ECOSF supported the 21st Conference of Islamic World Academy of Sciences (IAS) on “Science, Technology and Innovation for Global Peace and Prosperity” held on 8-11, 2017 in Konya, Turkey

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The 21st Conference of Islamic World Academy of Sciences (IAS) on “Science, Technology and Innovation for Global Peace and Prosperity” was held from 8-11, 2017 in Konya, Turkey. The conference was organized by the IAS in collaboration with Turkish Academy of Sciences (TUBA) and Necmettin Erbakan University (NEU) and supported by the ECO Science Foundation (ECOSF) along with the other collaborators, such as the IDB, COMSTECH, Arab Postash Company (APC) and Arab Fund for Social Economic Development (AFSED). The main objective of the conference was to promote global peace and prosperity by boosting the cooperation and collaboration in the field of Science, Technology and Innovation among the Islamic countries. The conference was opened by Prof. Muzzaffer Seker, Rector, Necmettin Erbakan University, Turkey. Besides, Prof. A. Cevat Acar President of the Turkish Academy of Science (TUBA) and H.E. Prof Salam Majali President of the Islamic World Academy of Sciences (IWAS) also spoke during the inaugural session. While Prof. Amet Arif Ergin, President of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) was the Key Note speaker in the inaugural session.

During the inaugural session, the messages of H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the President of the Republic of Turkey and Patron of IAS and H.R.H Prince El-Hassan bin Talal from Jordan, founding Patron of IAS were also read by representative of respective countries. The conference attracted by a large number of well known scholars, leading scientists, experts and academicians of the Muslim world. It is important to note the ECOSF supported this conference and sponsored the participation of senior scholars and academicians of the ECO region. President ECOSF Prof. Dr Manzoor H. Soomro was especially invited to participate and contribute to the conference. However, due to some preoccupation of Dr. Soomro, Engr. Khalil Raza, Scientific Officer ECOSF participated in the conference where he delivered a presentation on behalf of Prof. Soomro entitled; “Promoting Global Peace through Inquiry Based Science Education and Fusion of Civilization Curriculum Development”. The conference included key note speeches, technical papers and thematic presentations on pressing issues and emerging fields of STI.

The conference was an excellent opportunity which brought together many best scientists, scholars and minds of the Islamic world to brainstorm and generate impactful discussion as to how to respond to the challenges facing the Muslim world with a vision to improve the status of STI in the Islamic region.  During the inaugural session, induction of twelve new IAS fellows also took place.

Prof. Muzzafar Seker, Rector NEU during his opening remarks welcomed all the participants and appreciated all the co-organizers in collaborating together in organizing this conference. He said it has become extremely important for the Muslim world to reflect upon challenging issues and resolving them by augmenting the state of STI in the Islamic World. This conference is an opportunity to develop a constructive dialogue and decide the future course of action.

Prof. A. Cevat Acar, President TUBA in his inaugural address extended his special thanks to IAS for collaborating with TUBA in organizing this conference. Prof. Acar urged all participants for their active participation and developing tangible recommendations on improving the status of STI in the Islamic world. Prof. Acar emphasized on investment in research and quality higher education for building knowledge based economy and developing the human resource capital.

Prof. Dr. Abdul Salam Majali, President of IAS underlined that Islam is a religion of peace and there has been misconception that there is relation between Islam and Violence. This very notion needs to be dispelled and measures must be taken by all stakeholders including the scientists to diffuse the ongoing tension in the region. He urged the scientific community to make better use of science and technology to respond to the challenges.

Prof. Dr. Ahmet Arif Ergin, President TUBITAK presented his key note presentation in which he emphasized over achieving some tangible scientific and technological milestones effectively utilizing the platform of IAS. He stressed for the need for transformation of the cooperation within the scientific community of the Islamic World. The research funding should be target oriented with partners from academies of sciences and industry to promote research and innovation leadership, he added. Prof. Ergin underscored that the promotion of joint initiatives and collaborative research programs in cutting edge technologies for the benefit of the society. He also highlighted the historical and success that TUBITAK has been able to achieve over years by providing various streams of funding opportunities for quality scientific and technological projects of Turkey and beyond.

Engr. Khalil Raza delivered a presentation on behalf of Prof. Dr. Manzoor H. Soomro, President ECOSF on “Promoting Global Peace through Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE) and Fusion of Civilization Curriculum Development” in one of the technical sessions on “Culture of Science in the Islamic World”. The Session was moderated by Prof. Moneef R. Zou’bi DG IAS and Prof. Bialal Kuspinar from Turkey. Mr. Khalil Raza he deliberated on the implementation of IBSE pedagogy in schools, which can help produce the critical thinkers, innovators and leaders of the future. ECOSF has been implementing and promoting this methodology among its member states.

He said a little emphasis has been given on the IBSE pedagogy in the Islamic world, despite the fact that this methodology is critical for developing strong scientific and technological base for any nation. This could be one of the reasons as to why Islamic world contribution to generating new knowledge is so insignificant compared to the potential that exists.  He later introduced the concept of Fusion of Civilizations Curriculum design and how it can help promote peace by employing IBSE and incorporating discoveries of various ancient civilizations along the ancient silk route such as Muslims, Chinese, Indians and European scientists. Inclusion of ethical, moral and societal code of conduct in school curriculum would enable school kids to understand that all human beings are same under the skin. This is an essential element that is often neglected but it is critical to achieve global peace and harmony, he further added.


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