The InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) was formally launched in South Africa in March 2016, bringing together three established networks of academies of science, medicine and engineering, namely IAP, the global network of science academies, the InterAcademy Medical Panel (IAMP) and the InterAcademy Council (IAC).
Under the new InterAcademy Partnership, more than 140 national and regional member academies work together to support the special role of science and its efforts to seek solutions to address the world’s most challenging problems. In particular, IAP harnesses the expertise of the world’s scientific, medical and engineering leaders to advance sound policies, improve public health, promote excellence in science education, and achieve other critical development goals.
The work of the world’s academies of science, medicine and engineering has resulted in lives saved, better education, and more effective policy approaches to a range of issues. Academies are typically independent and highly committed institutions that recognize and promote excellence and achievement. By definition, they are merit-based, with members selected from among the leading scientific minds within a country or region. In addition to their honorific roles, academies are vital civil society institutions that have the credibility to inform the public and policy-makers about problems and potential solutions. Their credibility comes not only from the scientific excellence of their members, but also from the fact that they are free of vested political and commercial interests. Indeed, although many academies were established by national governments and tasked with serving their countries by, among other things, bringing scientific perspectives to bear on national and international issues, they were also constituted as independent bodies.