The ANSO Silk Road Forum and the 2nd ATES Open Science Conference Held in Gansu Province
14 09, 2023
The ANSO Silk Road Forum and the 2nd ATES Open Science Conference, co-hosted by the Alliance of International Science Organizations (ANSO), the Association for Trans-Eurasia Exchange and Silk Road Civilization Development (ATES), the UNESCO Beijing Office, and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA), was held on August 23-25, 2023 at Lanzhou University, with over 200 experts and scholars from 19 countries in Asia, Europe, and America in attendance. This conference was one of the activities listed in the 2023 International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development (IYBSSD) under the auspices of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
Prof. Fahu Chen, Chair of ATES and Director of the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences (ITPCAS), presided over the opening ceremony, expressing his heartfelt gratitude to all of the hosts, organizers, and supporters of the conference. Prof. Chunhua Yan, President of Lanzhou University, Prof. Weidong Liu, Acting Director of the Bureau of International Cooperation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Prof. Guoyou Zhang, Vice President and Secretary General of the Geographical Society of China (GSC), welcomed all participants, expecting that this event will further foster the interdisciplinary Silk Road study in the B&R regions and beyond. Prof. Chunli Bai, President of ANSO, Prof. Ferenc Hudecz, Vice President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Prof. Shahbaz Khan, Director of the UNESCO Beijing Office, and Prof. Michael Meadows, President of the International Geographical Union (IGU), all sent video messages of congratulations. They wish the scientific community to continue the heritage of peace, openness, and inclusiveness to promote regional green and high-quality development and contribute to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
Prof. Jürg Luterbacher, Science Director of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Prof. Jinghua Cao, Executive Director of the ANSO Secretariat, Dr. Zhijun Yi, Focal Point for China Node of IYBSSD, Dr. Pankaj Kumar, Assistant Executive Director of the IGU Secretariat, and Prof. Juzhi Hou from ATES, presented reports on the relevant international organizations/programs and their recent progress. It was agreed that in order to respond to global issues such as climate change, natural disasters, food/water security, and infectious diseases, research institutes, individual scientists, and international organizations must collaborate closely and efficiently. In the Invited Keynote Session, eight distinguished researchers from China, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Iran were invited to share their most recent findings on the topics of climate and environmental changes along the Silk Road, the admixture of population and language along the Silk Road, prehistoric transcontinental exchanges and climate change, spatial and temporal patterns of Silk Road towns and cities, and human population dynamics in Eurasia inferred from the ancient genomes, etc.
This conference, themed “Environmental Changes and the Evolution of Silk Road Civilization”, was designed in the form of plenary, parallel, poster sessions, and exhibitions. Six parallel sessions were organized, covering topics on environmental change and the Silk Road‘s sustainable development, paleolithic culture and human migration, early farming and herding, the evolution of the Silk Road network and towns, Silk Road science and technology exchange, and the genetic history of Silk Road populations. During the conference, 82 orals, 28 posters, and “Silk Road Science and Technology Exchange Exhibition” were presented. The conference organizers hosted a special award ceremony for the winners of outstanding posters at the closing ceremony to encourage the participation of young and early-career scientists.
Following this conference, more than 40 ATES working group leaders and scientists attended “The 1st ATES Workshop“on August 26-27, 2023 in Dunhuang, Gansu Province. Beginning with the research frontiers, the overall objective of ATES, and the current status and tasks of each working group, the participants conducted in-depth exchanges and discussions on the scientific questions, objectives, and scientific issues of each working group, as well as the future direction and work plan of ATES. During the closing ceremony, leading scientists of six ATES working groups reported on the outcomes of group discussions and made recommendations for the future development of ATES.
Meanwhile, ITPCAS and the University of Tehran discussed the possibility of establishing a joint archaeological research base at the University of Tehran as part of the ATES West Asia Centre. The objective of this base is to investigate the spread and diffusion of ancient Persian civilization along the Silk Road, as well as the interaction between Persian and Chinese civilizations. Furthermore, Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary expressed its mutual interest with ATES in conducting collaborative research on the evolution of civilizations along the Silk Road, jointly promoting scholar visits and organizing activities such as conferences, exhibitions, and publications.