Tony is a member of the Student Math Action Research Group (SMART) McMaster. OPIRG is proud of Tony and happy to be part of the conference!
Student group hosts environmental conference
by Lynn Easson-Irvine
February 25, 2008
The McMaster Science for Peace (MSfP)/Pugwash Society is hosting its fifth annual conference on March 1. The student-led conference, entitled World On Thin Ice, will examine the environmental, political and social issues facing the planet today.
For the first time, the MSfP/Pugwash Society has invited Hamilton high school students to the conference to encourage an even younger generation to examine the ethical, social and global issues that affect world peace and sustainability.
“As scientists, it is our job to look for the answers to problems, and some of the world’s greatest problems propagate from issues of human conflict and environmental devastation,” said Alison Sills, associate dean of studies for the Faculty of Science. “The Faculty of Science is honored to sponsor MSfP in their efforts to bring awareness to McMaster and encourage the participation of local high schools.”
Pugwash was founded in 1957 by two Nobel Peace Prize winners, Joseph Rotblat (1995) and Bertrand Russell (1950). Both men won the prestigious prize for their efforts on nuclear disarmament. This international organization brings together both prominent scientists and ordinary citizens who are working together to reduce armed conflicts and the growing threat of environmental catastrophe.
“Our primary aim at McMaster is to make the community conscious of critical global issues,” said Rucha Utgikar, a fourth-year biochemistry student and vice-president of the MSfP/Pugwash Society. “By being proactive, we can take positive action towards these issues and promote peaceful solutions to world conflicts.”
The MSfP/Pugwash Society has been active for many years, but the group started hosting an annual conference five years ago in an effort to facilitate awareness and provide a venue for sharing ideas and promoting solutions.
Besides war, one of the greatest threats that humanity has brought upon itself is global warming, and nowhere is this more evident right now than the Arctic. This year’s conference will focus on the effects of global warming on the Arctic.
“The dramatic changes we are allowing to happen in the Arctic are not just environmental issues — they are political and socio-economic issues, and above all moral issues,” said Tony Zhang, a third-year health sciences student and conference co-chair. “If we continue to be oblivious to this crisis here at home, we will be doing it at our own peril.”
The conference is sponsored by the Bachelor of Health Sciences Program, Ontario Public Interest Research Group, Centre for Peace Studies, Titles Bookstore and Phil Wood, associate vice-president (Student Affairs) and dean of students. Community partners include Westdale Businesses and Vital Planet Health Shop. MSfP is supported by the Pugwash organization and Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs.
For more information, please visit msfpconference.weebly.com.