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Scientific experts to present to policymakers at NAS

By: Melissa Schneider / Published: Dec 10,  2000

Washington, D.C. — Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium Director Barry A. Costa-Pierce, along with other representatives from the National Sea Grant College Program, will be attending a special session at the National Academy of Sciences to develop a blueprint for shaping "a science agenda for the environment." The purpose of the December 7-8 meeting is to help national policymakers better address the often-competing demands required to sustain the world for future generations.

"The first National Conference on Science, Policy, and the Environment will be the largest, most diverse group of scientists and decision makers brought together to date for the purpose of developing collective recommendations to the new Administration and Congress. Our purpose is to improve the scientific basis for environmental decision-making," said Peter Saundry, Executive Director of the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE), the nonprofit organization sponsoring the 2-day event. More than 400 participants representing the nation's leading academic, scientific, and civic organizations; agricultural, environmental, and business interests; and federal, state, and local governments are expected to attend. When their formal recommendations are delivered, they are expected to carry substantial weight with the new political power base in Washington.

The gathering will offer many firsts for those with a stake in marrying environmental and economic interests for the mutual benefit of all. A roster of luminaries will address the conference following the keynote address by noted marine biologist Sylvia Earle. Another highlight will be a preview of the first comprehensive report on "Federal Spending on Environmental Research and Development," a study that NCSE intends to release when the new Administration is in place. A special report on the proceedings and recommendations of the conference will be forwarded to the new Administration and Congress. NCSE will also make the report available to all conference participants and the media.

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