What an incredibly exciting time! Who would have thought that in under a year a whole range of vaccines against a new infectious agent would be rolled out across the world? This perfectly exemplifies the critical role that science plays in responding to the different challenges the world faces.
In ICGEB, we are acutely aware that the major challenges lie in achieving equality for all and ensuring that no country or individual is left behind. Today, 8 March, marks International Women’s Day, and ICGEB is very proud of its achievements in supporting women in science: ranging from our world-leading women scientists in ICGEB, through to our world-class Fellowship programme, our efforts on STEM education for girls in low resource settings and the wonderful new initiative from DBT in providing fellowships for women who have had career breaks.
The last couple of months has seen ICGEB moving forward in a wide range of different activities. We have teamed up with the UN Tech Bank for LDCs and with TWAS, to offer fellowships specifically dedicated to young scientists from LDCs, which are the countries most in need both of assistance in fighting the pandemic and also in reaping the true benefits of modern Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. In another exciting collaboration, ICGEB has joined forces with Elettra to offer fellowships to young scientists wishing to pursue research projects in structural biology, making use of the state-of-the-art facilities located next door to ICGEB Trieste at the Elettra synchrotron.
Reaching out to the ICGEB constituency is always at the forefront of our thoughts. In order to facilitate these interactions, ICGEB is holding several Awareness Workshops with scientists from Member Countries, including Ecuador, Zimbabwe, and Sri Lanka; all of which aim to help scientists to access, and make full use of, the opportunities that ICGEB can provide.
Finally, we are proud to have launched our ICGEB Alumni Network! This is a wonderful group of former ICGEB Fellows who are now spread across the globe and are still working with us to expand our mission and activities. Through this, we have initiated a project on STEM education for girls in low resource environments and through the support of our Alumni and other generous contributors, we will be hosting workshops on science and providing foldscopes to classes of girls in some of the poorest parts of the world. I extend my own personal thank you to all of you who are helping us in making this wonderful programme a reality.