Support for third world science

The Third World Academy of Science (TWAS was established in 1983 to support science and research in developing countries. Each year TWAS makes as many as 16 awards and prizes to leading individual scientists living and working in developing countries. TWAS awards in basic science and in applied sciences are for $10,000 each and the Trieste Science Prizes are for $50,000 each. TWAS encourages individual countries to develop a “scheme of TWAS prizes for young scientists in their country”.

TWAS also sponsors research grants of up to $10,000 to cover equipment, materials and literature. TWAS provides support for international scientific meetings, restricted to those held in third world countries, in the form of travel grants to principal speakers from abroad and/or participants from the region. This program could complement the IUCr support for student attendance at international meetings held in developing countries.

Another noteworthy program involves grants to institutions for joint research projects. With financial support from the OPEC Fund for International Development, the Third World Network of Scientific Organizations (TWNSO) has established a competitive joint research project scheme designed to encourage and support research projects involving two or three research and training institutions from different countries with an aim of fostering cooperation between the best research centers. At least one of the cooperating institutions in any proposed project must be located in a least developed country. Only joint research projects involving institutions with well-established expertise and adequate basic equipment will be considered for the grants. The list of 79 countries identified by TWAS as lagging in science and technology and a list of 50 countries identified as least developed by the United Nations can be found on the TWAS and TWNSO websites (www.twas.org).

Since one of the major goals of the IUCr is to support the development of crystallographic science in developing countries it is noteworthy that none of the 79 countries identified as lagging in science are members of the IUCr. Currently copies of this newsletter are being distributed in only 14 of these countries. We will contact the TWAS and TWNSO about getting the names and addresses of any library in the country to which we can offer to send complimentary copies of the Newsletter.

William L. Duax