Trust supports first Commonwealth Science Conference in 50 years

Today some of the world’s most outstanding and influential   scientists will meet in Bangalore for the four-day Commonwealth Science Conference. Organised by the the Royal Society and supported by The Trust and the Government of India, this is the first Commonwealth Science Conference for nearly 50 years.

The Commonwealth Science Conference aims to celebrate excellence in Commonwealth science, to provide opportunities for cooperation between researchers in different Commonwealth countries, to inspire young people, and to build scientific capacity in the developing nations within the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth forms a significant part of the global scientific community. It is home to 12 percent of the world’s researchers and accounts for around 10 percent of global research and development expenditure. The Commonwealth represents nearly a third of the world’s population, in 53 countries across the globe. Science is uniquely placed to contribute to the Commonwealth’s shared goals of democracy and development. With an estimated 60 percent of its population under the age of 30, the Commonwealth is set to play an ever more important role in the world’s future.

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the conference at the J.N. TATA Auditorium, IISc and key note lectures will be given by Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society and Professor CNR Rao, former Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India. Delegates from across the Commonwealth will participate in a very broad programme of events across the 4 days of the conference. Topics covered will include physical sciences, life sciences, mathematics and engineering, as well as science policy. Professor Clare Gilbert, from the International Centre for Eye Health, who advises the Trust on its Avoidable Blindness Programme, will be presenting on the latest research in eye health and what is required to
achieve universal eye care.

The Conference will be attended by more than 300 specially invited scientists, and 70 PhD students from across the Commonwealth, together with local delegates from Bangalore. It is anticipated that representatives from over 30 countries will attend.

Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society, said:

The next few days will be a celebration of scientific excellence across the Commonwealth. We will hear from speakers in fields as diverse as dinosaur palaeontology and cosmology. We will debate the state of scientific advice across the Commonwealth with the chief scientific advisors of Malaysia, Australia and the UK. We will hear a series of  regional perspectives relating to science across the Commonwealth. The Royal Society is the science academy of the Commonwealth and our links with the Commonwealth are increasing. I am delighted to be in India on this auspicious occasion.

Professor CNR Rao FRS, co-chair of the steering committee for the conference, said:

It is truly wonderful that science in the Commonwealth is getting the importance it deserves through the Commonwealth Science Conference. I feel that this will not only provide a forum for discussion and for exchange of views but also for closer collaboration and cooperation in science amongst the Commonwealth countries.

Dr Astrid Bonfield CBE, Chief Executive of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, said:

The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust is delighted to be able to support the Commonwealth Science Conference. Its aims dovetail with the Trust’s. Our programmes, the prevention of avoidable blindness and development of youth leadership across the Commonwealth, rely on scientific collaboration, capacity building and the nurturing of young talent. This exciting meeting of exceptional minds is sure to inspire and create new connections for the future.

The full programme, together with abstracts and biographical information on speakers, is available here.