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  • Association AffairsPacifc Science Association
  • Lan-Hung Nora Chiang, Ph.D., Professor of Geography and Rebecca A. Stephenson, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology

PSA Updates

The 21st Pacific Science Congress

The 21st Pacific Science Congress will be held 12-16 June, 2007 at the Okinawa Convention Center in Naha, Okinawa, Japan. Hosted by the University of the Ryukyus and co-sponsored by the Science Council of Japan, the Congress will also be held in conjunction with the Science Council of Asia. The second circulars for the 2007 Congress will be sent in mid-2006, and flyers are available for download on the PSA website.

The theme of the Congress is "Diversity and Change: Challenges and Opportunities for Managing Natural and Social Systems in the Asia-Pacific". Currently planned sub-themes and associated symposia include:

  • • Islands in Development (including sessions on Globalization; Health and Development; Agriculture; Tourism; and Building Sustainable Communities)

  • • Maintaining Nature's Diversity (with both terrestrial and marine components in sessions on Biodiversity; Natural Resource Management and Protection; Ecosystem Services; Invasive Species; and Fisheries)

  • • Science and Society (sessions on Science Education; Enhancing Institutional Capacity; Media and Science; Science, Society, and Policy; and the Public Funding of Science)

  • • Technology and Sustainable Society (sessions on Energy; Biotechnology; Hazardous Waste)

  • • Sustaining Human Diversity (Indigenous Knowledge; Gender and Science; and Origins and Heritage of Pacific Peoples)

  • • Challenges and Opportunities in Change (Global Warming; Marine Acidification; Newly Emerging Infectious Diseases; Assessing Risk and Vulnerability in Natural Hazards; and Water Resource Management)

These symposia are still under development and the PSA Secretariat is currently refining the sessions and invited speakers. Individual scientists and scientific societies are still encouraged to contact the Local Organizing Committee and/or the PSA Secretariat (contact: Makoto Tsuchiya at or Burke Burnett at

A link to the Congress website can be found at: and on the PSA website at [End Page 555]

Session on Ocean Acidification at the 21st Pacific Science Congress

The Pacific Science Association Task Force on Marine Acidification in the Pacific (TAFMAP) is organizing an all-day session on ocean acidification at the 21st Pacific Science Congress to be held in June, 2007 in Okinawa, Japan.

Oceanic absorption of atmospheric carbon dioxide—a natural process that is accelerating due to increasing levels of anthropogenic CO2—is causing global-scale chemical changes in seawater, making them more acidic (i.e. lowering pH). The average pH of the world's oceans has dropped by about 0.1 pH units since the beginning of the industrial age. Unless there are early and deep cuts in global carbon emissions, oceanic uptake of anthropogenic carbon may result in a further drop 0.3 to 0.7 pH units by the year 2100. Current data, while early, are highly suggestive that ocean acidification may have enormous negative impacts on many marine organisms, ecosystems, and by extension the human societies and economies that depend on them. Nowhere is the need for additional research on this topic greater than in and for the Pacific region.

The session on ocean acidification, led by Dr. Yoshihisa Shirayama of the University of Kyoto and Dr. Peter Brewer of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, will include both natural and social scientists. The session will aim to identify knowledge gaps and research priorities in understanding the acidification phenomenon and its implications, including assessment of possible social and economic impacts. TAFMAP plans to produce a report based on the session at the Okinawa Congress, as an important source for educating the policy community and public in the region about ocean acidification and the potential threat it poses to the marine ecological systems upon which those societies depend.

Please consult the PSA website ( for more information.

Call for Papers

The PSA Task Force on Globalization and Human Dynamics is organizing a session at the 21st Pacific Science Congress in Okinawa in June 2007, and is inviting proposals for papers. The session will have two themes: 1) Livelihood and Cultural Preservation, and 2) Human Challenges and Survival Strategies.

The Pacific Science Association was created in 1920 at...