International collaboration in Science Education: AEMASE conference in Rome

On 19 and 20 May 2014 experts from academia and political representatives assemble at the National Academy of the Lincei in Rome for the international conference “African-European-Mediterranean Academies for Science Education” (AEMASE). The conference is an initiative of five prestigious institutions in Africa and Europe (Bibliotheca Alexandrina – Egypt, Académie des Sciences – France, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei – Italy, Académie Hassan II des Sciences et Techniques – Morocco, Académie Nationale des Sciences et Techniques du Sénégal).

The chairs of the organising committee, Professor Odile Macchi (ALLEA working group on Science Education / Académie des Sciences) and Professor Giancarlo Vecchio (Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei) formulate as main aims of the conferences “to foster the concrete dialogue between developed and developing countries for renewing Science Education” and “to strengthen in each country the partnership between Science Academies and Ministries of Education for the benefit of the renewal of Science Education”.

The programme includes a variety of keynotes and discussion panels as well as poster presentations and side meetings of expert committees of the academy networks ALLEA and IAP (Inter Academy Panel). Participants will be welcomed, among others, by the Ministers of Education of Italy and Sudan. Furthermore, the Presidents of three academic federations – ALLEA, NASAC (Network of African Science Academies) and EMAN (Euro-Mediterranean Academic Network) – will address the audience in the opening session.

Examples of successful international collaboration in the field of science education will be discussed just as a large number of national projects: The scope is not limited to Africa or Europe; presentations will include examples from Argentina, Australia, Finland, France, Haiti, Ireland, Italy, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Netherlands, Senegal, Sudan, Sweden, United Kingdom, USA.

The conference is endorsed and financially supported by ALLEA and forms part of the IAP funded AEMASE project which aims to “(i) foster cooperation and bilateral twinnings on Inquiry Based Science Education and informal Science Education and pool resources for Teacher Professional Development; and (ii) raise awareness of Education Ministries for promoting Teacher Professional Development in science and strengthen their partnerships with their national science Academies.” (project description by IAP).

Please click here for comprehensive information about the conference.

Activities and statements of the ALLEA working group on Science Education can be accessed here.

ALLEA Permanent Working Group on Intellectual Property Right issues response to the European Commission’s questionnaire on the review of EU copyright law

On the initiative of Chairman Professor Joseph Straus, the ALLEA Working Group on Intellectual Property Rights presented a statement as a response to the European Commission´s questionnaire on the review of EU copyright law.

The statement particularly elaborates on copyright issues most relevant to the academic community in Europe and has been sent to the European Commission as an input to the on-going and future deliberations on the EU copyright rules. It was specifically addressed to European Commissioner Michel Barnier and Director General Jonathan Faull, responsible for Internal Market and Services. The full statement can be downloaded here.

More information about the ALLEA Permanent Working Group IPR can be found here.

ALLEA endorses “Statement Supporting Funding for Stem Cell and Reproductive Health Research in Europe 2014”

ALLEA supports a joint statement drafted by the Wellcome Trust regarding the funding for Stem Cell and Reproductive Health Research in Europe. The statement calls on the European Parliament and European Commission to oppose an initiative seeking a ban on all financing of activities related to stem cell research, including research on regenerative medicine, reproductive health and genetic disease.

2013_11_7_stemcellThe views expressed in the statement coincide with the recommendation of a recent ALLEA position on “Patentability and Research Funding relating to embryonic Stem Cells”, prepared by the Permanent Working Group on Intellectual Property Rights in October 2013 and approved by all but two ALLEA member academies. The Wellcome Trust led joint statement has until today been endorsed by 76 partner organisations all across Europe, including  patient groups, research funders, academies and learned societies, universities and industry groups.

The statement seeks to maintain the provisions of the current framework for funding stem cell research in Horizon 2020: “Horizon 2020 allows ground breaking and important research using all forms of stem cells, subject to it meeting fundamental ethical principles. Any roll back of this agreement would be a major step backwards for research across regenerative medicine, reproductive health, genetic disease and delay the development of much needed treatments for a host of untreatable conditions.”

Click here to download the full statement.

Over the last years, the ALLEA working group on Intellectual Property Rights has issued three statements on stem cell research, particularly regarding the patentability and funding regulations, which explicitly underlined that a lack of patent protection in the area of embryonic stem cell research could negatively affect the investment in developing therapeutics based on human pluripotent embryonic stem cells. ALLEA has repeatedly raised serious concerns towards a possible cut down of funding in this field of research.

For download of the previous statements, background documents and further information on the topic please click here.