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Smithsonian hosts tropical extinction debate in Panama

The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute will host the workshop "Debating the Tropical Extinction Crisis" in Panama from 21-23 August, 2008.

The event is sponsored by the Institute, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the Science Committee of the Smithsonian National Board, and the Smithsonian Office of the Undersecretary for Science.

Some scientists claim that up to half of all species on earth may disappear during our lifetimes. Others dispute this view. Opening with a public symposium at the Institute's Earl S. Tupper Research and Conference Center in Panama City on 21 August, a group of world-class tropical biologists will debate the fate of tropical species. A draft agenda follows. Videotapes of the 20-minute presentations will be posted on the Institute's web page beginning the following day.

Workshop participants will critically evaluate both the most crucial pan-tropical threats to biodiversity and strategies for reducing or mitigating these threats.

Workshop organizers William Laurance and S. Joseph Wright, both staff scientists at the Institute, expect to edit 6-8 papers on key themes from the workshop for publication in the journal Conservation Biology and produce 1-2 synthetic papers for publication in high-profile science journals.

Workshop participants will also contribute content for a public debate on the tropical extinction crisis at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. scheduled for 12 January 2009.


Contact: Beth King
703-487-3770, ext. 8216
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Page: 1

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