There is growing consensus that the first half of the 21st century will be shaped to a considerable extent by the biotech revolution, just as the second half of the 20th century has been shaped by the information revolution. Developments in biotechnology will have tremendous implications for every aspect of life on this planet including the food we eat, the clothes we wear, management and protection of our environment, reproduction and maintenance of biodiversity, and the prevention and management of such dread diseases as tuberculosis, HIV and cancer.
Whether we have the foresight and vision to invest in promoting the development of molecular biology and biotechnology will determine, to a large extent, if our societies and economies will benefit from being at the forefront of developments in molecular biology and biotechnology.
Asia-Pacific IMBN is a young organization with a mission. Launched in mid-1997, it organized its first Conference in June 1998 (Seoul, Korea) when it brought together leaders in science to consider concerns and needs for molecular biology and biotechnology development. Soon after, also in June 1998, Asia-Pacific IMBN identified its first cohort of Members, consisting of 158 of the best and brightest scientists from 14 participating economies (Australia, China, Chinese Taipei, Hongkong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, New Zealand, Singapore, and Thailand).
The Asia-Pacific International Molecular Biology Network (Asia-Pacific IMBN) will maintain and promote the development of scientific and technical excellence amongst scientists and institutions dedicated to molecular biology and genetic engineering research, with particular focus on Asia and the Pacific Rim. Specifically, it will:
The Asia-Pacific IMBN is open to all scientists, with particular focus on those in Asia and the Pacific Rim. The initiative has been designed to take due cognizance of the differences in scientific and technical capability which exist in Asia and the Pacific Rim economies, and the very different historical and cultural background of these societies. Until recently, these economies tended to have stronger links with Europe and North America than they did with each other. With growing recognition of socio-economic interdependence, has come the acceptance that there is much which people in this region can learn from each other and contribute to the rest of the world.
The Network shall therefore serve as an international resource devoted to developing competence and expertise in molecular biology and biotechnology in Asia and the Pacific Rim and will complement its activities with those of other international and national societies, associations and institutions, public and private, that have similar aims.