King Abdullah II of Jordan has appointed Adnan Badran, the president of the Arab Academy of Sciences, as the country's prime minister.
According Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star, the king told Badran that he had been chosen because of his "wisdom and maturity, experience and knowledge" and his "sincere belief in reform".
Badran, who became a fellow of the Islamic Academy of Sciences in 1989, has been deeply involved in developing science and education in Jordan and the wider Arab world.
Between 1966 and 1986, he was a professor of biology at the University of Jordan, Yarmouk University and Jordan University for Science and Technology. During this time, he helped develop science curricula and research facilities at these and other institutions.
He has also written numerous textbooks and papers on science and technology policy in the Arab region. In 1998 he was made president of Jordan's Philadelphia University.
From 1993 to 1998, Badran was deputy director-general of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).
Prior to that he served as minister of agriculture (1988) and minister of education (1989) in the Jordanian government and was secretary-general of the country's Higher Council for Science and Technology (1986-1987).
He has also been secretary-general and vice-president of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS).
Mohamed Hassan, executive director of TWAS, says Badran's appointment "is an golden opportunity to use science and technology as a vehicle for development not only in Jordan but also in other Arab countries".