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  • Association Affairs


Update on Planning for the 22nd Pacific Science Congress, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 13–17 June 2011

In mid-October 2009, PSA Vice President Nancy Lewis and PSA Executive Secretary Burke Burnett conducted planning discussions for the 22nd Pacific Science Congress with Local Organizing Committee partners at the Malaysian Academy of Sciences. The Congress will be held 13–17 June 2011 in the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and is organized by the Malaysian Academy of Science (ASM), the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, the International Science, Technology and Innovation Centre for South-South Cooperation (ISTIC), the ICSU Regional Office for Asia Pacific, and PSA. Supporting organizations include the University of Malaya, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, and Universiti Putra Malaysia.

The overall theme of the PSC-22 is “Asia-Pacific Science: Meeting the Challenges of Climate Change and Globalization”. A tentative list of the Congress subthemes are:

  1. 1. Energy for Sustainable Development

  2. 2. Large Marine Ecosystems

  3. 3. Water Resources

  4. 4. Sustainable Development

  5. 5. Food Systems

  6. 6. Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

  7. 7. Ecological Economics

  8. 8. Health Challenges: Globalization, Urbanization, and Emerging Diseases

  9. 9. Forces of Nature: Reducing Vulnerability to Natural Hazards

  10. 10. Social Change and Globalization

  11. 11. Science Education, Capacity, and Communication

  12. 12. Ocean Acidification

  13. 13. Climate Change

The International Organizing Committee is composed of the full PSA Executive Board and PSA Secretariat. The Local Organizing Committee is composed of Datuk Ir. (Dr) Ahmad Zaidee Laidin FASc (Chairman), Mr Ho Koon Seng (MOSTI), Emeritus Prof. Dr. Nordin Hasan FASc, Prof. Dato’ Dr. Azizan Abu Samah (UM/PSA Treasurer), Prof. Dr. Abu Bakar [End Page 145] Salleh (UPM), Prof Dr Mashhor Mansor (USM), Prof. Dr. Idris Ghani (UKM), and Prof. Datuk Dr. Roziah bt. Omar (AEI).

Details on session planning and a call for submissions will be announced in the First Circular, and on the PSA and official Congress websites ( in early 2010.

PSA Activities

I. 3rd ICSU Regional Planning Consultation Meetings

Nancy Lewis and Burke Burnett attended the International Council for Science (ICSU) 3rd Regional Consultation in Penang, Malaysia from 13–14 October 2009. The meeting was organized by the ICSU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP) and hosted by the Centre for Global Sustainability Studies (CGSS), Universiti Sains Malaysia.

The aim of the Consultation was to bring together members of ICSU to assess progress of ROAP and plan its forthcoming activities. Participation was open only to members of ICSU (PSA was ICSU’s first Scientific Associate Member). Selected speakers were invited to speak on particular topics relevant to the programmes being developed by ICSU ROAP. ROAP has three main strategic priority areas: Natural Hazards and Disasters; Ecosystems; and Sustainable Energy.

II. PSA Co-Sponsors Public Film Screening on Ocean Acidification

As part of International Climate Action Day on October 24, 2009, PSA co-sponsored a free public screening of the documentary film “A Sea Change” ( in conjunction with, University of Hawaii–Manoa, the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, Hawaii Conservation Alliance, and Indo-Pacific Conservation Alliance.

PSA has targeted the subject of ocean acidification as of special concern to the Pacific region. PSA organized a post-screening Q&A scientific panel that included Dr. Rusty Brainard (Chief of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coral Reef Ecosystem Division); Dr. Paul Jokiel (researcher, Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology); Deanna Spooner (Director, Hawaii Conservation Alliance), Marvin Heskett (Surfrider Foundation Oahu Chapter Co-Chairperson), and Burke Burnett (PSA Executive Secretary). Leon Geshwind from Bishop Museum also gave a very well-received demonstration of “Magic Planet”—a smaller version of NOAA’s Science on a Sphere—that projects 3D images and maps onto an illuminated globe, which is a very effective tool to illustrate spatial and temporal phenomena such as projected increases in sea surface temperatures and decreasing pH levels through time.

The 85 minute film was an Official Selection at both the 2009 Seattle International Film Festival and San Francisco International Film Festival, and follows retired history teacher Sven Huseby on a quest to discover what is happening to the world’s oceans. His journey takes him to meet ocean scientists in Alaska, California...


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