Enquiry-based science education is key to instilling a fascination in and understanding of scientific discovery in future generations, says Jorge E. Allende in Science.
Such understanding is essential to sustainable socioeconomic and cultural development, he writes.
But science academies' efforts to promote enquiry-based education are relatively new. The InterAcademy Panel on International Issues (IAP), which is made up of science academies from 98 nations, committed itself to global-scale enquiry-based education initiatives in 2000.
Since then, the Chilean Academy of Sciences and the University of Chile have developed a national programme which now reaches 90,000 schoolchildren in 260 schools — where children now overwhelmingly choose science as their favourite subject.
And the Chilean academy was also asked to lead the IAP's effort. Science education activities now take place across Africa and Latin America, with more planned in Asia and the Caribbean.