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The World Academy of Sciences
Formation1983; 41 years ago (1983)
TypeInternational nongovernmental organization (INGO)
Region served

The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries (TWAS) is a merit-based science academy established for developing countries, uniting more than 1,400 scientists in some 100 countries. Its principal aim is to promote scientific capacity and excellence for sustainable development in developing countries. It was formerly known as the Third World Academy of Sciences. Its headquarters is located on the premises of the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy.


TWAS was founded in 1983 under the leadership of the Nobel Laureate Abdus Salam of Pakistan by a group of distinguished scientists who were determined to do something about the dismal state of scientific research in developing countries.

The founding members of TWAS therefore decided to set up an organization that would help to:

  1. Recognize, support and promote excellence in scientific research in the South;
  2. Provide promising scientists in the South with research facilities necessary for the advancement of their work;
  3. Facilitate contacts between individual scientists and institutions in the South;
  4. Encourage South–North cooperation between individuals and centres of scholarship;
  5. Promote scientific research on major developing countries problems.

Since its inception, TWAS's operational expenses have largely been covered by generous contributions of the Italian government; since 1991 UNESCO has been responsible for the administration of TWAS finance and staff on the basis of an agreement signed by the director general of UNESCO and the president of TWAS.

It was named "Third World Academy of Sciences" until 2004 and "TWAS, the academy of sciences for the developing world" before September 2012,[1] when it was renamed to is current name, "The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries".[2]

Founding fellows

The founding fellows of 1983 include[3]

TWAS Prize

Further information: List of TWAS Prize laureates

TWAS Prize
International award for contributions to Science
Sponsored byThe World Academy of Sciences
CountryItaly Edit this on Wikidata
Formerly calledTWAS Awards in Basic Sciences (till 2003)
  • A bronze rectangular plaque embedded on a red base
  • US$ 15000
First awarded1985
Last awarded2016
Total awarded242
Website Edit this on Wikidata
← TWAS-Lenovo Science Prize

The TWAS Prize is an annual award instituted in 1985 by TWAS to recognize excellence in scientific research in the global South.[4] At inception, the award was titled TWAS Awards in Basic Sciences and was awarded in Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics categories but was merged with the TWNSO (Third World Network of Scientific Organizations) Prizes in Applied Sciences in 2003 to form the present-day TWAS Prize, which is awarded in nine categories viz. Agricultural Sciences, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Engineering Sciences, Mathematics, Medical Sciences, Physics and Social Sciences.[5] The award carries a plaque and a cash prize of US$ 15000[6] and is open to scientists living and working in a developing country.[7]

See also


  1. ^ Li, Jiao. "TWAS changes name, but not its mission". SciDev.Net. Archived from the original on 13 March 2013. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
  2. ^ "TWAS, the voice for science in the South". Archived from the original on 8 February 2018. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
  3. ^ "TWAS's 42 Founding Members". The World Academy of Sciences. Archived from the original on 1 June 2016. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  4. ^ "Recipients of TWAS Awards and Prizes". The World Academy of Sciences. 2016. Archived from the original on 7 November 2015.
  5. ^ "Prizes and Awards". The World Academy of Sciences. 2016. Archived from the original on 15 June 2017.
  6. ^ "TWAS Prizes". The World Academy of Sciences. 2016. Archived from the original on 9 November 2017.
  7. ^ "TWAS 2016 Prizes". OWSD South African National Chapter. 2016. Archived from the original on 1 January 2017.