Yale, African Academy of Sciences host symposium on university research

Dr. Catherine Kyobutungi, Segenet Kelemu, Prof. Nelson Torto, and Yale President Peter Salovey during a symposium discussion.
Left to right: Dr. Catherine Kyobutungi, executive director of the African Population and Health Research Center; Segenet Kelemu, director general of the International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology; Professor Nelson Torto, executive director of the African Academy of Sciences; and President Peter Salovey.

On March 16, Yale and the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) co-hosted a symposium on university research partnerships in Nairobi, Kenya. “The Power of Partnership in Strengthening University Research” featured a panel discussion moderated by President Peter Salovey with leaders in scientific and medical research in Africa.

Segenet Kelemu, director general of the International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology, and Catherine Kyobutungi, executive director of the African Population and Health Research Center, joined Professor Nelson Torto, executive director of AAS, and Salovey to discuss challenges, successes, and opportunities in strengthening research capacity in Africa. Following the panel, Elizabeth Marincola, senior adviser for communications and advocacy for the African Academy of Sciences, moderated a Q&A.

Salovey noted that the number of scientific articles published with authors from more than one country has increased markedly in the past two decades, reflecting a growth in global collaboration in the sciences.

International collaboration has become increasingly important for advancing science,” Salovey said. “Researchers collaborate to share their knowledge to solve complex problems that are progressively cross-disciplinary in nature.”

Salovey asked members of the panel for their thoughts and ideas about how international partnerships will continue to evolve in the future and what steps should be taken to foster greater collaboration. He also prompted them to think about the ways these trends should influence how we educate the next generation of young scientists.

Dr. Catherine Kyobutungi speaks, with Professor Nelson Torto and Yale President Peter Salovey, during a symposium discussion.

The AAS is a pan-African organization headquartered in Kenya that seeks to drive sustainable development in Africa through science technology and innovations. Its mandate is to pursue excellence by recognizing scholars and achievers; to provide advisory and think-tank functions for shaping the continent’s strategies and policies; and to implement key science, technology, and innovation programs.

The symposium was one of the final events during Salovey’s visit to Africa, which began March 10 in Accra, Ghana. Leading a delegation of Yale faculty and staff, Salovey spent six days meeting with leaders in education, business, government, and research. A major focus of the trip was forming and extending research and educational partnerships in Africa as part of the Yale-Africa Initiative, which was established in 2013. For more updates and photos from the trip, follow #YaleinAfrica on Instagram, Twitter, and on Facebook.

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Part of the In Focus Collection: Yale and Africa: Empowering through partnership