April 2010

Life Sciences and the Issues of Our Time

A Public Affairs Symposium You Won’t Want to Miss


NFTHContinuing its tradition of staging a premiere symposium on a major public policy issue at each annual meeting, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology’s Public Affairs Advisory Committee has decided to go global at Experimental Biology 2010 in Anaheim, Calif., by sponsoring a symposium titled “Life Sciences and the Issues of Our Time.”

The symposium’s theme consists of recommendations from the National Research Council’s report “A New Biology for the 21st Century: Ensuring the United States Leads the Coming Biology Revolution.” The report, released this past fall, examined how recent technological and scientific advances in biological science and the growing interdisciplinary collaborations between scientists and engineers can be applied to solve major, interrelated and, heretofore, largely intractable problems confronting a world with declining resources and a growing population.

The Public Affairs Advisory Committee has arranged a stellar lineup of speakers, starting with the symposium chair, Phillip Sharp of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Sharp, a Nobel laureate, was co-chair of the NRC report. (The report’s other co-chairman, Keith Yamamoto of the University of California, San Francisco, is a member of the Public Affairs Advisory Committee and a longtime public citizen of science, serving on numerous National Institutes of Health, scientific society and NRC panels.)

Other speakers include:

Nina Fedoroff, a plant biologist at The Pennsylvania State University and longtime ASBMB member, who currently serves as science and technology adviser to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. It also was announced recently that Fedoroff is president-elect of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Catherine Woteki, a former senior official in the U.S. Department of Agriculture during the Clinton administration, who is now a senior executive with Mars Inc. and is an active member of the American Society for Nutrition.

Gary Stacy, a plant biologist at the University of Missouri, who chairs the public affairs committee of the American Society of Plant Biologists and the Department of Energy’s Biological and Environmental Research Advisory Committee.


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