American University of Beirut

Head of Saab Medical Library Participates in Two International Conferences

Dr. Ola El-Zein, Head of Saab Medical Library (SML), attended and participated in two international conferences during the end of 2019.

In November of 2019, Dr. El-Zein took part in the World Science Forum in Budapest, where she made two presentations entitled: 1) “Responsible Research and Innovation and Research Integrity: Across the Globe and Across Society" and 2) “Raising the Voice of Early Career Researchers in Global Science and Policy."

During these presentations, Dr. El-Zein tackled the challenges that Early Career Scientists (ECS) are facing, especially in the MENA region, in relation to not finding job opportunities and funds. She also addressed the issue of brain drain, economic instability, researchers not having a voice in the policy planning and strategy in the MENA. She mentioned, while talking about Open Access and Responsible Research, that SML will be increasing awareness across the AUB community around these two concepts.

In December of 2019, Dr. El-Zein attended the International Conference on Higher Education in the Arab World, held by UNESCO in Beirut.

As a board member of ArabWAYS, she talked about the organization, its foundation, its members, and the opportunities it provides, including but not limited to funds, jobs, Ph.D. opportunities, scholarships, and others. “It is one of the biggest organizations with more than 18,000 members, creating a bridge between less fortunate Arab young scientists with more experienced scholars/scientists around the world." El-Zein said.

During her talk, she stressed the importance of restructuring and reforming the education system, starting from the early school years, and spreading the values that come from science (connectivity, creativity, and others) and policies needed for gender equality for women in leading positions.

In the two conferences, she highlighted the importance of science communication and diplomacy as tools to connect scientists across continents, even in days of conflicts and political turmoil, to build peace and help in accomplishing the UN's 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

She also highlighted the role of AUB libraries and especially SML in providing access to medical research that supports improved clinical and public health research and outcomes in general. She said that “Public access to health information in all libraries helps people to make better lifestyle choices and to stay healthy."

László Lovász, President of Hungarian Academy of Sciences and of the World Science Forum, said in his thank you letter to Dr. El-Zein: “You have indeed made a great contribution to the success and high international standing of the Forum." 

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