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About Science Supercourse

The BA Science Supercourse is a project designed to network scientists and to empower educators around the world through the sharing of scientific lectures online for free. It represents an extended scope to the initial Global Health Network Supercourse project, housed at the University of Pittsburgh WHO Collaborating Centre and mirrored at Bibliotheca Alexandrina. The supercourse network initially started with over 58,000 registered faculty members and scientists from 174 countries and a library of over 4,200 high quality educational lectures about epidemiology and preventive health.

The current Science Supercourse is designed to expand beyond the topics of Health and Preventive Medicine, to encompass other areas of science, namely Environment, Agriculture and Computer Engineering in addition to Public Health. The project is an extended joint endeavor between the Library of Alexandria in Egypt and the WHO Collaborating Centre at the University of Pittsburgh.

Science Supercourse does not grant degrees or certificates, but is designed to be a repository of resources for teachers, professors, and other educators to use as they see fit in their teaching of science.

The BA Science Supercourse was launched at the Library of Alexandria in Egypt in January 2009, under the direction of Dr. Ismail Serageldin, the Director of the library. In April 2010, the program has officially unveiled its new expandable online system that includes more lectures, more personalized functionalities and search features than the parent Supercourse.

While the initial focus of the new Science Supercourse is in the areas of Health, Agriculture, Environment and Computer Engineering; the plan is to extend the scope to other scientific areas in the next several years. Each area will have a "community of practice" to stimulate the contribution of high-quality lectures and to provide guidance and review on coverage of the fields.

Advisory Board


Ismail Serageldin

Ismail Serageldin, Director, Library of Alexandria, also chairs the Boards of Directors for each of the BA's affiliated research institutes and museums. He serves as Chair and Member of a number of advisory committees for academic, research, scientific and international institutions and civil society efforts which includes the Institut d'Egypte (Egyptian Academy of Science), TWAS (Academy of Sciences for the Developing World), the Indian National Academy of Agricultural Sciences and the European Academy of Sciences and Arts. He is former Chairman, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR, 1994-2000), Founder and former Chairman, the Global Water Partnership (GWP, 1996-2000) and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poorest (CGAP), a microfinance program (1995-2000) and was Distinguished Professor at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Serageldin has also served in a number of capacities at the World Bank, including as Vice President for Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development (1992-1998), and for Special Programs (1998-2000). He has published over 60 books and monographs and over 200 papers on a variety of topics including biotechnology, rural development, sustainability, and the value of science to society. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from Cairo University and Master's degree and a PhD from Harvard University and has received 26 honorary doctorates.

Board Members

Ronald LaPorte

Ronald LaPorte, Professor, Department of Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh, 1990. His primary interest is the application of Internet Technology to the prevention of disease. In September 2007 he was chosen to become the Director of Multidisciplinary Masters of Public Health Program. Furthermore, he is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics (Secondary Appointment) since 1990. Along with a team from Pittsburgh University, he was the initiator of the Supercourse which has over 65,000 faculties worldwide. He has published over 462 papers, and is Director for Disease Monitoring and Telecommunications at WHO Collaborating center. He holds his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh, 1976. Professor LaPorte was awarded the Lilienfeld Award for Lifetime Achievement in education APHA in 2006.

Gilbert Omenn

Dr. Gilbert S. Omenn is a Professor of Internal Medicine, Human Genetics, and Public Health at the University of Michigan since 2002. From September 1997 to July 2002, he served as the Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs at the University of Michigan, where he oversaw the medical school the UM Health System. Dr. Omenn was also the Chief Executive Officer of the University of Michigan Health System from 1997 to 2002. From July 1982 to September 1997, he was the Dean of the School of Public Health and Community Medicine and Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington. Dr. Omenn serves as the Chairman of HIV Scientific Advisory Board of The Immune Response Corp. He is also a Member of the Advisory Board at Arboretum Ventures. Dr. Omenn has been a Director of Amgen Inc. since January 1987 and serves as a Member of its Audit Committee. He has been a Director of Rohm and Haas Co. since 1987 and is a Member of Nominating and Sustainable Development Committees. Dr. Omenn is also a Member of the Advisory Board at InnoCentive Inc. He holds an M.D. from Harvard Medical School and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington. He is PI of the Alliance for Cancer research program and leader of the international Human Proteome Organization (HUPO) Human Plasma Proteome Project.

Vinton Cerf

Vinton G. Cerf is vice president and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google. He is responsible for identifying new enabling technologies and applications on the Internet and other platforms for the company. Widely known as a "father of the Internet", Vint is the co-designer with Robert Kahn of the TCP/IP protocols and basic architecture of the Internet. In 1997, President Clinton recognized their work with the U.S. National Medal of Technology. In 2005, Vint and Bob received the highest civilian honor bestowed in the U.S. , the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It recognizes the fact that their work on the software code used to transmit data across the Internet has put them "at the forefront of a digital revolution that has transformed global commerce, communication, and entertainment." From 1994-2005, Vint served as Senior Vice President at MCI. Prior to that, he was Vice President of the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI), and from 1982-86 he served as Vice President of MCI. During his tenure with the U.S. Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) from 1976-1982, Vint played a key role leading the development of Internet and Internet-related data packet and security technologies. Since 2000, Vint has served as chairman of the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and he has been a Visiting Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory since 1998. He served as founding president of the Internet Society (ISOC) from 1992-1995 and was on the ISOC board until 2000. Vint is a Fellow of the IEEE, ACM, AAAS, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the International Engineering Consortium, the Computer History Museum and the National Academy of Engineering. Vint has received numerous awards and commendations in connection with his work on the Internet, including the Marconi Fellowship, Charles Stark Draper award of the National Academy of Engineering, the Prince of Asturias award for science and technology, the Alexander Graham Bell Award presented by the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf, the A. M. Turing Award from the Association for Computer Machinery, the Silver Medal of the International Telecommunications Union, and the IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal, among many others. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from UCLA and more than a dozen honorary degrees.

Executive Board

  • Magdy Nagy
  • Noha Adly
  • Mohamed El Faham
  • Faina Linkov
  • Eugene Shubnikov
  • Francois Sauer


This project is being developed and coordinated by the Library of Alexandria jointly with the University of Pittsburgh.

Financial Support