LONDON—Iraqi scientists are meeting here over the next two days (November 27-28) to begin the process of setting up an independent Academy of Science.

The 12 leading researchers, nine of whom still work in Iraq, are holding their inaugural meeting at Britain's Royal Society because of the current security situation in Baghdad. Their goal is to establish a free voice for Iraqi science after decades of abuse under Saddam Hussein.

"The Iraqi Academy of Science will be an autonomous, self-governing organization of distinguished scientists dedicated to employing their talents for the advancement of science in Iraq," said UK-based chemical engineer Hussain Al-Shahristani, who initiated the meeting.

For decades, Iraqi science for any purpose other than military has been starved of resources and researchers have been cut off from the outside world through sanctions, Shahristani added. "This led to a serious depletion of civil research," he told reporters. "The situation now...

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