall be six years, after which that member shall be ineligible for election for the next three years.
III.8. The Executive Committee meets just before the meeting of the General Assembly in order to finalize its preparation and the newly elected Executive Committee will meet just after the General Assembly in order to implement recommendations of the General Assembly. The Executive Committee shall meet at least once per year between General Assembly meetings.
III.9. The Executive Committee will ensure the continuity between two successive meetings of the General Assembly, implement the recommendations of the previous one, prepare the program of the next one, and represent IANAS through its Co-Chairs or one of its members during the time between two General Assemblies. The Executive Committee is in charge of the relations of IANAS with international institutions (e.g. OAS, UNESCO, PAHO, IDB, IACD). The Executive Committee should follow general guidance from the previous General Assembly, and with potentially contentious issues should consult the member Academies most closely involved. All the actions of the Executive Committee will be communicated to member Academies in a timely manner.
IV. The Secretariat
IV.1 Under the guidance of the IANAS Co-Chairs the IANAS Secretariat shall support the General Assembly and the Executive Committee in the discharge of their respective tasks and responsibilities.
IV.2 The Secretariat shall, in particular, be responsible for:
a. Preparing and organizing all official IANAS meetings;
b. Disseminating relevant materials to member academies;
c. Preparing an Annual Report on IANAS programmes and activities;
d. Maintaining working relations with relevant other organizations;
e. Receiving and disbursing the funds of the IANAS; and
f. Preparing reports and audits on the finances of the IANAS.
IV.3. The IANAS Secretariat shall be hosted by an IANAS member Academy elected by the General Assembly for a term of six years.
IV.3.1. The term of a host Academy shall be renewed unless in its previous meeting the General Assembly served notice of its intention to elect another host Academy.
IV.3.2. If the host Academy wishes to terminate its role as host Academy, it shall notify the Executive Committee of that intention at least two years before the date of actually ending its role as host Academy.
IV.4. The Executive Committee may adopt rules and regulations governing the tasks and responsibilities of the Secretariat.
V. The Information Function
V.1. A major function of IANAS is to promote and reinforce the activities of the Academies of the region through exchange of information and experience. One main way in which this is done is through exchange of information about IANAS itself and about its members. Such exchange may be accomplished by whatever means are appropriate, taking account of advances in technology and other sources of information already easily available, and shall be the responsibility of the Co-Chairs. They shall also arrange for and maintain an IANAS website with news about IANAS and direct links to the websites of members.
VI. Programs and Initiatives
Programs and Initiatives are an integral part of meeting the capacity building objectives of IANAS. Programs and initiatives will focus on key issues for the Americas and will promote participation of the members.
Proposals from members of IANAS to the Executive Committee, will be considered on an annual basis. It will be the responsibility of the Executive Committee to determine the feasibility of the program or initiative, as well as to organize its implementation.
VI.1. Programs and initiatives will be coordinated by a chairperson who will be designated by the Executive Committee. Coordinators will submit an annual progress report to the Executive Committee describing the activity undertaken.
VI.2. Upon completion or resignation, a chairperson should submit a progress report about the program or initiative. If appropriate, the Executive Committee will provide a copy of the report to the newly designated person.
VI.3. The Executive Committee is responsible for undertaking the evaluation of programs or initiatives.
VII. Statements and Reports
VII.1 IANAS may issue statements and reports on matters of interest to its members and to policy-makers.
VII.1.a. It is vital to declare clearly who are the authors of such statements or reports, and to ensure that they are of the quality that IANAS members require. Any statement or report issued under the auspices of IANAS must, therefore, be presented first to the Executive Committee and then to the General Assembly where it can be subjected to collective debate. The Executive Committee can, if necessary, bring to the consideration of all the members statements or reports that require release before the meeting of a General Assembly. An electronic or mail vote must be received from members within 21 days of the initial consultation. Academies not voting will be counted as affirmative votes. Under both conditions (vote in the General Assembly or electronic or mail ballot) a two third majority is required for an IANAS statement or report to be released.
VII.1.b. The Executive Committee may appoint special committees to develop statements or reports on science and science policy questions of interest to the governments of the Americas. Such committees may be appointed in response from external organizations such as the United Nations, UNESCO or the Organization of the American States. Prior to release, the reports must be approved by the Executive Committee.
Inaugural Meeting of the InterAmerican Network of Academies of Sciences (IANAS)
Santiago, Chile, May 5 - 7, 2004
The founding meeting of the InterAmerican Network of Academies of Sciences (IANAS) was held on May 5 - 7, 2004 in Santiago, Chile. Having as a fundamental objective the support of national scientific and technological development in the hemisphere, by increased interaction among the Academies, the member academies agreed to cooperate towards the strengthening of science and technology as a tool for advancing research and development, prosperity and equity in the Americas. The main goals, stated in the statutes of the network, are: to assist in the building of national scientific capacities by strengthening science and technology relationships among the countries of the Americas, as a tool for societal development; to cooperate in building capacities of the Academies of the region, through exchange of information and experience; to aid in the creation of new Academies in those countries of the Americas desiring assistance in the establishment of a Science Academy; and to influence the scientific decision-making processes in the Americas, with the goal of promoting prosperity and equity in the hemisphere.
The following Science Academies were represented at the meeting: Latin American Academy of Sciences (ACAL); National Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences (Argentina); National Academy of Sciences of Bolivia; Brazilian Academy of Sciences; Caribbean Academy of Sciences; Royal Society of Canada; Caribbean Scientific Union; Chilean Academy of Sciences; Colombian Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences; National Academy of Sciences (Costa Rica); Cuban Academy of Sciences; Academy of Sciences of the Dominican Republic; Academy of Medical, Physical and Natural Sciences of Guatemala; Mexican Academy of Sciences; National Academy of Sciences of Peru; US National Academy of Sciences; and Academy of Physical, Mathematical and Natural Sciences of Venezuela.
The Academies approved the creation of IANAS, and the statutes governing its operation. Dr. Hernan Chaimovich Guralnik (Brazilian Academy of Sciences) and Dr. Howard Alper (Royal Society of Canada) were elected as Co-Chairs of the network for a period of three years. The Academies from Chile, US, Mexico, Venezuela and the Caribbean Scientific Union were also elected as members of the executive board.
Two programmes were established as the first IANAS initiatives: Science Education and Water.
The Science Education Programme, inspired by experiences developed by Academies in the region, will be coordinated by Dr. Jorge Allende, of the Chilean Academy of Sciences. The Chilean Academy is also responsible for coordinating the InterAcademy Panel (IAP) Science Education Programme. This initiative includes a global review of the teaching of science to children at the school level. Science education is the most important way through which societies of all countries learn about science, its values, concepts and objectives, and through which they can understand the importance of scientific endeavor for their cultural and socioeconomic development. There is an urgent need to address the high rates of scientific illiteracy existing in the hemisphere. With an initial five years scope, the general objective of this program is to improve the level and the relevance of science education in the hemisphere, through the active participation of members of Science Academies of the Americas, working together with teachers and educational authorities. Specific objectives are to promote collaboration and synergy in the implementation of science education projects sponsored by Science Academies in the countries of the Americas; to stimulate the sharing of materials and experiences among projects dedicated to Inquiry-Based Science Education (IBSE); to develop common methods, mechanisms and guidelines to evaluate the progress of the individual projects; to create a forum for the discussion of the optimal materials and methods that should be used in science education; and to stimulate collaboration among academies in the organization of science fairs, scientific Olympics and science prizes for children. The initial focus of the program will be on elementary level science education. However, worthwhile activities on secondary and tertiary science education will also be considered. The Academies will appoint a representative to the Hemispheric Council for the IANAS Science Education Programme by June 15, 2004. Each participating Academy will generate a National Committee for the IANAS Programme. These National Committees should include educators and scientists with expertise in the different disciplines involved in science education and should serve as a nexus with the national authorities, with responsibility for science education (Ministers of Education, Science Councils, etc). The National Committees have the responsibility to implement the initiatives that the Academy of their country will propose and to disseminate other activities of the program to insure the participation of the appropriate persons and institutions of that country.
The second initiative will be the Water Programme. Access to clean water is one of the major problems faced by humanity at the beginning of the 21st Century. This problem is exacerbated by a long history of excessive and inadequate use of this natural resource, as well as pollution and increasing demands. The Science Academies of the Americas have decided to establish a regional programme to aid national governments in addressing this matter. The challenges of water scarcity require a vigorous scientific, technological and managerial action in order to: adequately and better use the existing supplies; recover degraded surfaces and groundwater reserves; and secure for the future generations the necessary water resources. It is clear that water scarcity will be a major cause of the loss of opportunity for economic development in the years to come. To face this situation, it is necessary to improve programmes of conservation and to provide scientific and technological tools to assure a more rational use of water supplies. Thus, the development of new strategies for water uses, water recycling, and conservation of rivers, lakes and reservoirs represent a most important challenge. Crucial components to this programme include: capacity building for water resources management; the development of research that will result in new water management strategies; and the education of society on the need for a more rational use of the existing water supplies. The Brazilian and the Mexican Academies of Sciences will coordinate this programme. The Brazilian co-chair will be Dr. José Galizia Tundisi, who also coordinates the IAP Water Programme. The Mexican Co-Chair will be Dr. Luis Ernesto Marín Stillman. A steering committee was established which includes: Dr. Raúl Lopardo (Argentina); Dr. Fernando Urquídi (Bolivia); Dr.Winston Mellowes (Caribbean Academy of Sciences); Dr. Gabriel Roldán (Colombia); and Dr. Ignacio Benavente Trullenque (Peru). The steering committee will, by May 31, 2004, present a detailed action plan for the water initiative.