Professor Sir Collin Tukuitonga of Waipapa Taumata Rau, University of Auckland, led an initiative to Samoa last week on behalf of the International Science Council, with more than 60 scholars, to create a voice for science in the Pacific.
Sir Collin says, “there is a time and a place for everything, and I think the time for an Academy in the region is now. It will unite Pacific scholars, foster collaboration within the community and outside, and promote research on and from the region.”
The establishment of a Pacific Academy responds to a pressing need to foster co-creation of knowledge and to empower Pacific scholars to be part of solutions in their region.
The two days of discussions also included the African Academy of Sciences, Australian Academy of Science, the Royal Society Te Aparangi (NZ) and U.S. National Academies. Emerging researchers welcomed the opportunity for more multidisciplinary local and global collaborations to build regional capability and to create opportunities to advance their research.
Meeting participants agreed to set up an Establishment Group to lead the next steps in designing a Pacific academy that represents Pacific scholars and their knowledge.
The meeting was hosted by National University of Samoa, with funding support from the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, and the Richard Lounsberry Foundation.