Date: Oct. 31, 2007
Contacts: William Skane, Executive Director
Sara Frueh, Media Relations Officer
Alison Burnette, Media Relations Assistant
Office of News and Public Information
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
National Academies Expand Cooperation With Iranian Research and
Wm. A. Wulf, leader of the team that visited Iran from October 13 to 22 this year and the former president of the National Academy of Engineering, said that "we have an historic opportunity to continue our work with Iranian colleagues on problems of global importance that will not only advance international science and engineering, but also build trust and respect for one another throughout our societies."
-- Iran's vice president for science Sadegh Vaez-Zadeh challenged Iranian and American scientists to help monitor and deter inappropriate "uses of scientific discoveries that cause harm," either inadvertently by inadequate foresight or willfully by violating international norms. In response, a bilateral dialogue will be initiated on general principles to deal with such issues with an initial focus on biological research, applications of nanotechnology, use of fossil fuels, and use of cyber technology.
-- During a workshop titled "Science, A Gateway to Understanding" where the American team made presentations, former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami urged the participants to use achievements of science to benefit all nations, increase understanding among people, and avoid destructive confrontations. A follow-on workshop, which will emphasize practical means of moving toward "understanding," will be held in 2008.
-- The ninth in the series of bilateral workshops on various topics that began in the year 2000 will focus on reducing earthquake damage. It will be held in
-- An exchange of science policy specialists between the
-- An effort to establish channels of communication between
A particularly notable aspect of the visit was the contribution of Joseph Taylor, a Nobel laureate in physics from
The American team also had discussions with representatives of other Iranian institutions in addition to leaders of universities and research centers. One such discussion was a dialogue among scientists, philosophers, and religious scholars in the city of
This program of scientific outreach and cooperation by the National Academies has been consistently endorsed since its inception by the U.S. Department of State and by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Department of Treasury. It has also been encouraged by the Iranian government as the American team was told on numerous occasions while in
The U.S. National Academies delegation members were: Wm. A. Wulf (NAE president emeritus and professor of computer science, University of Virginia), Michael T. Clegg (NAS foreign secretary and professor of biological sciences, University of California at Irvine), Anita Jones (NAE member and professor of computer science, University of Virginia), Thomas Jordan (NAS Council member, director of the Southern California Earthquake Center, and professor of geophysics, University of Southern California), Joseph Taylor (NAS member, Nobel laureate, and professor of physics, Princeton University), E. William Colglazier (NAS executive officer and National Research Council chief operating officer), Norman P. Neureiter (director, Center for Science, Technology, and Security Policy, American Association for the Advancement of Science), Glenn Schweitzer (director, Office for Central Europe and Eurasia, National Research Council), Maxmillian Angerholzer (executive director, Richard Lounsbery Foundation), Catherine C. Colglazier (humanities division manager, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Fairfax County, Va.), Georgine Neureiter, and Amy E. Moore (program associate, National Research Council).
[ This news release is available at http://national-academies.org ]