TWAS North South Collaboration for Sustainability

TWASTWAS is a global science academy based in Trieste, Italy, working to advance science and engineering for sustainable prosperity in the developing world.

TWAS was founded in 1983 by a distinguished group of scientists from the developing world, under the leadership of Abdus Salam, the Pakistani physicist and Nobel laureate. They shared a belief that developing nations, by building strength in science and engineering, could build the knowledge and skill to address such challenges as hunger, disease and poverty. From the start, the Academy had essential support from Italian scientists and political leaders.

The Third World Academy of Sciences, as it was first known, was inaugurated officially in 1985 during a ceremony attended by UN Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar. Initially, TWAS had 42 elected fellows – nine of them Nobel laureates. Today, TWAS has 1,176 elected Fellows in more than 90 countries; 16 of them are Nobel laureates. About 85% come from developing nations, and the rest are scientists and engineers from the developed world whose work has had a significant impact in the South. TWAS Fellows are some of the world’s most accomplished scientists and engineers, and they are the foundation for all of the Academy’s work.

Given the Elsevier Foundation’s longstanding collaboration with TWAS and its associated organization, the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD), the knowledge of the North-South divide presented a call to action on how best to support deeper involvement in sustainability science by developing countries.

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