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Kimberly W. Land
(757) 864-9885

RELEASE: 00-016

For Release: March 30, 2000


TUESDAY, APRIL 4
World Bank scientist will discuss protecting the planet

     There is no doubt that the Earth's fragile environment is changing. Over the years our the natural environment has been taken advantage of in order to meet basic human needs, says environmental scientist, Dr. Robert Watson.

     Dr. Robert T. Watson is the Chief Scientist and Director for Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development at the World Bank, in Washington, D.C. Watson will present "Protecting Our Planet - Securing Our Future: Linkages Among Global Environmental Issues and Human Needs" at a colloquium at 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 4, at NASA Langley's H.J.E. Reid Conference Center.

     Watson believes that the Earth's physical and biological systems, which provide us with the goods and services essential for survival, are being degraded. In his presentation, Watson will demonstrate the scientific and policy inter-linkages among these global environmental issues, their relationship with local and regional environmental issues and with our ability to meet basic human needs in a sustainable manner. Also, Watson also will emphasize the global environmental problems that are caused by economic and population growth.

Media Briefing

     A media briefing will be held at 1:15 p.m. in the Wythe Room of the Reid Conference Center, 14 Langley Blvd. at NASA Langley. Media who wish to attend the briefing should contact Kimberly W. Land at (757) 864-9885.

     In May 1996, Watson joined the World Bank as Senior Scientific Advisor at the Environment Department. He is also Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Before joining the Bank, Watson was Associate Director for Environment in the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President in the White House. Prior to joining the Clinton White House, Watson was Director of the Science Division and Chief Scientist for the NASA's Office of Mission to Planet Earth.

     Watson received his doctorate in Chemistry from London University in 1973 and has received many national and international awards and prizes for his contributions to science, including the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility in 1993.

     The public is invited to the Sigma Series lecture at the Virginia Air and Space Center that evening, at 7:30 p.m.

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