|Between August 20 and 24, the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) of the University of the West Indies (UWI) organized a conference to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence. The conference aimed to discuss challenges in science, education and development. Two of the FIU-Fairchild faculty (Dr. Eric Von Wettberg and Dr. Javier Francisco-Ortega) were invited to this conference as part of an initiative to enhance academic links between FIU, University of the West Indies, Fairchild and the Institute of Jamaica. Together with Dr. Percy Hintzen (Department of Global and Sociocultural Studies of FIU) and Dr. Byron Wilson (Department of Life Sciences of UWI, Mona Campus, Kingston), Dr. Francisco-Ortega organized a panel on "Environment Society and Public Policy in the Caribbean Region". Dr. Francisco-Ortega delivered a talk entitled: "Education and Research Opportunities through Partnerships between Botanic Gardens and Universities". Dr. Eric Von Wettwerg was a participant of a panel on "Diaspora and Linkages in the New Global Architecture of Caribbean Development", his talk was entitled: "Pigeonpea: Cultural and Genetic History and Future Prospects for Development in the Caribbean."