The Next Einstein Forum, a science conference that starts today, is bringing together 500 international attendees from the worlds of science, research, business, and politics in Dakar, Senegal.
The aim of the conference is to help establish Africa on the international stage as a science hub, to allow researchers to network, and to promote the development of the continent of Africa.
Stuttgart, March 8, 2016 - the world’s picture of Africa has long been dominated by news of war, famine, and poverty; there has been little international awareness of science and research on the continent. However, Africa has a rapidly growing scientific community and many young researchers. The Next Einstein Forum (NEF), a new global science forum, aims to showcase this potential to the world for the first time. The forum, which is taking place between March 8 and 10, is bringing together 500 international attendees from the worlds of science, research, business, and politics in Dakar, Senegal. The forum was launched by the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the African Institute for Mathematical Science (AIMS) with the goal of establishing Africa internationally as a science hub and of allowing young researchers from Africa and elsewhere to network.
"To date, there has been far too little international recognition of the potential of African scientists to address the continent’s sociopolitical and ecological challenges," says Joachim Rogall, Chief Executive Officer of the Robert Bosch Stiftung. "The Next Einstein Forum aims to change that. We firmly believe that it will be able to create decisive impetus for scientific and social development in Africa and throughout the world - just like its American, European, and Asian predecessors, such as the scientific conferences ESOF and AAAS or the STS Forum."
In line with the concept of "Connecting Science to Humanity," the forum will focus not just on established luminaries but also on 15 of Africa’s top up-and-coming researchers. As representatives of the young generation of African scientists, they are presenting their ideas to an international audience. Two of them work at German institutions: the quantum physicist Joseph Ben Geloun from Senegal is carrying out research at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Potsdam, while the information scientist Axel Ngonga from Cameroon is working on big data and Web semantics at the University of Leipzig.
Leading figures from the worlds of science, research, business, and politics are attending the NEF: Macky Sall, President of Senegal, is opening the conference, and the presidents of Cameroon, Malawi, and Rwanda are also expected. The forum has panels on topics such as the development of national science strategies and a green revolution in Africa, and speakers including President of the European Research Council Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, the Director of the African Academy of Sciences, and Nobel laureates and outstanding scientists from across the world.
The second Next Einstein Forum is expected to take place in Rwanda in 2018.