The Global Young Academy (GYA) together with the South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS) will be hosting an International Conference and General Assembly meeting from 20-24 May 2012 at the University of Pretoria, Gordon Institute of Business Studies, Johannesburg, South Africa. The conference is supported by the South African Department of Science and Technology (DST), the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in the frame of the German-South African Year of Science, IAP: the global network of science academies, twas – the academy of sciences for the developing world, the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and the University of Pretoria.
80 top young scientists from 40 countries to attend the Global Young Academy’s General Assembly meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa
The Global Young Academy (GYA) together with the South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS) will be hosting an International Conference and General Assembly meeting from 20-24 May 2012 at the University of Pretoria, Gordon Institute of Business Studies, Johannesburg, South Africa. The conference is supported by the South African Department of Science and Technology (DST), the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in the frame of the German-South African Year of Science, IAP: the global network of science academies, twas – the academy of sciences for the developing world, the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and the University of Pretoria. More than 100 scientists will attend, including some 80 top young scientists, most of them members of the GYA, a panel of distinguished senior scientists and science administrators from around the world.
This meeting builds on the momentum gained from the recent establishment of a South African Young Academy of Sciences. The GYA hopes the meeting will serve as a motivating factor for South African young scientists to fully participate in national and global scientific events. Furthermore, through collaborations with South African institutions of higher learning, attendees of the General Assembly and Conference have agreed to engage in outreach activities before and/or after the conference. These outreach activities will include presentations of their work at universities and science councils, building of networks for further research collaboration, and science outreach to schools and science development centres in South Africa. Building on the recent founding of a national young academy in South Africa, the meeting also has a specific focus on stimulation of the establishment of National Young Academies around the world, and especially in Africa. The institutions of National Young Academies, such as SAYAS, will benefit greatly from interacting with members from more established National Young Academies. Thus, the meeting will raise the profile of the newly established SAYAS within the science system in South Africa, and science and young scientists in South Africa in general.
The meeting also aims to bridge science in the developing and developed world by providing a forum for scientific exchange and opportunities for GYA members to develop projects with the theme of “Sustainability: Lessons on the road between Rio and Rio+20.” Diverse scientific talks will address this theme, and GYA members are expected to propose projects around the topic. GYA Co-Chair, Prof. Gregory Weiss (University of California, Irvine, USA) says, “The establishment of SAYAS presents a unique and exciting time in the history of South African science. The GYA looks forward to being part of it and partnering with the SAYAS members for a successful conference with an ambitious goal of setting the goals for our members over the next year.”
About the GYA
In 2008 and 2009 the IAP: the global network of science academies in collaboration with the World Economic Forum (WEF) established a program to bring approximately 60 young scientists from across the world to the New Champions meetings of the WEF in China. During the first meeting in 2008 the young scientists issued a statement, highlighting their passion for science and for contributing to society through their vocation. Following on this, the young scientists attending the 2009 meeting envisioned establishing a GYA as both a contributor to solutions facing science and society, but also as an opportunity to enhance the quality of scientific research across the globe. In particular, the GYA would provide a voice to young scientists on international issues at the interface of science and society. The Global Young Academy was established and launched in February, 2010, and has grown to a well-represented (172 members from 54 countries) and internationally recognized body. The GYA’s headquarters is hosted by the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Berlin, Germany and receives seed funding from the Volkswagen Foundation. Hired in October 2011, Dr. Heidi Wedel serves as the Managing Director, and works in the Berlin office of the GYA. The GYA is governed by two elected Co-Chairs, currently Prof. Bernard Slippers (South Africa) and Prof. Gregory Weiss (USA) and an elected Executive Committee.
The GYA aims to provide a voice to young scientists; promote science as a career of choice for young people; narrow the gap between science in developed and developing countries; and encourage the development of novel approaches to problems of international significance. National Young Academies, which focus on such issues at the national level, have been established in Austria, Egypt, Denmark, Germany, Israel, Japan, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Scotland, South Africa, Sudan, Sweden, Thailand and Zimbabwe. A number of other initiatives in Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America are under way to establish Young Academies.
Applications for membership in the GYA are being accepted through 28 September 2012. Exceptionally talented, nationally recognized young scientists from all fields of knowledge creation who are around the age of 35 are encouraged to apply by submitting an application form with a nomination letter from a national academy or similarly recognized, national or international institution.
Learn more at: http://www.globalyoungacademy.net/
About the South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS)
SAYAS was launched in September 2011 and twenty leading young scientists were inaugurated as Founder Members of SAYAS. The group was selected from among the best scientific minds in South Africa and represents a diverse range of talent in terms of race, gender and scientific discipline. SAYAS was borne out of the need for young scientists to contribute towards solutions to the important national and global challenges facing society. SAYAS aims to represent the voice of young scientists on national and international issues and give them a platform to influence policy decisions; contribute towards the development of scientific capacity in South Africa through mentoring and role-modelling of future scientists, and by fostering opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations between young scientists; promote science awareness among learners, young scientists and society in general in South Africa; and to provide opportunities for South African young scientists to interact internationally with other young scientists through linkages with the Global Young Academy, National Young Academies and other global networks.