18 October 2018

Royal Society, TWAS and FIT meet in Trieste

Royal Society, TWAS and FIT/ESOF representatives strengthen their partnership in Trieste and plan future science promoting actions.

Trieste's scientific community - hosting more than 30 national and international centres and over 5000 resident foreign scientists - has gained large credit abroad in recent years. It comes as no surprise if international institutions and bodies are willing to establish partnership and cooperation.

On Thursday 18 October, a delegation from the UK's Royal Society (RS) is visiting Trieste to meet with TWAS and FIT - Trieste International Foundation for Progress and Freedom. Royal Society Executive Director Julie Maxton and Ms. Laura Wilton, Head of Europe and Asia, International Affairs, are in the delegation.

"The Royal Society is one of the most respected scientific bodies in the world, and TWAS has long benefited from its partnership in building science in the developing world," said TWAS Executive Director Romain Murenzi. "We are honoured to welcome our colleagues, and we look forward to exploring ways to deepen our cooperation on vitally important scientific challenges."

TWAS, FIT and the Royal Society are long-standing partners. As an example, among TWAS's 42 founding members sat also a member of the RS, and FIT sponsored the 1983 meeting at which TWAS was founded.

In recent times, the Royal Society, TWAS and the Environmental Defense Fund have partnered in the framework of the Solar Radiation Management Governance Initiative (SRMGI). The project, launched in 2011, is exploring how to govern research into controversial technologies that would aim to limit global warming by deflecting some sunlight from reaching Earth. Further, both TWAS and the Royal Society are active members of IAP, the InterAcademy Partnership, an international body, based in Trieste, that represents over 130 national and regional science academies.

“Science is a global endeavour and few places embody that as well as Trieste. Scientific progress is also heavily dependent on collaboration and so I am delighted to be in Trieste to meet with TWAS and FIT to discuss how we can continue to work together,” said Julie Maxton, ED at the Royal Society.

Founded in 1660, the Royal Society is one of the oldest scientific institutions in the world, and it is respected for its work to promote scientific excellence and international cooperation. These efforts are closely aligned with TWAS's mission.

Bai Chunli, president of TWAS and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, travelled last year to London the meet with Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, a Nobel laureate and president of the Royal Society, to discuss joint efforts to build scientific strength in the developing world.

Thursday's meeting in Trieste will affirm the partnership and explore future cooperation projects. The meeting is also a chance to introduce FIT, which is coordinating Trieste's role as the European capital of science during the European Science Open Forum 2020 (ESOF).

TWAS worked with FIT and other local institutions to achieve this success. "We hold potential collaborations with the Royal Society in high regard, especially on the eve of ESOF 2020", said FIT President Stefano Fantoni. "The Royal Society has an enormous potential when it comes to creating outreach awareness around this huge scientific event."

This unique biennial platform will provide scientists, young researchers, policymakers, entrepreneurs and the public with a high-level forum for learning about and discussing some of the most important challenges of our era – for example, population growth, climate change and human migration. And the Trieste hub, with its international science institutions, is by all means the best place where science can find ways to build a common future, in Europe and in the rest of the world.

Cristina Serra


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