After three days of knowledge in Brasília, the 2024 edition of the event organized by the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) will be held in São Paulo
The 23rd Young Scientists Conference of the World Academy of Sciences Regional Partner for Latin America and the Caribbean (TWAS-LACREP) and the 2nd Regional Conference of TYAN for Latin America and the Caribbean ended on Wednesday. The authorities considered the edition held at the University of Brasília (UnB) a success, as it fulfilled the goal of integrating scientists and students from all parts of the Americas over the three days of the event.
The plenary sessions continued in full swing in the UnB auditorium with presentations by Professors Marcelo Oliveira Rodrigues and Fernanda Sobral, from the institution itself, and Federico Brown, from the University of São Paulo (USP). After lunch, the highlight was the two last sessions of the Conference, in which the main themes were Genetics & Biotechnology and Communication and Scientific Dissemination.
The interdisciplinarity of the event was a point approved by several of the authorities present during the three days of the Conference in Brasília. Jaqueline Mesquita, President of the Brazilian Society of Mathematics (SBM), believes that the variety of topics helped the organization in its goal of strengthening the connections between researchers from different countries.
“The Conference was very important, precisely because most of the colleagues did not know each other. Experienced scientists participated and were able to exchange experiences with young researchers from a diversity of fields. For example, we saw people from the Mathematics area talking about Genetics and Biotechnology, all of this builds very strong connections to face global problems and challenges in the coming years. An event like this further strengthens this network of connections,” said Jaqueline.
For Franco Cabrerizo, a member of TYAN and a researcher at the National University of San Martin, Argentina, the initiative is essential to help the teaching staff of the entire continent to evolve in the art of scientific dissemination.
“It is an international event clearly focused on the Latin America and Caribbean region, where we discussed many relevant topics, not only scientific and technical, but with different themes. These are global problems that shape science and science policy. Topics such as the need for Open Science, representation, and very important aspects of climate change were explored. It is a first step to understand what is happening in our countries and to think about collective solutions to such global problems,” he explains.
The opportunity to exchange experiences with research lines of scientists from countries all over America is reinforced by Honduran Johan Reyes, Director of Projects on Climate and Innovation at the Ayuda en Acción Institute. In 2022, the scientist joined the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) and approved the holding of a major event for the development of the area, such as the one held in Brasília.
Reyes, who is a member of the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) and the Young Academy of Latin America and the Caribbean (TYAN), says that the event was a great opportunity to connect with scientists from across the Americas.
“I joined TWAS last year and became a member of TYAN,” Reyes said. “We are here meeting other scientists from neighboring countries, such as Panama and Costa Rica, as well as from all over South America, talking about science, presenting our work, and having the opportunity to contribute to this network of research. I am very excited to be part of this great network and to see high-quality representatives from Latin America.”
Reyes also praised the breadth of topics covered at the conference, which went beyond mathematics.
“There are many positive themes emphasized here, such as stem cells for developing new drugs, topics in ecology, agriculture, and social innovation, and we were also able to present research from Honduras on diversity and the impact of climate change, all in the interest of achieving scientific development in our region,” Reyes said.
SCIENTISTS & YOUNG TALENT
An event in Brasília brought together about 80 scientists from around the world, including young researchers from different areas of Science, Technology, and Innovation. In addition to TYAN and TWAS-LACREP, the event was funded by IQ/UnB, the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation, the Finetec Foundation for Scientific and Technological Enterprises, the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (ABC), the Department of Mathematics of the UnB Institute of Exact Sciences, and the Serrapilheira Institute.
Inalmar Segundo, a postdoctoral researcher at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN), said that the experience provided by the Serrapilheira Institute will be very beneficial for his academic projects.
“It is very important to participate in an event like this, which brings together researchers with more established careers and allows you to attend lectures by renowned professionals from different fields, covering various topics, such as climate change, which is directly related to my work,” Segundo said. “It will certainly help me build my resume, and I want to share everything I learned here with my colleagues who were unable to attend.”
Gabriel Martins, a student in the Physics Graduate Program at the Federal University of Pelotas (UFPel), also participated in the conference and praised the opportunity to exchange knowledge with scientists from different fields.
“This is an event that welcomes people from all over Latin America, young scientists, and allows for the exchange of knowledge in a natural way,” Martins said. “We had the chance to learn about the essence of the other programs so that we could contribute to the knowledge and, at the same time, acquire knowledge from them. The support of the Serrapilheira Institute was essential, because otherwise I would not have been able to come.”
FOR THE FUTURE
The 2024 edition of the conference will be held in São Paulo. Jaqueline Mesquita, president of the Brazilian Society of Mathematics (SBM), said that events like this are in line with the SBM’s real goals of creating conditions to promote scientific dissemination to the community in the continent.
“It is very important to have an event like this, precisely so that we can talk about more common themes, as members of Latin America and the Caribbean,” Mesquita said. “For example, we had special sessions here on climate change, which is a global issue, but we have a special focus on the Latin American region. We also emphasized the importance of scientific dissemination in our region, because we have been working in recent years to encourage scientists to communicate and talk about science to the general public. That is why this initiative is vital for us to get closer to these countries and build a more developed science in the future,” she concluded.