TWAS, illycaffè launch Trieste Science prize


New prize for scientists in developing countries

A new Trieste-based science prize honouring outstanding scientists from developing countries promises to bestow prestige and visibility to deserving researchers living and working in the South.

TWAS, The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, and illycaffè, one of the world's premier coffee producers, have launched the Trieste Science Prize. The announcement took place last month at the TWAS 15th General Meeting in Trieste, Italy.

The prize, which carries a US$50,000 cash award, is designed to honour the most eminent scientists in the developing world. The first two prizes will be awarded in 2005 in the fields of physics and biology. In subsequent years, prizes will be given in the fields of mathematics and medical sciences (2006), chemical and agricultural sciences (2007), and earth and engineering sciences (2008).

"The prize," notes C.N.R. Rao, president of TWAS, "is in many ways a symbol of Trieste's growing reputation as a 'city of science,' especially among countries in the developing world. Among the international science institutions that call Trieste their home are the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), the International Centre for Science and High Technology (ICS), the Trieste International Foundation for the Progress and Freedom of Science, the InterAcademy Panel on International Issues (IAP), and the InterAcademy Medical Panel (IAMP). On a global scale, the prize will give much needed recognition to the best scientists in the developing world."

"The primary purpose of the prize," adds Mohamed H.A. Hassan, TWAS's executive secretary, "is to highlight the enormous contributions that developing world scientists are making to international science. Only three scientists living and working in the developing world have received the Nobel Prize since its inception more than 100 years ago. We hope that the Trieste Science Prize will help raise the visibility of the world-class science now being conducted by scientists in the South. This trend, which has picked up a great deal of momentum over the past decade, is likely to accelerate even more in the near future."

"illycaffè," notes Andrea Illy, the company's chief executive officer, "is delighted to be sponsoring the prize. The nature of our business has allowed us to nurture close relationships with coffee growers throughout the developing world. We have long recognized that the well-being of our business depends on the well-being of our business associates, many of whom reside in the South."

"That's why for many years, illycaffè adopted a business strategy that has called for increasing the know-how of coffee growers. The strategy, which culminated with the creation of illy University in 2001, has worked well for us as well as for our partners."

"Our experience," Illy observes, "has reinforced our belief that the only way to effectively address the problems of the developing world is through the transfer of knowledge. For this reason, illycaffè is delighted to partner with TWAS in sponsoring the prize. The initiative is designed to promote the growing contributions of science in the developing world to the world of global science by bestowing deserved recognition and rewards on its most illustrious scientists."

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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