WelCom August 2017: Pope Francis has named Professor Joachim von Braun as the new President of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
Von Braun is the Ordinary Professor of Economics and Technological Change, as well as the Director of the Centre for Development Research at the University of Bonn in Germany. He was formerly the director general of the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington.
Professor von Braun said the Academy has a unique role to play in the world of science because it is a ‘global academy’ and not linked to any specific nation.
He said the 80 members composing the Academy are from different countries and religious backgrounds. Many hold Nobel Prizes for their contribution to science.
‘I find it particularly important we find solutions to the two major problems of inequality: lack of justice, hunger, and poverty on the one hand, and the destruction of the environment and nature.’
He said because these two themes are interrelated, ‘academicians from diverse science backgrounds can view these problems in new ways and offer solutions to overcome them.’
The Academy was established by Pope Pius IX in 1936. It is considered one of the most prestigious organisations in the world of science. Its membership has always been open to non-Catholics and non-believers.
The Academy succeeded the Accademia dei Lincei, which was established in 1603 and included among its members Galileo.
Source: CathNews NZ