The 16th General Conference and 30th General Meeting of The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries (TWAS) was held in Hangzhou, capital of East China’s Zhejiang province, from November 21 to 24.

Hosted by TWAS and organized by Zhejiang University, the event was supported by the China Association for Science and Technology and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and focused on the theme of basic science’s role in promoting evidence-based decision-making and sustainable development in developing countries.

Among the newly announced board members at the event, Quarraisha Abdool Karim from South Africa was elected President of TWAS, and CAS President Hou Jianguo was elected vice president.

Hou Jianguo and Romain Murenzi, Executive Director of TWAS, co-chaired a sub-forum with ministers of science and education from Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, and Italy on the policies and achievements in promoting sustainable development through basic science, and delivered a report on chemistry empowering sustainable development at the sub-forum titled “Basic Science: Challenges and Sustainable Development”.

In the report, Hou introduced the application of chemical research in sustainable development, as well as the progress and important achievements of CAS in recent years, and looked forward to the prospect of chemical support in food security, carbon peaking and neutrality goals, environmental protection, and the efficient use of resources.

He expressed the hope that through the joint efforts of global chemists, sustainable development could be further empowered through breakthroughs in new principles and technologies.

CAS Vice-President and TWAS academician Zhang Yaping was invited to introduce the implementation of the “CAS-TWAS President Scholarship Program” and the cases of outstanding graduates at a sub-forum of the meeting.

CAS Vice-President and TWAS academician Zhang Tao delivered a report entitled “Monoatom Catalysis: Development, Opportunities and Challenges”, focusing on research on the basic problems of monatomic catalysis.

CAS and TWAS academicians Bai Chunli, Pan Jianwei and Fu Bojie gave reports on breakthroughs in basic research with the support of large scientific devices, quantum science and technology, and sustainable development, respectively.

Bai and other scientists were presented the TWAS Abduls Salam Award.

In his video speech at the closing ceremony, Hou noted that unprecedented changes in the world have been accelerating, with developing countries facing many severe challenges, such as public health, climate change, energy and food security.

Sustainable development has become an effective way for countries to address these problems, Hou noted, adding that basic science research achievements have become a key driving force for global economic and social development and an important means to solve problems sustainably.

Hou expressed hope that the fruit of the conference would contribute to improving government decision-making and promoting sustainable development in developing countries through basic research.

He also called on global scientific research institutes and sci-tech personnel to strengthen basic research, carry out in-depth exchanges and cooperation, and hoped for TWAS to make greater contributions to the green, healthy and sustainable development of developing countries and the world at large.

Fifty newly elected TWAS academicians were released at the conference. Ten of them are Chinese scientists, including eight academicians and researchers of CAS.

Source: Bureau of International Cooperation,

Chinese Academy of Sciences

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