Science and Technology have contributed immensely to the well-being of human kind. Better health and better nutrition led to exponential growth of population, which in turn led to sharp increase of demands of natural resources to satisfy the needs of human society, causing lasting changes of global environment. Indeed, humanity’s impact on the Earth System has driven the planet into a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene, in which many Earth System Processes are now dominated by human activities. As we know a highly non-linear system like Earth will experience large-scale, abrupt changes when certain parameters exceed some critical values and certain boundaries are crossed. Geological records show that this had happened in the past. What are the planetary boundaries in the epoch Anthropocene? Are we crossing those boundaries? In this talk, the current status of the planet will be assessed, the idea of sustainable development and the possible process to achieve its goals will be proposed. A new international scientific initiative, Future Earth: research for global sustainability will be introduced.
Professor Chao Han Liu
Academician of Academia Sinica
KT Li Distinguished Chair Professor, National Central University, Taiwan
Professor Chao Han Liu is the Distinguished Scholar at Academia Sinica and the KT Li Distinguished Chair Professor at the National Central University in Taiwan. He served as Vice President of Academia Sinica from 2006 to 2011 after serving as President of the National Central University for 12 years and as Chancellor of the University System of Taiwan for 4 years. He started his academic career at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1965 where he taught Electrical Engineering for 25 years. He is a radio engineer/scientist and an international leader in solar terrestrial physics and remote sensing research. Since the mid-90’s, he led a group of scientists with different disciplinary background to carry out global change and sustainability research in Taiwan and established Taiwan as a regional leader in this field internationally.
Professor Liu is an Academician of Academia Sinica; and a Foreign Member of the US National Academy of Engineering (NAE).