The Egyptian Young Academy of Science (EYAS) and the Egyptian Academy of Scientific Research &Technology organised the 1st International Conference on Woman in Science Without Borders (WISWB) 2017 from 21-23 March 2017 in Cairo, Egypt. GYA alumna Amal Amin Ibrahim acted as the Chair of the Conference, which turned out to be a great success and was supported by the Wellcome Trust, Elsevier, L`Oreal, ICSU, TWAS, the GYA, and the European Commission.
Scientists from 27 countries participated in this conference, among them twelve GYA members (Chong Kok Keong, Mimi Haryani Hassim, Shamsun Nahar Khan, Nova Ahmed, Vidushi Neergheen, Rym Kefi, Sherien Elagroudy, Sameh Sorror, Mohamed Farag, Tonnang Zefack Henri, Abdeslam Badre, and GYA alumni Muhamed Akhyar Farrukh) who mostly received financial support from the organisers at EYAS but also to a minor extent from the GYA Women in Science working group.
Presentations at the Conference showed how women researchers contribute to the advancement of STEM in their countries and across the globe and will continue to do so. Topics discussed ranged from scientific career development for women in science, to preventing HIV infections in young women in Africa, or addressing gender issues in scientific publishing. Further sessions focused on Medicine-Biology-Pharmacy, Materials-Engineering-Energy, Food Technology – Agriculture-Veterinary Medicine, the Environment and on Gender Issues-Sustainable Development-Innovation. It became clear from the contributions that the approaches used in one country to solve specific problems related to, for example, the standard of living, common health problems, or economic factors may also suit well to other countries with similar scenarios in these fields.
The second day also saw a science competition for students from science and technology faculties at Egyptian universities. The contestants were asked to form teams in five fields related to sustainable development, which are Food, Environment, Health, Education and Energy.
Participants agreed that this first Conference was very successful and should become a regular event. Researchers from different countries and continents excitedly shared their latest research findings and expertise and thereby sparked new research collaborations between researchers from different institutions.