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Research Ethics and Workforce Development at the Regional Meeting of the World Research Council for MENA

Oct 30, 2021

The World Research Council for the Middle East and North Africa held its regional meeting on October 26-27, 2021. The meeting was hosted by the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) with the participation of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST). The discussions focused on issues of research ethics and integrity in the context of the rapid search for results, and the workforce development in the fields of science and technology.

The two-day meeting was attended by representatives from research centers and institutions in a number of Arab and foreign countries and paved the way for the tenth annual meeting of the Council, which will be held in Panama from May 30 to June 3, 2022 to discuss scientific research issues of common interest and identify the most relevant solutions and practices.

On behalf of His Excellency the Director General of the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS), Dr. Khaled Al-Fadhel, the Acting Deputy Director General for Scientific Affairs, Dr. Muhammad Al-Ramadan, opened the meeting. In his opening speech Dr. Al Ramadan conveyed the greetings of the Director General and his praise for the efforts made by scientists and researchers to address and find innovative solutions to the many challenges our societies face.

He stressed the importance of constantly enhancing the competencies and capabilities of the workforce in the fields of science, technology and innovation, to ensure the economic and social sustainability of our societies. He also called for the adoption of strict policies in relation to the integrity of the research even in times of crisis. This, he said, is particularly significant in view of the global importance of the results of the research and their significant impact on the global scientific communities. In addition this will engender greater public confidence towards these results.

For his part, His Excellency the President of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, Dr. Munir bin Mahmoud Al-Desouki, stressed that research ethics and integrity permeate all stages of research and innovation from its inception to the commercial marketing of its outputs. He said that although researchers and their institutions are primarily responsible for the integrity of research, research funding agencies bear a part of that responsibility as well.

He stressed the urgent need to deploy strict guidance and measures to build the capabilities of the workforce in science, technology and innovation in the Middle East and North Africa to face current and future challenges.