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Response to COVID-19 in Taiwan

Response to COVID-19 in Taiwan

Big Data Analytics, New Technology, and Proactive Testing

 

Taiwan is 81 miles off the coast of mainland China and was expected to have the second highest number of cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) due to its proximity to and number of flights between China. The country has 23 million citizens of which 850 000 reside in and 404 000 work in China. In 2019, 2.71 million visitors from the mainland traveled to Taiwan. As such, Taiwan has been on constant alert and ready to act on epidemics arising from China ever since the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic in 2003. Given the continual spread of COVID-19 around the world, understanding the action items that were implemented quickly in Taiwan and assessing the effectiveness of these actions in preventing a large-scale epidemic may be instructive for other countries.

COVID-19 occurred just before the Lunar New Year during which time millions of Chinese and Taiwanese were expected to travel for the holidays. Taiwan quickly mobilized and instituted specific approaches for case identification, containment, and resource allocation to protect the public health. Taiwan leveraged its national health insurance database and integrated it with its immigration and customs database to begin the creation of big data for analytics; it generated real-time alerts during a clinical visit based on travel history and clinical symptoms to aid case identification. It also used new technology, including QR code scanning and online reporting of travel history and health symptoms to classify travelers’ infectious risks based on flight origin and travel history in the past 14 days. Persons with low risk (no travel to level 3 alert areas) were sent a health declaration border pass via SMS (short message service) messaging to their phones for faster immigration clearance; those with higher risk (recent travel to level 3 alert areas) were quarantined at home and tracked through their mobile phone to ensure that they remained at home during the incubation period.

Moreover, Taiwan enhanced COVID-19 case finding by proactively seeking out patients with severe respiratory symptoms (based on information from the National Health Insurance [NHI] database) who had tested negative for influenza and retested them for COVID-19; 1 was found of 113 cases. The toll-free number 1922 served as a hotline for citizens to report suspicious symptoms or cases in themselves or others; as the disease progressed, this hotline has reached full capacity, so each major city was asked to create its own hotline as an alternative. It is not known how often this hotline has been used. The government addressed the issue of disease stigma and compassion for those affected by providing food, frequent health checks, and encouragement for those under quarantine. This rapid response included hundreds of action items.

Continue reading the JAMA Network Article

EU CAN DO IT!

EU CAN DO IT!

Sign the petition to the European Parliament on Covid-19, the social, economic and climate crises.

We are living in extraordinary and risky times.

 

We need the EU to take the leadership in putting in place an action plan able to address in the short and in the medium term concrete actions to answer to the global challenges we are facing today. No State can face alone the consequences of Covid19.

 

We call on the EP to implement the adequate mechanisms to resume its work as soon as possible, and to organize a space for the elaboration, proposal and mobilization of all possible instruments. The current EU institutional system has shown its weakness and inadequacy.

 

In addition to short term measures, it is necessary to relaunch the initiative of democratic reform of the EU in order to make it fit for purpose.

 

The EP must be at the forefront of this effort, and push urge the EU to for a strategy to trigger this path, based on 5 pillars:

➡ giving a systemic and common response of the European Union to the Covid-19 crisis;

➡ enhancing reforming the EU healthcare and civic protection instruments and competences to respond to outbreaks;

➡ implementing all economic, financial and monetary policy measures to allow the EU to unlock resources and common measures to support citizens with the consequences of the pandemic, including measures for the mutualisation of public debts, own resources for the EU budget, according to a radical ecological reform of european taxation (including the acceleration of the Green New Deal);

➡ turning the first stages of the Conference on the Future of Europe into a public online assembly and reshape its goals;

➡ contributing to a global mechanism to prevent and face epidemics and pandemics

With your signature you can endorse the official petition to the European Parlament submitted on the 24th of March 2020 and expedite the process of evaluation from the “Peti Commission”


View the supporters of the petition Eu can do it! 

Go to the full text of the petititon


Supported by

The Petition to the European Parliament was elaborated during the 1st Meeting of the Council on Participatory Democracy on the 19th and 20th of March 2020.

Marco Cappato, Lorenzo Mineo, Virginia FiumeEumans
Marco Perduca, Guido Long, Ersilia VaudoScience for Democracy
Pier Virgilio Dastoli Movimento Europeo
Monica FrassoniFederalist and Green
Filomena GalloAssociazione Luca Coscioni per la libertà di ricerca scientifica
Lorenzo Marsili, Niccolò Milanese, Martin PairetEuropean Alternatives
Toni Venable, Anna Comacchio, Beniamino BrunatiECIT Foundation
Jesse ColzaniThe Good Lobby
Roger CasaleNew Europeans
Ulrike Guerot – European Democracy Lab
Michele Fiorillo – EU Networks Coordinator, Civico Europe
Iga Kamocka – Polish Robert Schuman Foundation
Massimiliano Nespola, Journalist and expert of European policies
Leonardo Monaco, Chairman Certi Diritti
Tony Simpson, Permanent EU Citizenship ECI and Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation
Prof. Roberto Castaldi, CESUE
Prof. Fabio Masini, CESUE
Richard Roberts, Nobel Prize for Medicine
Prof. Simona Giordano, University of Manchester, CSEP
Omri  Preiss, Alliance for Europe
Paola Bonfanti, The Francis Crick Institute / UCL
Francois Xavier Mombelli, Le Cannabiste
Reyet Margot, Association Vent d’Ouest
Martina Helmlinger, Grow Scientific Progress
Pr. Tara Dasgupta Dasgupta, University of the West Indies
Milutin Milošević, Drug Policy Network South East Europe
Hervé Parmentier, Centre d’Action LaÏque
Stefano Rimini, Policy Advisor, European Parliament
Pr. Mikel Mancisidor, Universidad de Deusto
Pr. Claudio Radaelli, UCL
Pr. Blanca Mendoza, University Autónoma Madrid
Lavinia Scudiero, Grow Scientific Progress
Pr. John Erik Fossum, University of Oslo
Carlo Caldarini, Bruxelles Laïque
Anne Chamayou, Vice President, Volt France
Istvan Hegedus, Hungarian Europe Society and supporter of the Petition against the Authorisation Law
Lia Quartapelle, Italian MP

..TOGETHER WITH MORE THAN 3,000 CITIZENS (AND GROWING)

JOIN US AND ASK THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT TO ADOPT MEASURES TO ADDRESS COVID-19, THE ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CLIMATE CRISIS.


Full text

Petition to the European Parliament – Empowering the EU to address global challenges: from Covid-19 to social, economic and climatic crises

Submitted to the European Parliament on the 24th of March 2020

We are living in extraordinary and risky times. We need the EU to take the leadership in putting in place a plan able to address in the short and in the medium term concrete actions to answer to the global challenges we are facing today. No State can face alone the consequences of Covid19.

We call on the EP to implement the adequate mechanisms to resume its work as soon as possible, and to organize a space for the elaboration, proposal and mobilization of all possible instruments. The current EU institutional system has shown its weakness and inadequacy.

In addition to short term measures, it is necessary to relaunch the initiative of democratic reform of the EU in order to make it fit for purpose.

The EP must be at the forefront of this effort, and push  the EU to trigger this path, based on 5 pillars:

➡ giving  a systemic and common response of the European Union to the Covid-19 crisis;

➡ enhancing  the EU healthcare and civic protection instruments and competences to respond to outbreaks;

➡ implementing all economic, financial and monetary policy measures to allow the EU to unlock ressources and common measures to support citizens with the consequences of the pandemic, including measures for the mutualisation of public debts, own resources for the EU budget, according to a radical ecological reform of  european taxation;

➡ turning the first stages of the Conference on the Future of Europe into a public online assembly and reshape its goals;

➡ contributing to a global mechanism to prevent and face epidemics and pandemics;

The first pillar refers to measures needed to face the Covid-19 emergency in the short term, and should be implemented immediately:

➡ 1. Emergency measures and rule of law

The EU should strengthen and implement its resources and instruments (including the solidarity clause ex art. 222) to support national healthcare and civil protection instruments. This includes harmonizing criteria for the measurement and classification of cases fully activating the EU Mechanism of Civil Protection – with particular attention to the prevention of future epidemics and pandemics – for the supply of the necessary medical equipment and its distribution to the countries and regions most in need.

The EU should also monitor and provide guidelines on the respect of fundamental guarantees of the Rule of Law and civil liberties under restriction policies implemented by Member States during the emergency. Other necessary reforms refer to measures needed to empower the EU to face global challenges such as social and economic recession, climate change. Some of these proposals address a constitutional change of the European Union. Where needed, the EP should activate its powers to propose treaty changes in view of the establishment of a constituent process.

➡ 2. Eu competences on healthcare and civic protection

As proposed in the Treaty establishing a EU approved by the EP in 1984, healthcare and protection should become concurrent competences of the EU, subject to the ordinary legislative procedure. Rather than merely sustain or coordinate the action of Member States under particular circumstances, the EU should frame a harmonic legislation in these strategic fields, in particular through the establishment of a European Civil Protection Corps.

➡ 3. Financial instruments and constitutional reforms

The EP should call on the European Commission to implement a coordinated financial intervention to face the current economic depression and its aftermath. Part of these resources should be used to ensure the ecological conversion of european taxation and promote green investments. In order to facilitate the approval of these measures, the EU should introduce ordinary legislative procedures for all EU competences, including fiscal, budget, financial and foreign policy, by removing unanimity vote.

The following financial measures should be proposed by the EP

  • triggering and increasing the budget of the European Globalization Adjustment Fund to provide financial help for workers made redundant due to the emergency. This funding should be also addressed to poor and homeless people, in order to ensure the right to dignity and housing;
  • withdrawing the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) of  2 May 2018 scheduled to start on 1 January 2021, and proposing a new 5-year MFF providing means to transform the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) into a tool for sustainable growth, and funding for European investment;
  • introducing loans and mortgages (EUROBOND or «European Health Bonds») to finance the immediate strengthening of the European and national health systems to cope with the pandemic, which threatens the lives of millions of citizens, as well as the whole economic and financial sustainable growth stability of the EU;
  • moving fiscal issues to the ordinary legislative procedure and provide the EU with fiscal powers to adopt new own resources – such as a  border carbon tax (and carbon tariffs) – to finance the EU budget (or the Euro-area Budgetary Instrument, if the decision could be reached only at the Euro-area level);
  • reviewing the emission reduction targets of the EU in order to make them coherent with the Paris agreement (between -55% to -65% by 2030) and to equip the EU to become climate neutral by 2050.
  • accelerating the implementation of the Green New Deal.

➡ 4. A constitutional debate to relaunch the Conference on the Future of Europe

The social and political context of the Conference on the Future of Europe, scheduled for the beginning of May 2020, has been disrupted by the pandemic.

The European Parliament should propose a new framing and composition, taking stock from the current health crisis and the devastating impact on the economy. The Conference on the Future of Europe should be confirmed and reshaped , in its first stage, as  a public web conference accessible to all European citizens, with a portion of participants in the Conference randomly selected from the the entire EU population in order to obtain a highly diverse cross-section of European society in terms of geography, gender, age, socio-economic background and/or level of education.

The main goals and topics discussed by the the assembly should be:

  • involving citizens in the debate on the public policies needed to tackle the crisis and the post-crisis recovery;
  • drafting proposals for a new Constitutional Pact among citizens and Member States with the aim of empowering and democratizing European Institutions.

➡ 5. European contribution to global measures

The EP should urge the EU to contribute to:

    • increase financial aid for low and middle-income countries (LMICs) to strengthen and prepare their healthcare systems for new epidemics;

    • ensure global access to essential medicines as listed by the WHO;

    • promoted the ratification of international human rights instruments (in particular the additional protocol to the ICESCR) allowing individual remedies in case of denial of the right to health and the “right to science”, and use the UN General Comment on Science to clarify the obligations under art. 15 of the ICESCR establishing a special rapporteur on the “right to science”;

    • promote international collaboration on data sharing and foster the production of open data – with all the necessary measures to ensure individual privacy – including disease surveillance, creating databases of cases that are immediately and easily accessible to relevant organizations, providing rules requiring countries to share the information produced free of charge;

    • reach consensus on research priorities and trial protocols, in order to allow vaccines and antiviral candidates to move quickly through planned decision-making processes strengthening coordination and platform sharing so that regulatory reviews can take place quickly, based on evidence and medical-scientific needs, enabling suppliers to produce low-cost doses on a large scale in a simple way;

    • strengthen the coordination and sharing of lists including local and international trained teams that can be quickly mobilized;

    • ensure adequate funding, in partnership with the private sector, to enable existing structures to be rapidly reorganised for production during a pandemic, including through proper emergency funds to finance the procurement and distribution of vaccines to populations in need wherever they are.

All these are global issues needing a trans-national mobilisation – only through a widespread and inclusive participation will we be able to tackle the political, diplomatic, technical and budgetary obstacles that are necessary to improve the individual and collective quality of life protecting and promoting our human rights.

How unlocking the secrets of African DNA could change the world

How unlocking the secrets of African DNA could change the world

The continent’s genomic data could spur a scientific revolution. Why have we ignored it for so long?

More than 7,000 years ago, during the last Green Sahara period, when the vast north African desert was rain-fed and lush, a child was born with extraordinary powers – and the seed of a curse.

Locked inside the child was a genetic mutation that gave a heightened immunity to malaria. Over the following 259 generations, the disease would become the deadliest in human history. Indian scribes of the Vedic period called it “the king of diseases”. Malaria hastened Rome’s fall. It killed up to 300 million people in the 20th century alone – one in every 20 deaths.

The child survived because of a change in haemoglobin, the molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen, which was then passed on to its descendants. The mutation persisted because it was a means of survival in malarial sub-Saharan Africa. But its potency held a dark secret.

Sometimes, when two of those descendants procreated, their children inherited two mutated genes, and their red blood cells collapsed into crescents, clogging their blood vessels. The result is what we now call sickle cell anaemia – a painful, sometimes deadly genetic disorder that afflicts 300,000 babies every year, mostly in Africa.

The link between sickle cell and malaria was established in the 1950s and had a profound impact on the field of human molecular genetics. But the existence of the child – which may be crucial in finding a cure – was not discovered until 2018, by Charles Rotimi and his colleague Daniel Shriner at the US National Institutes of Health.

Continue reading the Financial Times article

UNESCO and AU-HRST to promote Science Communication in Africa

UNESCO and AU-HRST to promote Science Communication in Africa

UNESCO in partnership with the African Union Commission for Human Resources, Science and Technology (AU-HRST), the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA AfriCenter) and in close coordination with the Science for Democracy and the Associazione Luca Coscioni, will join efforts in putting in place a Massive Open Online Course (MOOCs) on Communicating Science in Africa. The objective is to contribute to the achievement of the UN SDGs, Agenda 2063, and in particular the AU’s Chairperson 1 Million By 2021 Initiative, aimed at empowering African youth from across the continent, as a key drivers of sustainable development in Africa.

 

Speaking at the 6th meeting of the World Congress for Freedom of Scientific Research which took place in at the AU from 25 to 26 February 2020, ProfSarah Anyang Agbor, Commissioner for the AU-HRST reiterated the AU’s commitment to providing access to science for all Africans, through technology and innovative ways.  Supporting the proposal by UNESCO to have a MOOC on Science Communication within the framework of the AU’s flagship project, the Pan African Virtual and E-University (PAVEU), Prof Anyang Agbor highlighted the accredited online courses to African students that PAVEU is offering for free, with a view to  accelerating development of human capital, science and technology and innovation in Africa.

Keep reading UNESCO’s article

Les cinq principales demandes du Congrès Mondial pour la Liberté de Recherche Scientifique

Les cinq principales demandes du Congrès Mondial pour la Liberté de Recherche Scientifique

L’Afrique aura un réseau de parlementaires pour le « droit à la science », qui sera controlé par les Nations Unies à partir de mars.

 La sixième rencontre du Congrès Mondial pour la Liberté de Recherche Scientifique s’est conclue le 26 février à Addis-Abeba, Éthiopie. Le Congrès a été promu par l’Associazione Luca Coscioni, Science for Democracy et l’Union africaine. 300 personnes de 35 pays ont participé à la rencontre de deux jours.

La sixième rencontre du Congrès Mondial pour la Liberté de Recherche Scientifique, dédiée au « droit à bénéficier des progrès de la science », s’est conclue. L’évènement a été promu par l’Associazione Luca Coscioni, Science for Democracy et l’Union africaine. Le Congrès mondial a été le premier rendez-vous international après l’adoption du Commentaire Général sur la science par le Comité des droits économiques, sociaux et culturels des Nations Unies. Une fois ce texte approuvé, en mars, les États membres du monde entier devront rendre compte de leurs politiques dans les domaines de la science et de la technologie. Il sera ainsi possible de parler de création et de libre circulation des connaissances scientifiques et de l’égalité d’accès à la recherche à Genève, comme c’est le cas actuellement pour les droits de l’homme classiques.

300 participants de 35 pays se sont réunis à Addis-Abeba pour discuter du développement durable, de la recherche sur les cellules souches, de l’édition du génome, de la santé sexuelle et des droits reproductifs, de la science ouverte et de l’intelligence artificielle. Avec les dirigeants de l’Associazione Luca Coscioni et de Science for Democracy, l’Union africaine et plusieurs députés africains, parmi les orateurs il y a eu Sir Richard John Roberts, Prix Nobel de médecine; la vice-ministre italienne des Affaires étrangères, Emanuela Del Re, qui a envoyé un message vidéo, la vice-directrice de l’UNESCO, Angela Melo, le professeur Mikel Mancisidor, professeur associé au Washington College of Law, co-auteur du Commentaire Général sur l’article 15, Malin Parmar, Professeure agrégée au département de neurobiologie du développement et de la régénération, Université de Lund, Suède, Pete Coffey, du London Project sur les yeux et le coprésident de l’Associazione Luca Coscioni, Michele De Luca.

Dans l’attente de l’adoption officielle du Commentaire Général sur la science, les participants au Congrès mondial pour la liberté de la recherche scientifique ont décidé de promouvoir un réseau de parlementaires pour le droit à la science, qui sera coordonné par Science for Democracy. Les premiers à adhérer sont des législateurs de Tanzanie, de Zambie, du Sénégal et de la Côte d’Ivoire.

À l’issue du Congrès mondial pour la liberté de la recherche scientifique, une résolution finale a été adoptée, avec cinq demandes principales :

  • Des lignes directrices pour aider les États membres à mettre en œuvre le « droit à la science » tel qu’il est décrit dans le Commentaire Général ;
  • La création d’un Special Rapporteur spécial sur le « droit à la science » pour surveiller en permanence le respect des effets de la science sur les droits de l’homme ;
  • Un renforcement des investissements dans le capital humain, la santé, l’éducation et les nouvelles techniques agricoles et du rôle des femmes en tant que ressources fondamentales pour la qualité de la vie et le développement durable de la société ;
  • La valorisation d’approches multidisciplinaires basées sur des preuves pour équilibrer le « principe de précaution » ;
  • L’invitation à ratifier le Protocole facultatif se rapportant au Pacte international relatif aux droits économiques, sociaux et culturels, adopté par l’Assemblée générale des Nations Unies le 10 décembre 2008

Les recommendations finales du Congrès sont disponibles ici.

Recommandations de la sixième rencontre du Congrès Mondial pour la Liberté de Recherche Scientifique

Recommandations de la sixième rencontre du Congrès Mondial pour la Liberté de Recherche Scientifique

1. Les Participants à la sixième rencontre du Congrès Mondial pour la Liberté de Recherche Scientifique, qui a eu lieu à Addis-Abeba, Éthiopie, les 25 et 26 février 2020 auprès du siège de l’Union africaine, intitulé « Le droit à bénéficier des progrès de la science, un point de vue africain » remercient la Commission de l’Union africaine dans la personne de la Professeure Sarah Mbi Enow Anyang Agbor, Commissaire pour la Science et la Technologie, et Science for Democracy pour avoir promu l’évènement, et l’Associazione Luca Coscioni pour l’avoir organisé.

2. La qualité des discussions et des échanges qu’elle a engendré, ainsi que l’interaction intellectuelle de personnes avec des compétences et des parcours différents ont enrichi le débat centré sur l’Afrique sur le potentiel thérapeutique des cellules souches, l’importance de la médecine génétique et de précision, la santé et les droits reproductifs et sexuels, les nouvelles techniques de sélection et l’introduction de produits plus sûrs sur le marché, ainsi qu’un accès plus ouvert à la science et aux données soutenu par la promotion des utilisations civiles de l’intelligence artificielle. Les travaux du Congrès, ainsi que ce document final, devront désormais être partagés dans différentes circonscriptions du monde entier, puisqu’ils traitent de certaines thématiques parmi les plus urgentes auxquelles l’humanité est confrontée. 3. Ce que les rencontres du Congrès Mondial ont identifié au cours des années s’est démontré central à l’agenda international sur des thèmes liés au progrès humain, le développement durable et surtout sur la protection du « droit à la science » avec toutes ses implications, comme indiqué à l’Article 15 du Pacte international relatif aux droits économiques, sociaux et culturels :

1- Les États parties au présent Pacte reconnaissent à chacun le droit

a) De participer à la vie culturelle;

b) De bénéficier du progrès scientifique et de ses applications;

c) De bénéficier de la protection des intérêts moraux et matériels découlant de toute production scientifique, littéraire ou artistique dont il est l’auteur.

2- Les mesures que les États parties au présent Pacte prendront en vue d’assurer le plein exercice de ce droit devront comprendre celles qui sont nécessaires pour assurer le maintien, le développement et la diffusion de la science et de la culture.

3- Les États parties au présent Pacte s’engagent à respecter la liberté indispensable à la recherche scientifique et aux activités créatrices.

4 -Les États parties au présent Pacte reconnaissent les bienfaits qui doivent résulter de l’encouragement et du développement de la coopération et des contacts internationaux dans le domaine de la science et de la culture.

Renforçant ainsi l’état de droit international.

4. Les Participants saluent le Commentaire-Général sur la science préparé par le Comité des droits économiques, sociaux et culturels des Nations Unies, en soutenant pleinement le document lorsqu’il affirme que:

 « Cet ensemble de droits, libertés, devoirs et obligations liés à la science, pourrait être réuni sous un seul, large, concept dénommé « le droit humain à la science » de la même manière dont, par exemple, « le droit humain à la santé » englobe un large éventail de droits et libertés affectant la richesse et le bien-être humains. Cette approche et ce nom ont déjà étés adoptés par le Special Rapporteur sur les Droits Culturels, par l’UNESCO, par certaines conférences et sommets internationaux et par certaines organisations et publications scientifiques. »

5. Les Participants appellent l’ONU à élaborer des lignes directrices sur la base du Commentaire Général afin d’aider les États membres à partager leurs efforts vers la mise en œuvre des nombreux aspects du « droit à la science », estimant que sa pleine jouissance peut contribuer structurellement à la réalisation des objectifs de développement durable et devenir un pilier pour la future consolidation de l’Agenda 2063, qui vise à réaliser les objectifs de l’Afrique pour le développement inclusif et durable, l’unité, l’autodétermination, la liberté, le progrès et la prospérité.

6. La littératie et la communication scientifiques devraient être promues et améliorées pour s’assurer que tous les individus aient accès à des information fiables et mises à jour. Les Participants estiment que la liberté de la recherche, le partage des connaissances et le droit de chacun de bénéficier des avantages de la science devraient être systématiquement pris en considération lors des processus décisionnels.

7. Les tables rondes du Congrès ont souligné la nécessité de consacrer des investissements substantiels au capital humain, à la santé, à l’éducation et aux services agricoles, ainsi qu’à améliorer la situation des femmes en tant que ressources importantes pour le bien-être et le développement durable des sociétés. Les Participants croient que les systèmes d’évaluation de la science et les structures de récompenses existants sont des obstacles à une large implémentation de la Science Ouverte. À cette fin, les Participants demandent aux Nations Unies de nommer un Rapporteur spécial sur le « droit à la science » pour mieux suivre la mise en œuvre des différents aspects du droit contenus dans le Commentaire Général.

8. Le « droit à bénéficier des bénéfices de la science », en particulier, avec les discussions sur le principe de précaution, devrait guider une approche complète, holistique et basée sur des preuves aux décisions sur les derniers développements de la science et de ses applications dans l’espoir d’engager le plus d’États et de parties prenantes possibles, dans un processus réglementaire qui ne peut être que transnational.

9. Les Participants croient que l’égalité des genres dans la Science, Technologie et Innovation (STI) soit cruciale et urgente. À cette fin, les Participants appellent à suivre les progrès en termes d’égalité des genres et de participation égale dans les domaines STI. Les actions visant à soutenir les efforts de promotion de la diversité des genres dans les STI devraient être prioritaires pour tous les pays.

10. Les Participants invitent les États membres de l’Union africaine à prendre toutes les mesures procédurales nécessaires pour ratifier le Protocole facultatif se rapportant au Pacte international relatif aux droits économiques, sociaux et culturels, adopté par l’Assemblée générale des Nations Unies le 10 décembre 2008, qui est entré en vigueur le 5 Mai 2013. Le protocole établit un mécanisme de plaintes individuelles pour le Pacte qui peut aider les États à répondre à la nécessité de mettre à jour les législations concernant les questions économiques, sociales et culturelles, y compris tous les aspects liés à la science.

11. Pour ce qui concerne les relations multilatérales, les Participants estiment que la notion de « pays tiers », comme celle prévue dans le neuvième programme-cadre de l’Union européenne Horizon Europe, devrait être mise à jour en accordant une attention particulière aux questions débattues lors du sixième Congrès mondial afin de promouvoir le « droit à la science ».

Les participants demandent donc à l’Union européenne de prendre en considération les particularités et la complexité présentées par le continent africain dans l’évaluation les critères d’ouverture aux pays tiers pour la participation aux programmes de l’Union. Une attention particulière devrait être dédiée aux effets bénéfiques qu’une telle participation aurait sur le bien-être des citoyens, tout en garantissant des politiques sur les droits de propriété intellectuelle justes et transparentes.

12. Les Participants s’engagent à poursuivre les objectifs fixés dans ces recommandations du sixième Congrès mondial et restent disponibles à coopérer entre eux afin de poursuivre la mise en œuvre de ces recommandations.

13. Les Participants espèrent que la prochaine rencontre du Congrès mondial sera organisée dans une région du monde où des efforts particuliers restent nécessaires pour promouvoir et protéger le « droit à la science » pour la promotion du bien-être individuel et sociétal et invitent les promoteurs et organisateurs à se tourner une nouvelle fois vers l’Afrique comme siège possible.

The 5 Main requests of the World Congress for Freedom of Scientific Research

The 5 Main requests of the World Congress for Freedom of Scientific Research

Africa will have a transnational network of parliamentarians for the “right to science”, which will be monitored by the United Nations starting in March. 

The 6th Meeting of the World Congress for Freedom of Scientific Research ended on the 26th of February in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Congress was promoted by Associazione Luca Coscioni, Science for Democracy and the African Union. 300 people from 35 countries took part in the two-day event.

The VI World Congress on Freedom of Scientific Research, dedicated to “The right to enjoy the benefits of science” has ended. The event was promoted by Associazione Luca Coscioni, Science for Democracy and the African Union. The World Congress was the first international appointment after the adoption of the General Comment on Science by the UN Committee for Economic, Social and Cultural rights. Once this text is approved, in March, Member States from all over the world will have to report on their policies in the fields of science and technology. There will thus be a chance to discuss the creation and free circulation of scientific knowledge and equality of access to research in Geneva, as currently happens for classic human rights.

300 attendees from 35 countries gathered in Addis Ababa to discuss about sustainable development, research on stem cells, genome editing, sexual health and reproductive rights, open science and artificial intelligence. In addition to the leaders of Associazione Luca Coscioni and Science for Democracy, the African Union and several African MPs, speakers included Sir Richard John Roberts, Nobel Prize for Medicine; the Italian Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Emanuela Del Re, who sent a video message, UNESCO Vice Director, Angela Melo, Professor Mikel Mancisidor, Associated Professor, Washington college of Law, co-author of the General Comment on Article 15, Malin Parmar, Associated Professor at the Department of Developmental and Regenerative Neurobiology, Lund University, Sweden, Pete Coffey, from the London project on eye and the co-president of Associazione Luca Coscioni, Michele De Luca.

Waiting for the General Comment on Science to be officially adopted, participants in the World Congress for Freedom of Scientific Research decided to promote a network of Members of Parliaments for the right to science, which will be coordinated by Science for Democracy. The first to take part were legislators from Tanzania, Zambia, Senegal and the Ivory Coast.

At the conclusion of the World Congress for Freedom of Scientific Research a final resolution was adopted, with five main requests: 

  • Guidelines to assist member states to implement the “right to science” as it is articulated in the General Comment;
  • The creation of a Special Rapporteur on the “right to science” to constantly monitor the respect of the implication of science for human rights;
  • Strengthening of investments in human capital, health, education and new agricultural techniques and empowering the role of women as fundamental resources for quality of life and sustainable development of society; 
  • Valorization of multidisciplinary approaches based on evidences to balance the “precautionary principle”;
  • The invite to ratify the Optional Protocol on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly on the 10th of December 2008.

You can read the final recommendations here.

 

Final Recommendations of the 6th Meeting of the World Congress for Freedom of Scientific Research

Final Recommendations of the 6th Meeting of the World Congress for Freedom of Scientific Research

1. Participants in the Sixth meeting of the World Congress for Freedom of Scientific Research, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 25-26 February 2020 at the African Union headquarters, entitled “The right to enjoy the benefits of science, an African perspective” wish to thank the Commission of the African Union in the person of Professor Sarah Mbi Enow Anyang Agbor, Commissioner for Science and Technology, and Science for Democracy for having promoted the event and the Luca Coscioni Association for organizing it.

2. The quality of the discussion and exchanges that it has generated, and the intellectual interaction of people with different expertise and backgrounds has enriched the Africa-focused debate on the therapeutic potential of stem cells, the importance of precision and genetic medicine, sexual and reproductive health and rights, new breeding techniques and the introduction of safer products on the market, as well as a more open access to science and data sustained by the promotion of civilian uses of artificial intelligence. The proceedings of the Congress, together with this outcome document, will now need to be shared in different constituencies all over the world as they address some of the most pressing issues mankind is facing.

3. What the meetings of the World Congress have identified over the years has proved to be central in the international agenda on issues relating to human progress, sustainable development and in particular on the protection and promotion of the “right to science” with all its implications, as contained in Article 15 of the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights:

1. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone:

(a) To take part in cultural life;
(b) To enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications;
(c) To benefit from the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.
2. The steps to be taken by the States Parties to the present Covenant to achieve the full realization of this right shall include those necessary for the conservation, the development and the diffusion of science and culture.
3. The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to respect the freedom indispensable for scientific research and creative activity.
4. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the benefits to be derived from the encouragement and development of international contacts and co-operation in the scientific and cultural fields.

Thereby reinforcing international Rule of Law.

4. Participants salute the General Comment on Science prepared by the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, fully endorsing the document where it states that:

“This set of rights, entitlements, liberties, duties or obligations related to science, might be brought together in a single broad concept named “the human right to science” in the same way that, for example, “the human right to health” encompasses a broad set of rights and freedoms affecting human wealth and well-being. This approach and this name have already been adopted by the Special Rapporteur on Cultural Rights, by UNESCO, by some international conferences and summits and by some important scientific organizations and publications.

5. Participants call on the UN to develop guidelines on the basis of the General Comment to assist Member States in sharing their efforts towards the implementation of the many aspects of the “right to science”, believing that its full enjoyment can structurally contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and become a pillar for the future consolidation of the Agenda 2063, that aims to deliver on Africa’s goals for inclusive and sustainable development, unity, self-determination, freedom, progress and prosperity.

6. Science literacy and communication should be promoted and improved to ensure that all individuals have access to reliable and up-to-date information. Participants believe that freedom of research, the sharing of knowledge and the right to enjoy the benefits of science for all should be systematically taken into consideration during decision-making processes.

7. The panel discussions of the Congress have highlighted the need to direct substantial investments into human capital, health, education, and agricultural services, as well as in improving the situation of women as important resources for the welfare, wellbeing and sustainable development of societies. Participants believe that existing science evaluation systems and reward structures are obstacles to a broad implementation of Open Science, and call for change following UNESCO’s recommendations. To this end, Participants appeal to the United Nations so that a Special Rapporteur on the “right to science” is established to better monitor the implementation of the multiple aspects of the right contained in the General Comment.

8. The “right to enjoy the benefits of science”, in particular, alongside discussions on the precautionary principle, should guide a comprehensive, holistic and evidence-based approach to decisions on the latest developments of scientific research and its applications with the hope of engaging as many States and stake-holders as possible, in a regulatory process that can only be trans-national.

9. Participants believe that Gender Equality in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) is crucial and urgent. To this end, Participants call for monitoring progress in terms of gender equality and equal participation in STI fields. Actions to support efforts in the promotion of gender diversity in STI should be prioritized in all countries.

10. Participants invite Members States of the African Union to initiate all the necessary procedural steps to ratify the Optional Protocol of the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 2008, which entered into force on 5 May 2013. The protocol establishes an individual complaints mechanism for the Covenant that can assist States to address the need to update legislations concerning economic, social and cultural issues, including all aspects pertaining to science.

11. Concerning multilateral relations, Participants believe that the notion of “Third Country” – such as the one foreseen in the upcoming Horizon Europe, the 9th Research and Innovation framework program of the European Union – should be updated with particular attention to the issues discussed during the 6th World Congress in order to foster the “Right to Science”.

Participants therefore call on the European Union to take into consideration the peculiarities and complexity presented by the African continent when evaluating the Third Country Openness Criteria for the participation to the Union programmes. Particular attention should be given to the beneficial effects that such a participation would have on the social well-being of citizens, while guaranteeing fair and transparent policies on intellectual property rights.

12. Participants commit to pursue the goals set in these recommendations of the 6th World Congress and remain available to cooperate among themselves to pursue the implementation of these recommendations.

13. Participants hope that the next meeting of the World Congress will be organized in a region of the world where particular efforts remain necessary to promote and protect the “right to science” for the promotion of individual and societal welfare and invite the promoters and organizers to look again at Africa as a possible venue.

Biographies des orateurs du Congrès Mondial

Biographies des orateurs du Congrès Mondial

Margareth Gfrerer

Margareth Gferer a obtenu un doctorat en Économie et un MA en Education de l’Économie à l’Université de Graz (Autriche) et un MA en Commerce International à l’Université Économique de Vienne. Après des années dans l’industrie elle est rentrée à l’Université comme conférencière – d’abord à FH-JOANNUM (Autriche); par la suite dans différents postes en Indonésie. Elle a été impliquée dans de nombreux projets dans le domaine de la gestion des infrastructures avant son rôle actuel en Éthiopie, où son thème est l’accès ouvert à la science et ses implications.

Malin Parmar

Malin Parmar est professeure de neuroscience cellulaire à l’Université de Lund en Suède et une investigatrice Roberston à la New York Stem Cell Foundation. Sa recherche se concentre notamment sur les aspects translationnels. Elle guide l’effort STEM-PD européen, conçu pour amener les neurones de dopamine dérivés des cellules souches aux essais cliniques, et collabore avec des networks européens et internationaux autant qu’avec des partenaires industriels pour développer des nouvelles thérapies basées sur les cellules pour réparer le cerveau, notamment en ce qui concerne le Parkinson.

 Richard J. Roberts 

Le Dr. Richard J. Roberts est le Chief Scientific Officer aux New England Biolabs à Beverly, Massachusetts. Il a obtenu un doctorat en Chimie Organique en 1968 à l’Université de Sheffield et a travaillé comme stagiaire postdoctoral à Harvard avant de se déplacer au Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. En 1977 son laboratoire découvre les “split genes and mRNA splicing” pour lesquels il recevra le prix Nobel de Médecine en 1993. La même année son laboratoire, en collaboration avec Xiaodong Cheng, découvre le “base flipping”. Il se concentre désormais sur l’analyse bioinformatique des séquences de génomes et les études de méthylation de ADN des bactéries.

Vittoria Brambilla 

Vittoria Brambilla a obtenu son doctorat en Biologie des Plantes à l’Université de Milan en 2007 et a travaillé comme chercheuse à l’Université Heinrich Heine de Düsseldorf et à l’Institut Max Planck pour la Recherche sur l’amélioration des plantes à Cologne avant de retourner à Milan en 2011. Elle est désormais Professeure Adjointe à l’Université de Milan, où elle dirige un groupe de recherche qui travaille sur la biologie du développement du riz. Elle applique la connaissance de la recherche de base à l’amélioration du riz et elle combat pour utiliser des instruments d’édition du génome tel que CRISPR.

 Fares Mili

Doctorat en médecine: 1985; Diplôme de spécialité en pneumologie: 1985; Master de Tobacologie: 2010; Diplôme universitaire d’addictologie: 2013; Spécialiste en maîtrise du traitement du tabac (CTTS mayo Clinic Roschester Minnesota) février 2017; Certificat national de pratique du traitement du tabac (NCTTP) par l’Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC) et l’Association for the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence (ATTUD). Décembre 2018; Président de la Société Tunisienne de Tobacologie et des Comportements Addictifs «STTACA») mai 2017; Membre du comité exécutif de la Société tunisienne des maladies respiratoires et d’allergologie (STMRA) 2012-2017; Membre de la Société de Pneumologie Francophone (SPLF) depuis 2013; Membre de l’European Respiratory Society (ERS) depuis 2015; Membre du Comité national tunisien de lutte antitabac; Consultant OMS.

Roberto Caso

Co-directeur du Trento LawTech Group, Professeur associé de droit privé comparé à l’Université de Trento, faculté de droit, où il enseigne droit de la propriété intellectuelle comparé, droit de la privacy comparé, droit et art du copyright, CopyrightX Trento. Il est auteur et éditeur de publications dans le domaine de la propriété intellectuelle, privacy, et protection des données personnelles. Il est président de l’Association Italienne pour la Promotion de la Science Ouverte [AISA]. Membre associé du Centre for Intellectual Property Policy (CIPP), McGill University (Montréal).

Emmanuel Okogbenin

Emmanuel Okogbenin est un sélectionneur moléculaire avec une formation professionnelle supplémentaire en agronomie et physiologie végétale. Il a plus de 28 ans d’expérience en tant que scientifique du manioc dans des organisations nationales et internationales en Afrique et en Amérique latine. Il est actuellement directeur du développement et de la commercialisation des programmes à la Fondation africaine des technologies agricoles au Kenya. Ses fonctions actuelles consistent notamment à faciliter l’accès et le transfert de technologies grâce à un partenariat public-privé pour une agriculture commerciale et durable.

Michele Usuelli

Conseiller régional de Lombardie, + Europa con Emma Bonino; Néonatologiste; Partenariat pour la santé maternelle, néonatale et infantile: point focal pour la Société italienne de néonatologie.

Michele est maintenant un homme politique après une vie consacrée aux soins néonatals. Il gère des projets maternité-néonatals en Afghanistan, au Cambodge, au Soudan, au Malawi, en Sierra Leone et en République centrafricaine depuis 8 ans. Tout en étant engagé dans la gestion clinique des nouveau-nés et la formation du personnel sur le tas dans le continuum des soins, il a découvert que des services de contraception gratuits et conviviaux sont accueillis par une grande partie des femmes partout et cela contribue à réduire la mortalité maternelle et néonatale; il le traduit maintenant en décisions politiques.

Michele De Luca

Michele De Luca, MD, est directeur du Centre de médecine régénérative « Stefano Ferrari » et du Centre interdépartemental pour les cellules souches et la médecine régénérative à l’Université de Modena et Reggio Emilia et directeur scientifique et fondateur du spin-off universitaire Holostem.

Il a consacré la plupart de ses activités scientifiques à la médecine translationnelle. Il est reconnu comme un scientifique de premier plan en biologie des cellules souches épithéliales squameuses humaines visant à développer la thérapie cellulaire et la thérapie génique à médiation par les cellules souches épithéliales.

Margaret Karembu

La Dr Margaret Karembu est directrice de l’AfricaCenter de l’ISAAA, basée au Kenya. Elle supervise les centres d’information sur la biotechnologie basés en Afrique qui travaillent avec des programmes nationaux pour améliorer la communication scientifique et l’environnement propice aux biosciences modernes. Éducatrice expérimentée en communication scientifique, Margaret a encadré des champions de la communication scientifique à travers l’Afrique et offre la possibilité de mettre en valeur ces compétences à travers le mois Drumbeat – Africa Bioscience Trends et la plateforme Africa Biennial Biosciences Communication (ABBC). Elle est titulaire d’un doctorat en éducation aux sciences de l’environnement de l’Université Kenyatta, Kenya.

Tequila V. Bester

Tequila a plus de 15 ans d’expérience professionnelle dans la société civile, traitant des questions relatives aux droits civils, aux droits des personnes handicapées et des personnes âgées, à la défense du travail et de l’emploi, de l’immigration et de la défense de la santé mentale. Elle est titulaire d’un master en psychologie du counseling de l’Université du Pacifique de l’Alaska et d’un doctorat en droit du New England Law|Boston, se spécialisant dans le droit public international. Elle est coordinatrice de programme au FIHRRST, mettant en œuvre les deuxième et troisième piliers de l’organisation: les villes des droits de l’homme, les personnes vulnérables et d’autres problèmes sociaux.

Pete Coffey

Le professeur Pete Coffey, DPhil, est responsable thématique du développement, du vieillissement et des maladies à l’Institut d’ophtalmologie de l’University College London et co-directeur exécutif de la translation au Center for Stem Cell Biology and Engineering de l’UC Santa Barbara. Ses résultats incluent le lancement du London Project to Cure Blindness qui vise à développer une thérapie par cellules souches pour la majorité de tous les types de dégénérescence maculaire liée à l’âge, des travaux séminaux (tels que ceux décrits par Debrossy & Dunnett, Nature Neuroscience 2001) sur la transplantation rétinienne.

Solomon Mekonnen

Le Dr Solomon Mekonnen est membre du personnel académique de la bibliothèque avec le grade de professeur adjoint et de coordinateur en libre accès à l’Université d’Addis-Abeba (AAU). Outre son rôle à l’AUA, Solomon coordonne le programme national d’accès ouvert d’un réseau international appelé Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL) représentant le Consortium of Ethiopian Academic and Research Libraries. Il est également organisateur local en Éthiopie pour un réseau international appelé Open Knowledge Foundation. Dans le cadre de son rôle d’organisateur local, il coordonne la communauté Open Knowledge en Éthiopie en se concentrant sur les données ouvertes et la science ouverte. Solomon a participé à de nombreux projets liés aux données ouvertes et au libre accès au niveau national et institutionnel, notamment un projet sur l’ouverture et la visualisation des données des élections éthiopiennes de 2015, Ethiopian Journals Online, National Digital Repository et la politique nationale de libre accès. Il a également organisé et dirigé divers ateliers et formations sur le libre accès et les données ouvertes. Solomon a terminé son doctorat en systèmes d’information à l’Université d’Afrique du Sud.

Ghada El-Kamah

Ghada El-Kamah MBBCh, MSc, PhD, Professeure et cheffe du département de génétique clinique au centre national de recherche (NRC), se concentre sur les maladies héréditaires et génomiques. Elle a reçu sa formation clinique au NRC, sa formation moléculaire au NRC et au Gaslini en Italie, en création de tissus à Neuss en Allemagne et éthique de la recherche au NRC. Coordinatrice des équipes des troubles sanguins héréditaires et cliniques de génodermatoses. Membre du conseil d’administration de la société africaine de génétique humaine et du comité égyptien pour la pour la formation en génétique pathologique. Coordinatrice éthique entre le département de génétique clinique et le IRB-NRC.

Michele d’Alessandro

Michele D’Alessandro travaille au Bureau des relations internationales des médecins avec Africa CUAMM. Après s’être spécialisé dans les études sur la paix et les conflits, il a travaillé comme observateur des droits de l’homme en Colombie, stagiaire à l’ambassade d’Italie en Éthiopie, stagiaire au Parlement européen en Belgique et consultant pour l’OIT au Liban. Il a obtenu sa maîtrise en études européennes et internationales de l’Université de Trente et a mené 3 ans de recherche universitaire dans la Corne de l’Afrique.

Solomon Rataemane

Le Prof Solomon Rataemane est un psychiatre à la Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University à Pretoria (2003-2019), Afrique du Sud. Il a participé aux South Africa Science Forums en parlant de la réduction des dégâts du tabac. Il a un intérêt particulier pour la médecine des addictions et est le président actuel du Comité Ministériel Consultatif sur la santé mentale. Il a été président de l’Association Africaine des Psychiatres et il est affilié à de nombreuses associations locales et internationales dans le domaine de la santé mentale.

6th Meeting Of The World Congress For Freedom Of Scientific Research: Biographies of speakers

6th Meeting Of The World Congress For Freedom Of Scientific Research: Biographies of speakers

Bioghraphies of the speakers of 6th Meeting Of The World Congress For Freedom Of Scientific Research

Margareth Gfrerer

Margareth Gfrerer holds a PhD in Economics and a MA in Economics Education from  University Graz (Austria) and a MA in International Commerce from Vienna University of Economics. After years in industry she returned to University as senior lecturer and researcher – first to FH-JOANNUM (Austria); followed by different university assignments in Indonesia. She has been involved in numerous international projects in the field of infrastructure management prior her current assignment in Ethiopia, where her focus is on Open Science and its impacts.

Malin Parmar

Malin Parmar is a professor in cellular neuroscience at Lund University in Sweden and a New York Stem Cell Foundation – Robertson investigator. Her research has a strong translational focus. She leads the European effort STEM-PD, designed to bring stem cell-derived dopamine neurons to clinical trials, and she collaborates within European and International networks as well as Industry partners to develop new, cell based therapies for brain repair with focus on Parkinson’s Disease.

Richard J. Roberts 

Dr. Richard J. Roberts is the Chief Scientific Officer at New England Biolabs, Beverly, Massachusetts. He received a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry in 1968 from Sheffield University and worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard before moving to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. In 1977 his laboratory discovered split genes and mRNA splicing for which he received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1993. In that same year his laboratory, in collaboration with Xiaodong Cheng, discovered base flipping. He now focuses on bioinformatic analysis of genome sequences and studies of bacterial DNA methylation.

Vittoria Brambilla 

Vittoria Brambilla obtained her PhD in Plant Biology at the University of Milan in 2007 and worked as a researcher at the Heinrich Heine University in Duesseldorf and at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne before moving back to Milan in 2011. She is currently Assistant Professor at the University of Milan, where she runs a research group dealing with rice developmental biology. She applies knowledge from basic research to  rice breeding and she fights for using genome editing tools like CRISPR.

Fares Mili

Doctorate in Medicine:  1985; Specialty Degree in Pneumology :  1985; Master Degree of Tobacology : 2010; University degree of Addictology :  2013; Master Degree Tobacco Treatment Specialist ( CTTS mayo Clinic Roschester Minnesota) February  2017; National Certificate in Tobacco Treatment Practice ( NCTTP) by the Association for Addiction Professionals ( NAADAC) and the Association for the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence ( ATTUD). Decembre 2018; Chairman of The Tunisian Society of Tobacology and Addictive Behavior  “STTACA” ) May 2017; Executive board member of the Tunisian Society of Respiratory Diseases and Allergology (STMRA) 2012- 2017; Member of the French Speaking Pneumology Society (SPLF) since 2013; Member of the European Respiratory Society (ERS) since 2015; Member of the Tunisian National Committee for Tobacco Control; WHO consultant.

Roberto Caso

Co-director of Trento LawTech Group, is Associate Professor of Comparative Private Law at University of Trento, Faculty of Law, where he teaches Comparative Intellectual Property Law, Comparative Privacy Law, Copyright law and Art, CopyrightX Trento. He is author and editor of publications in the field of Intellectual Property, Privacy and Personal Data Protection. He is President of the Italian Association for the Promotion of Open Science [AISA]. Associate member of the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy (CIPP), McGill University (Montréal)

Emmanuel Okogbenin

Emmanuel Okogbenin is a Molecular Breeder with additional professional background in Agronomy and plant physiology. He has over 28 years working experience as cassava scientist in both national and international organizations in both Africa and Latin America.  He is currently the Director for Program Development and Commercialization at the African Agricultural Technology Foundation, Kenya. His current duties include facilitating access and transfer of technologies through public private partnership for commercial and sustainable agriculture. 

Michele Usuelli

Regional Councillor of Lombardia, +Europa con Emma Bonino; MD neonatologist; Partnership for Maternal Neonatal and Child Health: focal point for Italian Society of Neonatology.

Michele is now a politician after a life dedicated to neonatal care. He has been managing maternal-neonatal projects in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Sudan, Malawi, Sierra Leone and CAR for 8 years. While engaged to the clinical management of the newborns and staff training on the job within the continuum of care, he has found out that friendly free of charge contraceptive services are welcomed to a vast part of women wherever and this helps reducing maternal and neonatal mortality; he translates it now in political decisions.

Michele De Luca

Michele De Luca, MD, is Director of the Centre for Regenerative Medicine “Stefano Ferrari” and of the Interdepartmental Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia and Scientific Director and founder of the university spin-off Holostem.

He has dedicated most of his scientific activities to translational medicine. He is recognised as leading scientist in human squamous epithelial stem cell biology aimed at the development of epithelial stem cell-mediated cell therapy and gene therapy.

Margaret Karembu

Dr. Margaret Karembu is Director of ISAAA’s AfricaCenter based in Kenya. She oversees the Africa-based Biotechnology Information Centers that work with national programs to enhance science communication and enabling environment for modern biosciences. A seasoned science communication educator, Margaret has mentored science communication champions across Africa and provides opportunity to showcase these skills through the month Drumbeat – Africa Bioscience Trends and the Africa Biennial Biosciences Communication (ABBC) platform. She holds a PhD in Environmental Science Education from Kenyatta University, Kenya.

Tequila V. Bester

Tequila has more than 15 years of professional experience working in civil society, addressing issues dealing with civil rights, disability and elderly rights, labor and employment advocacy, immigration, and mental health advocacy. She holds a Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology from Alaska Pacific University and Juris Doctor from New England Law|Boston, with concentration in Public International Law. She is Programme Coordinator at FIHRRST, implementing the organization’s second and third pillar: Human Rights Cities, Vulnerable Persons and Other Social Issues.

Pete Coffey

Professor Pete Coffey, DPhil, is Theme Lead of Development, Ageing and Disease at University College London’s Institute of Ophthalmology and the Co-Executive Director of Translation at UC Santa Barbara’s Center for Stem Cell Biology and Engineering. His achievements include the launch of the London Project to Cure Blindness that aims to develop a stem cell therapy for the majority of all types of age-related macular degeneration, seminal work (as described by Debrossy & Dunnett, Nature Neuroscience 2001) on retinal transplantation.

Solomon Mekonnen

Dr. Solomon Mekonnen is an Academic Staff in the Library with the rank of Assistant Professor and Open Access Coordinator at the Addis Ababa University (AAU). Apart from his role at AAU, Solomon coordinates nationally Open Access Programme of an international network called Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL) representing Consortium of Ethiopian Academic and Research Libraries. He is also a local organizer in Ethiopia for an international network called Open Knowledge Foundation. As part of his role as local organizer, he coordinates the Open Knowledge community in Ethiopia focusing on open data and open science. Solomon has participated in many projects related to open data and open access at the national and institutional level including a project on opening and visualizing Ethiopian election 2015 data, Ethiopian Journals Online, National Digital Repository and national open access policy. He also organized and run various workshops and trainings on open access and open data.  Solomon completed his PhD in Information system from the University of South Africa.

Ghada El-Kamah

Ghada El-Kamah MBBCh, MSc, PhD, Professor and Head of the Clinical Genetics department, National Research Centre (NRC) focuses on inherited disorders and genomics. She received her Clinical training at NRC, molecular training at NRC Gaslini, Italy, tissueengineering (Neuss, Germany) and research ethics at NRC. Coordinator of the Hereditary Blood Disorders and Genodermatoses Clinics & Research Teams. Board member in the African Society of Human Genetics and Egyptian committee for pathology training-genetics. Ethical coordinator between the Clinical Genetics department and IRB-NRC.

Michele d’Alessandro

Michele D’Alessandro works at the International Relations Office of Doctors with Africa CUAMM. After specializing in peace and conflict studies, he has worked as a human rights observer in Colombia, an intern at the Italian Embassy to Ethiopia, a trainee at the European Parliament in Belgium, and a consultant for the ILO in Lebanon. He earned his MA in European and International Studies from the University of Trento, and conducted 3 years of academic research in the Horn of Africa.

Solomon Rataemane

Prof Solomon Rataemane is a psychiatrist at Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University in Pretoria (2003-2019), South Africa. He has participated in South Africa Science forums addressing the subject of tobacco harm reduction. He has particular interest in addictions medicine and he is the current chairperson of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Mental Health. He is the past president of the African Association of Psychiatrists and he is affiliated to numerous local and international associations in the field of mental health.