The 2022 World Science Forum (WSF), hosted by the Department of Science and Innovation of South Africa (DSI), and co-organized by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA), UNESCO, and a number of others, was successfully held in Cape Town in the second week of this December. The Forum was rich in content with 28 thematic sessions and over 20 side events under five plenary sessions which were Science for Human Dignity, Science for Climate Justice, Science for Africa and the World, Science for Diplomacy, and Justice in Science. The Alliance of International Science Organizations (ANSO) took the pleasure to coordinate and lead a few Chinese scientists to attend this event at the kind invitation of the organizers. Prof. Jinghua Cao, Executive Director of the ANSO Secretariat, gave a presentation at one of the plenary sessions on behalf of ANSO.
H.E. Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa gave a keynote address at the opening
12.6 Opening Ceremony
At the opening which took place on December 6, H.E. Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa gave a keynote address. He raised a few questions including how science can actually bring social justice to Africa, how effective international cooperation can be achieved and carried out in an increasingly complex international situation, how to let fair and equal access to scientific innovations and discoveries to close the gap between countries and how to take advantage of WSF to inspire concerted global S&T action to challenge and address inequality, injustice, poverty, climate change, environmental destruction and marginalization.
Attending and speaking at the opening were also the Minister of Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation of South Africa, the President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA), the Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences of UNESCO, the President of the International Science Council (ISC), and the CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The H.E. Ms. Katalin Novák, President of Hungary, also addressed the opening. Ministers for science and education from 8 other African countries also participated, plus close to 1,000 representatives from government departments, research and education institutions, international organizations, and the media from 118 countries around the world.
Prof. Jinghua Cao, Executive Director of the ANSO Secretariat participated in the panel discussion at the opening
12.8 Plenary Session
In his talk at one of the five plenary sessions, Prof. Cao first gave a brief account of what ANSO is, its mission, an overview of what the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and ANSO have done in promoting green and sustainable development of Africa in recent past and his thoughts on the priority areas of cooperation for African benefits and joint benefits. “We will continue to offer education opportunities, including to the least represented and women. To do more science for social justice, that is to help Africa address development challenges, ANSO will give more efforts on the science and innovation that can help to make a difference”, he concluded.
ANSO also co-hosted a side event on mega science, and a thematic session on curiosity-driven science on the Forum. Both events were warmly received.
WSF is co-sponsored by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA) and UNESCO, and is held biennially. It focuses on health, environment and climate, technological innovation, economic and social development, international cooperation in science and technology, and has a strong international influence. This year, WSF is held for the first time in Africa. The President of ANSO, Prof. Chunli Bai, is a member of the Steering Committee of WSF 2022, which led to the ANSO Secretariat’s involvement.