The Next Einstein Forum (NEF), an organisation that seeks to leverage science for human development globally, has announced its third Class of NEF Fellows, 25 strong scientists, all under 42 years, whose research and innovations are contributing to solve Africa’s and the world’s most pressing challenges.
“I am excited to announce the 3rd class of NEF Fellows for two reasons. The first is that we are almost at parity, with 11 women in the class. The second is the variety of fields and countries from where the Fellows come from,” said Thierry Zomahoun, Founder and Chair of the Next Einstein Forum and President and CEO of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS).
“The selected Fellows are doing cutting-edge research in renewable energy, nanomaterials and nanotechnology, food security, precision medicine, health systems, climate science and urban planning. Also a first for the Fellows cohort is the two social scientists selected in this class. We strongly believe their current and future discoveries will solve global challenges and we are excited to introduce you to them,” Zomahoun added.
An initiative of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), the NEF will award the NEF Fellows at its NEF Global Gathering 2020 in Nairobi, Kenya on 10 March 2020, under the patronage of President Uhuru Kenyatta. The NEF Fellows will continue the tradition of presenting their groundbreaking research at the global gathering.
NEF Fellows are selected by an International Scientific Program Committee, using a rigorous process that comprises academic and scientific merit, a strong publication record, patents, awards and a track record of funds independently raised for research.
Fellows are also required to demonstrate the relevance of their research or innovations to humanity’s grand challenges, as well as a passion for raising Africa’s scientific profile and inspiring the next generation of scientific leaders.
“We are tremendously pleased to welcome the new class to the growing NEF Community of Scientists, and the thirty-five Fellows that preceded this cohort. This Class was selected in record timing because of the quality of their profiles and we look forward to their contributions to our foresight work and public engagement programs like Africa Science Week,” said Dr. Youssef Travaly, Vice President of Science, Innovation and Partnerships.
The second class has been at the forefront of groundbreaking research in Blockchain for micro-credits, bioinformatics for improving agricultural outputs, non-invasive malaria detection among other innovations.
Several Fellows received million-dollar awards for their research.
NEF Fellows lead the editing of the NEF’s Scientific African journal which is on its fourth volume since March 2018. In recognition of their achievements and scientific excellence, three fellows have joined the NEF’s International Scientific Programme Committee.
This year’s cohort includes Dr. Badre Abdselam from Morocco, who seeks to contribute in the design and implementation of regional policies on young scientists’ intentional mobility within Africa to optimize brain circulation; Dr. Agnes Kiragga of Uganda, who hopes to merge data science and machine learning methods to predict and prevent HIV among high-risk groups in Africa; and Dr. Salome Maswime of South Africa, who leads a research initiative to scale up the implementation of the perinatal problem identification program model to four other healthcare systems in Africa, among many others.
Launched in 2013 by the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), the Next Einstein Forum’s work is shaped by the belief that the next Einstein will be African.
“We are working to make Africa a global hub for science and technology,” the organisation said in a statement.
The NEF believes that Africa’s contributions to the global scientific community are critical for global progress.