IUSS Alert - 12 (April 2006)
Information for and from the global soil science community
18th World Congress of Soil Science
The scientific program for the World Congress of Soil Science (WCSS), July 9-15, 2006 in Philadelphia, PA at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, will focus on multi-disciplinary soil science advances under the theme, 'Frontiers of Soil Science: Technology and the Information Age'. The event is being hailed by organizers as being a 'unique convergence of the world's leading professionals in soil science.' This will be the first World Congress of Soil Science held in the U.S. since 1960.
Presentations organized into topical symposia will be given by thousands of soil scientists from around the world on such topics as GIS technologies, land-use analysis, environmental soil biology, plant/soil interaction, hazardous waste remediation, precision agriculture, and more.
Two key symposia include, 'Global Priorities of Soil Science Research,' features leading soil scientists from North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and New Zealand who will discuss soil science research needs; 'Innovation, Speculation, and 'Disneyfication' in Soil Science Education,' keynote speakers will discuss soil science education with examples from the U.S. and Australia. For more on the symposia being presented, click here
Several distinguished scientists will be participating in the opening ceremony on Monday, July 9, including Dr. Michael Clegg, the Foreign Secretary of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences; Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, who will recognize the 2006 World Food Prize Laureate; and Dr. Ed De Mulder, Past President of the International Union of Geological Sciences, who will discuss the Year of Planet Earth initiative, which the United Nations recently approved for 2008. The plenary address will be given by Dr. Jeffrey D. Sachs, the noted economist at Columbia University and author of 'The End of Poverty.' Dr. Sachs is the Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia and serves as Special Advisor to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the Millennium Development Goals.
In addition, several noted soil scientists will be recognized at the Gala Banquet on Thursday, July 13, where the Dokuchaev Basic Soil Science Award, the Liebig Applied Soil Science Award, Kubiena Medals, and new Honorary Members of the International Union of Soil Sciences will be presented. Early registration before May 1 is $550, after this date it increases to $650 for conference participants. Special rates are available for students and companions. WCSS activities include cultural tours, educational workshops, and scientific exhibits. Additional information and registration can be found at: www.18wcss.org
Many years of planning have gone into preparations for the 18th World Congress of Soil Science (WCSS). Please take this opportunity to participate: share your research, teaching and service experiences with other World Congress participants. If you have any questions, contact Larry Wilding, and Lee Sommers,
Writing more effectively
With increasing pressure to publish more, and more effectively, there are also more guidelines for how to do that. Here some examples:
Tomislav Hengl and Mike Gould of the EU Joint Research Centre published The unofficial guide for authors (or how to produce research articles worth citing). It can be downloaded free of charge here
From Research to Manuscript, written in simple, straightforward language, explains how to understand and summarize a research project. It is a writing guide that goes beyond grammar and bibliographic formats, by demonstrating in detail how to compose the sections of a scientific paper. More details here
There is little or no formal teaching about the process of writing grants and many grant applications are rejected due to poor writing and weak formulation of ideas. Procuring grant funding is the central key to survival for any academic researcher in the biological sciences; thus, being able to write a proposal that effectively illustrates one's ideas is essential. Guide to Effective Grant Writing: How to Write a Successful NIH Grant is written to help the 100,000+ post-graduate students and professionals who need to write effective proposals for grants. More details here
There are also various companies that can help you with your manuscripts. Some of them produce nice Newsletters, click here
Urgent requests from the Secretary General
Would National Members who have not already done so inform me of their representative at the Council Meetings in Philadelphia.
In preparing the nominations for the elections for Division and Commission Officers in October 2005 some confusion arose between me as organiser of the election, National Members, the Division One Chair and the Pedometrics Commission about the nominations for Officers in Commission 1.5. The consequence of these misunderstandings was that individuals were listed as candidates for post for which they had not agreed to stand. When this came to light it was too late to recall the ballot. Following discussions it was decided to hold a fresh ballot for Officers in Commission 1.5. This ballot is being conducted electronically and is being hosted by the website of Commission 1.5 www.pedometrics.org it must be stressed however that all IUSS members are entitled to vote in this election.
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