Brown University faculty will present at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the largest scientific gathering in the world, on topics ranging from global health to global warming. AAAS attracts thousands of researchers, policy-makers and journalists. AAAS will be held in Boston Feb. 14-18, 2008.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] - Seven Brown University faculty members are taking part in the biggest science meeting on the planet when the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting convenes in Boston Feb. 14-18, 2008.

The meeting is expected to attract 10,000 scientists, engineers, educators, policy-makers, journalists and members of the general public to discuss new research and emerging trends in science and technology. AAAS is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing science by serving as an educator, leader, spokesperson and professional association. AAAS also publishes Science, the world's largest peer-reviewed science journal.

Three Brown professors will make presentations at the meeting:

  • Heather Leslie, a marine conservation scientist and the Sharpe Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and Biology, will present at a Feb. 16, 2008, seminar on the Gulf of Maine and the value of services it provides - from fresh seafood to clean beaches - and how to avoid conflicts over how its waters and coastline are used. Leslie also speaks at a Feb. 17, 2008, symposium on the fast-growing field of resilience science, which can produce more effective ocean protection policies. A press release on her findings is available online.
  • Kenneth Miller, a professor of biology and a leading defender of the theory of evolution, will argue that pro-Darwin forces need to acknowledge the public appeal of "intelligent design" and make the case that science itself, including evolutionary biology, is predicated on the idea of "design" - the correlation of structure with function that lies at the heart of the molecular nature of life. Miller will make his case in a Feb. 17, 2008, symposium titled "Communicating Science in a Religious America." A press release on Miller's presentation will be available Sunday afternoon, Feb. 17, 2008.
  • Rena Wing, a professor of psychiatry and human behavior at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and the director of the Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center at The Miriam Hospital, leads a Feb. 17, 2008, symposium titled "Fighting the Global Obesity Epidemic: Small Steps or Big Changes?" At the session, Wing will argue that big changes in diet and exercise habits are needed to prevent and treat obesity, a clinical diagnosis for 300 million adults worldwide. A press release on her findings is available online.

In addition, Brown biology professor Osvaldo Sala has organized a symposium on sustainability science scheduled for Feb. 17, 2008. The session brings together 10 experts from across the country to talk about the concept of environmental sustainability and whether this goal can be met given global warming, population growth and other drivers of change.

Sala is the Sloan Lindemann Professor of Biology at Brown and director of the Environmental Change Initiative (ECI). Gaius Shaver from the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass., and a Brown professor, is a co-organizer of the panel. Stephen Porder, an assistant professor at Brown and a faculty member in the ECI, will moderate.

For interviews with Brown faculty during the AAAS annual meeting, contact Wendy Lawton in the Office of Media Relations at Brown (401) 837-6055.