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2003 AAAS Annual Meeting New Findings Expected for
Biosecurity, Snow Sports, Mental Health and the Environment
From the science of snow skiing to obesity research and biosecurity, and from the future of the American west to growing environmental threats worldwide, the 2003 AAAS Annual Meeting offers something for scientists of all stripesand for students, too.
The world's largest interdisciplinary scientific gathering, the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) will draw some 6,000+ individuals from all over the world to Denver, Colorado, 1318 February 2003. Dr. Floyd E. Bloom will kick off the meeting with the prestigious AAAS President's lecture on 13 February, 6:30-8:00 p.m., in the Colorado Ballroom of the Denver Marriott. Attendees include leading scientists, policymakers, educators, students and the public, as well as an estimated 1,000 press registrants from 30 countries.
The AAAS Annual meeting offers a lot for students, too. "Imagine a group of high-school students sitting on the floor with a scientist who had announced the completion of the human genome sequence two weeks earlier," said AAAS Meetings Director Dr. Michael S. Strauss, when asked to explain what makes the event unique. "Or, think of another high-school student having breakfast with a nice woman who turned out to be the head of one of the world's premier scientific institutions, the National Science Foundation."
These scenarios depict real events from past meetings, Strauss noted. At the AAAS Annual Meeting, he added, "students and the public have extraordinary, direct access to the leading minds in science, education, industry and policy." Free access to an exhibit hall, including Exhibitor and Career Workshops, poster sessions, and the AAAS Storealong with highly reduced rates for studentsmake participation easy for younger scientists and educators.
Other free events include "Annals of Improbable Research" (14 February), the AAAS Awards Ceremony (16 February), a special sneak preview of the series "Race: The Power of an Illusion" (16 February), and a special session on research at the Smithsonian Institution (16 February).
The meeting is also renowned for its scientific rigor and ability to draw top speakers: AAAS meeting luminaries from years past have included U.S. Presidents George Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton; Vice President Al Gore; Microsoft's Bill Gates; celebrity author Michael Crichton; the late Stephen Jay Gould; the science ministers of the European Commission, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Hungary; Nobelists Ralph Cicerone, Sherwood Rowland, Leon Lederman, Wolfgang Ketterle; and many other celebrities.
In 2003, the trend of all-star speakers will continue and expand to include a greater number of leaders beyond America, such as Achilleas Mitsos, Research Director-General of the European Commission. Each year, Strauss said, "AAAS makes a special effort to highlight the global, interdisciplinary nature of good science, by recruiting non-U.S. speakers to deliver plenary and topical lectures, as well as symposia presentations."
Other 2003 speakers include top Denver-area researchers, as well as these presenters:
- Anna C. Roosevelt of the Field Museum in Chicago, whose research on the movement of humans into the Americas has transformed the field of study;
- Eric Cornell and Carl Wieman, Nobel prize winners for their work confirming a theory of matter proposed decades ago by Albert Einstein;
- Floyd Bloom, AAAS President, whose work combining the latest in information technology with neuroscience has created a whole new field of study called neuroinformatics;
- Elias Zerhouni, director of the National Institutes of Health;
- Rudolph Tanzi, the author of groundbreaking studies that ultimately may solve the riddle of Alzheimer's disease;
- Margaret Livingstone, whose studies of the brain tell us much about how and why we perceive art; and
- Barry Barish, whose studies of gravity will help us understand the most fundamental properties of our universe.
In keeping with the AAAS mission to advance science and serve society, the annual meeting offers breaking news on research critical to human welfarefrom how best to fight obesity among children in developing regions to the impact of Alzheimer's disease on families.
Program highlights for 2003 will include sessions investigating environmental threats to the world's oceans, the vast American west and global climate. Other sessions will focus on issues ranging from tiniest organizations of matter in the nanoworld to the grand organization of intergalactic space. Overall, AAAS Annual Meeting symposia address science, technology, engineering and education, as well as national and international scientific policy.
Special two-day seminars will examine leading-edge science in three of the most rapidly advancing areas of science: Neuroinformatics, Nanotechnology and Genomics. More than 140 symposia, most running 90 to 180 minutes each, will cover subjects including:
|The Science of Snow Skiing
How and Why Brain Cells Boogie
The Development of Human Speech and Language
Remembering Traumatic Experiences
Malaria and Mosquitoes
Genetic Enhancement of Athletes
High Intensity Lasers
Biotechnology in Agriculture
Central European Science
Asteroid/Comet Impact Hazards
"Whether you're an athlete interested in the science of snow skiing or a student hoping to interact with Nobelists," Strauss concluded, "the AAAS Annual Meeting is the perfect place for direct interaction with the best sources of new knowledge and insight."