USD Hosts Pacific Division Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Research on climate change, a demonstration of 3-D technologies, and policing in diverse communities are a few of the topics at a meeting of leading scientists taking place at the University of San Diego from June 14-17.

Nearly 450 professors and researchers are expected to attend the 97th annual meeting of the Pacific Division of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Several of the sessions are also free and open to the public.

“As an institution committed to research and exploration we’re excited to host the 2016 event,” said University of San Diego President James T. Harris III. “It’s fitting that it takes place here in San Diego since 2016 marks the Centennial Celebration of the first independent meeting of the Pacific Division which also occurred in America’s Finest City.” That first gathering, one of the first general science meetings in San Diego, took place at the San Diego High School and the U.S. Grant Hotel.

Climate change will be a major topic at the conference, including research on how ocean warming and increased acidity are affecting marine organisms. University of San Diego researchers will share their work on communicating the effects of climate change to diverse audiences. Several presentations have a local focus including sessions on the ecology of Mission Bay.

The meeting’s first-ever Scientific Maker Exhibit will showcase do-it-yourself lab equipment created with technologies such as 3-D printers and simple electronic sensors.

As communities across the country continue to grapple with shootings and other conflicts, participants will discuss how forensic psychology can make law enforcement agencies more culturally responsive.

“Engaging Science” is the theme for the 2016 event, said Frank Jacobitz, President of the AAAS’s Pacific Division and Professor at the University of San Diego Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering. “We want to reflect on where science has come in the last 100 years and where it is headed, as it continues to percolate in the social consciousness of citizens.”

The public is invited to free afternoon sessions on Friday, June 17 at the USD Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice. No RSVP is necessary. Topics will include climate change, the evolution of drug discovery from ancient to modern times, thermodynamics and life, and integrating the humanities and science and technology to find solutions to local and global challenges. (Click on the attachment to see a short video with Professor Jabobitz talking about the public sessions)

Community college professors and K-12 educators are eligible to attend the entire event at a reduced rate. For registration information and a complete meeting agenda go to www.sandiego.edu/events.

— Liz Harman