Abu Dhabi research scholars stress need for a GCC scientific research model

In celebration of the twentieth anniversary of its establishment, the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) convened a conference on “The Role of Research Centers in Supporting Public Policy” on Wednesday.

ABU DHABI // Research scholars in Abu Dhabi have laid stress on forming a model for the support of scientific research in the GCC region to increase communication and cooperation between them.

In celebration of the twentieth anniversary of its establishment, the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) convened a conference on “The Role of Research Centers in Supporting Public Policy” on Wednesday.

The panelists focused on the ways in which research centres in their regions interact with decision makers and influence public policy.

Prof Yehya bin Jonaid, Secretary General of the King Faisal Center for Islamic Studies in Saudi Arabia called the ECSSR a model for the support of scientific research in the region.

He proposed a gathering of GCC research centres be convened to increase communication and cooperation between them, and suggested that GCC and Arab universities must establish centres of regional studies, including language studies, to enable Arab institutions to better inform policymakers.

Steven Bennett, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Brookings Institution in the United States of America quoted a maxim attributed to the founder of his institution, Robert S. Brookings: “Government needs external research”.

He noted that the aim of think tanks is to provide independent research to the government and to train the government workforce.

Whereas Dr Farhan Nizami, Director of the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies suggested that the think tanks must be sheltered from political considerations to ensure that their analysis remains unbiased.

Ambassador David Mack, a scholar at the Middle East Institute in Washington and the former US ambassador to the UAE, said because of the enormous variety of ideologies, ethnicities and interest groups represented by research centres in the United States, the work of these institutions must be evaluated in light of their policy agendas.

The event was held under the patronage of General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and President of the ECSSR.

newsdesk@thenational.ae

Published: December 10, 2014 04:00 AM

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