Sophien says, "I am deeply honored to accept the distinction of becoming a Foreign Fellow of the Bangladesh Academy of Sciences (BAS). I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Executive Council and the Annual General Meeting of the Academy for bestowing this recognition upon me."
Professor Tofazzal Islam, BAS Fellow and close collaborator on the wheat blast project, said "I’m extremely happy and honored to announce that Professor Sophien Kamoun FRS has been elected as a Foreign Fellow of the Bangladesh Academy of Sciences (BAS). He is a world leading scientist and a trusted friend of Bangladesh."
Tofazzal and Sophien started collaborating in February 2016 after news of a destructive wheat disease outbreak in Bangladesh spread out. They spontaneously teamed up and volunteered to apply the latest genomics technology to identify the precise nature of the pathogen.
Open science and international collaborations were at the core of the successful tracing and identification of wheat blast clones after the devastating wheat disease spread to the Asian and African continents. By creating the website Open Wheat Blast, the rapid sharing of data was facilitated between researchers, which proved crucial for tracking wheat blast pathogens and ensured that all contributions were appropriately credited.
This resulting publication was recently highlighted as an exemplary way of working with the Global South in an article calling for more collaborative authorship practices. GetGenome, a charitable initiative that aims to provide equitable access to genomic technologies, was inspired by these principles and is designed to enable open science and data sharing with contributions properly credited from the start.
Sophien, along with GetGenome, already have plans for their forthcoming collaboration with Bangladesh. Recently, CIMMYT launched the Wheat Disease Early Warning Advisory System (Wheat DEWAS) to help safeguard wheat productivity and advance sustainable agricultural practices in collaboration with international partners, including researchers at the John Innes Centre, The Sainsbury Laboratory and GetGenome.
The groundbreaking approach enhances crop disease management through the utilization of cutting-edge genomics technology, comprehensive data collection, and seamless integration, all accomplished by a diverse multinational team of collaborators.
Sophien hopes that his recognition by BAS will open up new avenues for collaboration and engagement with the scientific community in Bangladesh.
"I've always found inspiration in the vibrant scientific landscape of Bangladesh and I'm excited about the opportunity to further contribute to the advancement of science and technology."
More about Open Science:
Open Science: A letter to a friend
Sophien Kamoun celebrates the 12 years of professional life of Prof. Md. Tofazzal Islam at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University (BSMRAU).
Open science to tackle plant health emergencies: enough excuses, please!
by Sophien Kamoun
The thorny politics of the global food trade are often an excuse against the application of open science principles to plant disease epidemics. But scientists have often themselves to blame for the slow release of information and data, and there are ways around some of the issues.