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Celebrating 50th Anniversary of International Geophysical Year and Supporting an International Geophysical Year-2 in 2007-7

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Location: Washington, DC


CELEBRATING 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF INTERNATIONAL GEOPHYSICAL YEAR (IGY) AND SUPPORTING AN INTERNATIONAL GEOPHYSICAL YEAR-2 (IGY-2) IN 2007-08 -- (House of Representatives - March 24, 2004)

Mr. BONNER. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res. 189) celebrating the 50th anniversary of the International Geophysical Year (IGY) and supporting an International Geophysical Year-2 (IGY-2) in 2007-08, as amended.

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Mr. UDALL of Colorado. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, as its author, I obviously support passage of this concurrent resolution. I am pleased to be here today with the gentleman from Alabama (Mr. Bonner) to discuss what the gentleman has just acknowledged is an important resolution.
I also want to extend my thanks to the gentleman from New York (Chairman Boehlert) and the ranking member, the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Gordon), for making it possible for the House to consider H. Con. Res. 189 today. I am also grateful to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Ehlers), the chairman of the Subcommittee on Environment, Technology, and Standards, for his support of the resolution.

Last year, I introduced this resolution calling for a worldwide program of activities to commemorate the 50th anniversary for the most successful global scientific endeavor in human history, the International Geophysical Year of 1957 and 1958. It is hard to imagine not commemorating the historic global undertaking that was the historic International Geophysical Year, popularly remembered as the IGY.

The 60 nations and 60,000 scientists who participated in the IGY left an ongoing legacy that is beyond measure. Satellite communications, modern weather forecasting, modern natural-disaster prediction and management, from volcanic eruptions to El Nin 6o, they are legacies of IGY scientific activities that spanned the globe and breached the space frontier.

In a broader context, the IGY marked the coming of age of international science. Globally coordinated activities which save millions of lives today, such as the campaigns to contain and find cures for SARS and AIDS, owe their working model to the scientists from throughout the world who banded together to implement the IGY.

My resolution calls for an IGY-2 that would be even more extensive in its global reach and more comprehensive in its research and applications. After all, the frontiers of science are continually expanding. The biological sciences, genetics, computer sciences, and the neurosciences, among others, have made tremendous advances worldwide during the half
century since the IGY.

IGY-2 would not only promote research, but it would also provide a stage for showcasing the new scientific developments and a forum for presentation and discussion of their continually unfolding significance. It is entirely fitting that the United States take the lead in launching an IGY-2 and that Congress, and particularly the House, provide the impetus.

In 1985, to mark the 35th anniversary of the IGY, Congress passed a resolution authored by Senator Spark Matsunaga calling for a year of globally coordinated space activity. At President Reagan's direction, the U.S. led a worldwide planning effort that culminated in the implementation of an International Space Year in 1992, which made major scientific contributions, notably in the field of global environmental monitoring.

So we have both scientific and congressional precedent for the U.S. to take the lead internationally in calling for an IGY-2. I join my colleagues along with the gentleman from Alabama (Mr. Bonner) to join me in promoting this initiative in support of modern science and international scientific cooperation. I urge adoption of this resolution.

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Mr. UDALL of Colorado. Mr. Speaker, I have no further requests for time, and I yield back the balance of my time.

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