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Scientists To Focus On Climate Change And Energy At AAAS Meeting

by Jean-Louis Santini
Washington (AFP) Feb 13, 2007
Climate change, renewable energy and space exploration will be high on the agenda when scientists from around the world gather for the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science this week. Some 10,000 scientists from 60 countries are expected at the five-day forum opening Thursday that aims to raise awareness among researchers, politicians and the public at large about crucial scientific and social issues, and showcase the latest scientific advances.

Global warming, its consequences and possible remedies will take center stage at the top US scientific gathering of its type, which this year revolves around the theme, "Science and Technology for Sustainable Well-Being."

AAAS President John Holdren, environmental science professor at Harvard University, Massachusetts, will deliver the opening speech Thursday.

The conference will comprise almost 200 scientific sessions on diverse scientific papers, several focusing on the gradual melting of mountain glaciers around the world.

Research on alternative energy sources such as bio-fuels and solar energy, and on water conservation and irrigation technology to reverse desertification will also be presented.

In the medical field, there will be symposiums on the environment's role in obesity, the effect of drugs on the brain and new approaches in understanding how cancer develops.

Research on intelligent prosthetics that interact with the nervous system to restore eyesight or the movement of a limb will likely spark great interest, especially for the US military after thousands of soldiers lost limbs in the Iraq war.

In space science, the conference will delve into the possibility of life on Mars, exploring and mining for resources on the moon and the danger of an asteroid colliding with the Earth and how it can be deflected. The conference also will present studies on the public's growing interest in pseudosciences such as astrology, especially among young people in the US and Europe, to the detriment of traditional science.

One session will focus on a growing movement in Europe to debunk Darwin's theory of evolution, a recurring trend in the United States but a relatively recent phenomenon in the Old World.

Top lecturers include energy-research guru Steven Chu, winner of the Nobel prize in physics 1997 and director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, California; Google Inc co-founder Larry Page, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Senior Scientist Susan Solomon, who co-chaired Working Group I in the recently released, eye-opening Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on global warming.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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Blair Wants New Climate Change Deal Before Exit
Berlin (AFP) Feb 13, 2007
British Prime Minister Tony Blair said here on Tuesday he was staking his remaining months in office on reaching a new international agreement on climate change. After talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Blair said he hoped to help thrash out compromises on a new accord to succeed the Kyoto Protocol governing reductions in greenhouse gases which expires in 2012.

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