University of Pittsburgh
February 18, 2008

Pitt to Host International Conference, "Beyond Global Warming," Feb. 28

Pitt anthropology professor Jeffrey H. Schwartz to be installed as president of the World Academy of Art and Science
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-Slash and burn agriculture in Vietnam, switching to more energy-efficient light bulbs in the United States-both of these impact the climate and contribute to a patchwork quilt that constitutes the global picture. To address the situation, "Beyond Global Warming," an international conference encompassing presentations by those in the sciences and arts, will be held from 9 a.m. to 5:10 p.m. Feb. 28 in the University of Pittsburgh's Sennott Square, 210 S. Bouquet St., Oakland.

The conference also will mark the installation of Jeffrey Schwartz, Pitt professor of anthropology and history and philosophy of science and fellow in the University's Center for Philosophy of Science, as president of the World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS) at 9:15 a.m. The University will house WAAS during Schwartz's four-year tenure as president.

Sponsored by Pitt's School of Arts and Sciences Dean's Office and Department of Anthropology as well as WAAS, the conference is divided into two sections. The morning session and discussion will focus on "Global Challenges of the Future." Tariq Banuri, senior fellow and director of the Future Studies Program at Stockholm Environmental Institute, Sweden, will deliver the morning keynote address at 10 a.m., titled "The Great Transition: Is the Past a Key to Global Challenges of the Future?"

Banuri's address will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Robert J. Berg, chair and member of WAAS board of trustees and director of the United Nations Association Graduate Fellows Program in Washington, D.C.; Joseph Alter, professor and chair of Pitt's Department of Anthropology; Agni Vlavianos Arvanitis, professor and president and founder of Biopolitics International Organisation, Athens, Greece; and Bruno Maresca, professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Salerno, Italy.

The afternoon program will address the question "Can the Arts and Sciences Collaborate on Global Issues?" Ismail Serageldin, director of the Library of Alexandria and chair of BioVision Alexandria in Egypt, will present the keynote at 2 p.m., titled "Complex Realities: Science, Humanities, and Art."

Serageldin's address will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Jose I. dos R. Furtado, chair and secretary-general of WAAS and visiting professor in the Centre for Environmental Policy at Imperial College, London, UK; Colin MacCabe, international film producer (most recent film is "Derek," 2008), Distinguished Professor of English and Film at Pitt, and a professor in the Department of English and Humanities at Birkbeck University, London, UK; and Juliana Spahr, associate professor and W.M. Keck Chair in Creative Writing at Mills College, Oakland, Ca.

Walter Truett Anderson, outgoing WAAS president and founding fellow of the Meridian International Institute, San Francisco, Ca.; Arvanitis; Banuri; Berg; Furtado; MacCabe; Serageldin; and Spahr will give an overview of the conference from 4 to 5 p.m., with Swartz giving closing remarks at 5 p.m.

Additional sponsors are Pitt's Asian Studies Center, Global Studies Program, European Studies Center, and Graduate School of Public Health. For a full schedule, visit