Owen Gaffney, director of communications at the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), Stockholm, Sweden, has been confirmed as a featured speaker at the 2011 ASTC Annual Conference in Baltimore. The IGBP, a project of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, is one of four international programs coordinating global-change research. A respected science journalist, Gaffney was previously head of publications at the Natural Environment Research Council in the U.K., where he edited the award-winning magazine Planet Earth and launched the online news site www.planetearth.nerc.ac.uk. He has written for the BBC’s Focus magazine and the AAAS journal, Science.
Gaffney is currently directing communications for the conference “Planet Under Pressure: New Knowledge Toward Solutions,” to be held in London next March in advance of the United Nations summit on sustainable development, “Rio +20,” scheduled for June 2012. The conference will outline the latest research on the state of the planet and discuss a new contract between science and society. These two events will help launch a ten-year research initiative on global sustainability.