Databases listing the names of researchers and information about their areas of expertise are used by such diverse groups as journalists seeking sources of information for their stories on science and engineering and organizations identifying potential reviewers for manuscripts and grant applications. For researchers who may not have access to journals in their field and are not able to attend international conferences, open-access expertise databases provide a critical resource for identifying potential collaborators.
Some of the databases listed on Sigma Xi's International Resources page simply provide information about who is doing what research in which institution. Examples include the Dutch Research Database (NOD), the National Research Council of Canada Expertise Database, and the Web of Information for Development's expertise database. Other databases, including Colleges and Universities Partnering for International Development (CUPID), the CORDIS Partners Service and the NATO Scientific Affairs Research Partner Bulletin Board, have been designed specifically to match potential collaborators. These freely accessible databases already contain information on thousands of researchers. Just as computer matching is not always the way to find a life partner, these databases may not work for everyone seeking research partners. Nevertheless, for many, expertise databases are a resource worth trying.
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NEPAD Addresses the Role of Science in Africa's Development
New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) was created by the leaders of Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal, and South Africa in 2001 as a multinational program to promote economic and social development on the African continent. Recognizing the vital role that science will play in achieving their goals of promoting accelerated growth and sustainable development, eradicating widespread and severe poverty, and halting the marginalization of Africa in the globalization process, NEPAD convened a workshop, "A Framework for Science and Technology," last month in Johannesburg. At the conclusion of the three days, the participants issued a "Statement of Commitments" wherein they agreed to establish a High-level Forum on Science and Technology composed of African ministers of science and technology and/or presidential science advisors. Noting several concerns related to science on the African continent, the workshop participants listed nine specific initiatives geared toward building up the science infrastructure.
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World Water Forum Webcast
Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) will be webcasting
selected sessions of the 3rd World Water Forum, which is being held in Kyoto, Shiga, and Osaka, Japan on March 16-23. At this meeting thousands of governments, civil society organizations and businesses will face the task of reaching agreements for conserving and sharing the one per cent of the world's freshwater for our farms, factories and homes. The sessions scheduled for broadcast will focus on the initiatives that engage local users in water management and address a wide variety of crucial themes, including: water and governance; water and cultural diversity; groundwater management needs in developing countries; water in cities; water, food and environment; and the challenges of wastewater agriculture. You can already visit the site at http://worldwaterforum.idrc.ca/index.html.
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New Open Source Network Unveiled
In February, the Asia-Pacific Development Information Programme (APDIP) launched the International Open Source Network (IOSN) to serve as a center of excellence on open source technologies and applications. Its objectives are to aid countries in sharing information on open source (OS), assist with the development of needed toolkits and resource materials, support "localization" efforts, and help facilitate and coordinate OS programs and initiatives through networking. The network's Web site is already operational at www.iosn.net.
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Did You Know?
The NOVOFER Foundation for Technical and Intellectual Creation, under the auspices of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Informatics and Communications, announces the competition for the 2003 International Dennis Gabor Award (IDGA). Aimed at recognizing young experts who have made a significant contribution to scientific fields inspired by the scientific achievements of Dennis Gabor (such as applied physics, basic research in technological sciences, studies that establish informatics, or areas that exploit the research achievements of these fields). The application should be submitted to the NOVOFER Foundation by June 10, 2003. A 12-member International Awards Committee will select one applicant from Hungary and one from abroad to receive the prize of a silver medal and €2500. For further information, contact Dr. Peter Baranyi (phone: +36-1-463-1758 or +36-20-455-4796) or see the complete announcement for all of the details.
UNESCO is now accepting applications for several of its International Science Prizes until May 15, 2003, including: the Javed Husain Prize for Young Scientists, the Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science, and the UNESCO Science Prize.
China will be hosting the 3rd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Youth Science Festival this summer in Beijing from July 29-August 4, 2003. Student delegates aged 15-18 with interest and talents in science and technology will be selected by member economies to attend the meeting. The application deadline is May 31, 2003.
Applications are being accepted until May 1, 2003 for the Fulbright Distinguished Chairs Program. The Fulbright Distinguished Chairs Program awards are among the most prestigious appointments for U.S. citizens in the Fulbright Scholar Program. Most awards are in Western Europe and in the liberal arts, although a few are available in Canada and Russia and also in the sciences.
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20th Pacific Science Conference; Bangkok, Thailand; March 17-21, 2003.
Regional Conference on Information in Health Sciences (CRICS 6); Puebla, Mexico; May 6-9, 2003.
21st ICDE (International Council for Open and Distance Education) World Conference on Open Learning and Distance Education; Hong Kong, China; June 1-5, 2003.
International Conference on Health and Science Communications; Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA; June 18-21, 2003.
For more information on any of the programs mentioned in this newsletter, please contact:
Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
P. O. Box 13975, 3106 East NC Highway 54
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 USA
Telephone: 919-549-4691 or 919-547-5246