High-Ranking Iraqi Education and Science Leaders to Visit AAAS
Two top Iraqi science and education officials will come to AAAS on Tuesday 5 July for a public discussion of universities and scientific research in their embattled country.
Iraq's Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Dr. Beriwan Muslih Khailany; and the President of the University of Baghdad, Dr. Mosa Jawad Aziz Almosawe, will discuss the future of higher education and research in their country on Tuesday 5 July at AAAS.
The event will take place at 6 p.m. in the AAAS Auditorium, 12th and H Streets, NW, Washington, D.C. (Metro Center subway stop, exit 12th and G Streets). It will be followed by a reception from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Iraq has long been a Middle Eastern capital of science and engineering, but over the past 30 years, its research capacity has suffered a serious decline. Saddam Hussein's militarization of Iraq's science and engineering sectors, international sanctions, the destruction of facilities and resources during wars and widespread looting all have contributed to the decline.
A number of AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellows have been engaged in the Iraqi reconstruction effort while on assignment to the U.S. Department of State and other government agencies. Most recently, a team of AAAS Fellows at State and the Department of Defense has been working on an initiative called the Iraqi Virtual Science Library. The goal is to provide Iraqi researchers with free online access to information published in scientific journals.
The Ministry of Higher Education & Scientific Research oversees the administration of 20 major public universities in Iraq, two post-graduate commissions and 43 technical institutes and colleges. At the start of the 2002-03 academic year, these institutions had over 240,000 undergraduates attending classes taught by roughly 14,700 full-time faculty. Approximately 500 staffers serve at the ministry headquarters in Baghdad. The ministry also supervises accreditation of higher education institutions in Iraq, promotes scientific research and technological development and maintains its own institutes for cancer and psychological research as well as its press house.
The University of Baghdad, known as "the Harvard of the Middle East," is the oldest university in the country. Over 80,000 students are enrolled in programs including administration, agriculture, dentistry, economics, education, engineering, mathematics, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, the sciences, political science, media, law, physical education, art, fine art, language, veterinary sciences and biotechnology. Half of the University of Baghdad faculty earned their doctorates in the United States, Britain or France. The university currently has 24 colleges, five high institutes and nine research centers.
For more information on science in Iraq, see:
"Iraqi Science: The War Within the War"
"Panel at AAAS Says Iraq Scholars and Students Need Help from U.S. Counterparts"
"Rebuilding Science in Iraq, One Scientist at a Time"
"AAAS Fellow Krista Donaldson Returns to Power-Grid Work in Iraq"
Edward W. Lempinen
29 June 2005