Sally Abou Melhem <firstname.lastname@example.org> Office of Communications
The first Italian-Lebanese Science Day forum took place on April 12, 2019, at the American University of Beirut (AUB). The forum was organized by the Lebanese Association for the Advancement of Science in partnership with AUB, and the University of Palermo, Italy, and in collaboration with the National Council for Scientific Research. It provided a platform for over 500 researchers, faculty members, and students to network and exchange knowledge and expertise, and aimed to promote collaborations between different institutions.
The event also witnessed the official signing ceremony of the new international agreement between AUB and the University of Palermo. Italian Ambassador to Lebanon Massimo Marotti participated in the signing ceremony. Dr. Fadlo Khuri, president of AUB, and Dr. Fabrizio Micari, rector of the University of Palermo signed the agreement, after an original agreement that had been signed previously by the two universities, initiating around 12 years of collaboration.
Over the years, the collaboration between AUB and the University of Palermo has resulted in about 40 joint publications that came out in original research, reviews, or book chapters; as well as student and faculty exchanges. In addition, four students continued their doctoral studies at the University of Palermo in the field of international research, particularly in biomedical and neurological sciences. The two universities are aiming to establish a joint course that allows students to obtain a dual diploma.
Dr. Abdo Jurjus, president of the Lebanese Association for the Advancement of Science, and professor of anatomy, cell biology and physiological sciences at AUB, commented on this event saying that this forum “is meant to highlight the importance of such a cooperation framework and to enhance more networking, more collaborations with the AUB and other universities in Lebanon or elsewhere." Dr. Jurjus has received the Prize of Palermo University in 2017 for his efforts in facilitating the collaboration between the two universities.
Local and global issues were addressed during the first Italian-Lebanese Science Day, including the transfer and assessment of new technologies, the inter-universities cooperation, the university-industry cooperation, as well as education and research experiences related to innovative technologies in relation to medical, health, and biological sciences; environmental sciences; chemistry, physics, and math; and social and behavioral sciences. Over 500 researchers from Lebanon and abroad participated by submitting 180 abstracts of scientific research for oral presentation or poster display.
The Italian Embassy in Lebanon issued a press release on the day of the event, announcing that the Italian-Lebanese Science Day will be celebrated from now on, every other year, alternately between Italy and Lebanon.