- Association AffairsPacific Science Association
28th ICSU General Assembly
PSA Executive Secretary Burke Burnett represented the Pacific Science Association at the International Council for Science (ICSU) 28th General Assembly held in Shanghai and Suzhou, China from 17-22 October 2005. The General Assembly (GA) was graciously hosted by the Chinese Academy of Science and Technology (CAST). PSA President Dr. Kiyoshi Kurokawa (President of the Science Council of Japan) and PSA Executive Board members Dr. Congbin Fu (Vice President of the China Committee for ICSU, CAST) and Dr. Prof. Chang-Hung Chou (President, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, Taiwan) also attended in the capacity of their respective institutions.
The General Assembly consisted of both plenary sessions and sessions for National Members and Scientific Union Members. The first day of the GA was held in conjunction with CAST in Shanghai. After opening remarks by Dr. Sun Honglie (ICSU-China), the first session topic was "Science and Human Well-Being", chaired by Prof. Yiming Shao of China's Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The keynote presentation by Dr. Hal Mooney conveyed the results of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, followed by brief presentations and a panel discussion by Prof. Marian Addy (University of Ghana), Prof. Zengyi Chang (Beijing University), Prof. Pierre Richie (University of Ottawa), and Prof. Lan Xue (Tsinghua University). The second session on "Science for Sustainable Development" was chaired by Prof. Peter Tyson, Vice President of ICSU. Prof. Congbin Fu gave the keynote lecture, followed by brief presentations and a panel discussion including Prof. Qiheng Hu (V.P., CAST), Prof. Yonglong Lu (Chinese Academy of Science), Dr. Jane Lubchenco (President, ICSU), and Dr. Graham Pearman (GP Consulting). All lectures and presentations were very well-received.
The second day of the GA involved no plenary sessions but convened forums for National Members and Scientific Union Members. These meetings were held to discuss the status of ICSU's programmes and obtain input from members. Among the items discussed were a proposed dues increase for ICSU, a planned reduction in ICSU's Grants Programme, and a wide variety of topics of concern to various Scientific Unions and Interdisciplinary Bodies. There were also several presentations providing reports on various ICSU initiatives such as "The Environment and its Relation to Sustainable Development", "Science and the Policy Context", and "The Universality of Science". [End Page 147]
The final three days of the GA involved plenary sessions. Dr. Jane Lubchenco presided over all the presentations and resulting discussions. The third day began with various briefings on the current status of ICSU, including the Secretary-General's Report (Ana Maria Cetto), a presentation of the new ICSU Strategic Plan for 2006-2011 (Thomas Rosswall), a Union Member Forum Report (Michel Denis), and a National Member Forum Report (Hernan Chaimovich). Each presentation was followed with time for various attendees to comment and provide input. Presentations were also given on several ICSU initiatives: by Dr. Ian Allison on the new International Polar Year (2007-2008), a joint initiative of ICSU and World Meteorological Organization; by Dr. Gordon McBean on the ICSU initiative on "Natural and Human-Induced Hazards"; by Dr. Brian Walker on "Science and Technology for Sustainable Development". Dr. Hal Mooney gave a second presentation on the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, focusing on the structure and processes behind the writing of the MEA reports.
The next day of the GA saw presentations on ISCU's programme on "Challenges in Implementing the Universality of Science" (Dr. Peter Warren), a "Priority Area Assessment on Scientific Data and Information" (Dr. Roberta Balstad), "Capacity-Building in Science" (Dr. Ranjan Ramasamy), a report from the ICSU Policy Committee on Developing Countries (Dr. Marian Addy), and an ICSU Financial Report (Dr. Roger Elliott). Ample time for input and comments from the various members was solicited, and votes were taken to ratify modifications to various proposed elements in the ICSU strategy.
Elections were held to determine the new ICSU Executive Board. The new incoming officers are: Dr. Catherine Brechignac (France) - President-Elect, Dr. Khosto Mokhele (South Africa) - Vice President for Scientific Planning and Review, and Hernan Chaimovich (Brazil) - Vice President for External Relations. Dr. Ana Maria Cetto (Mexico) and Dr. Roger Elliott (UK) ran unopposed...