At the meeting of the PSA Council during the 12th Pacific Science Inter-Congress in Fiji (July 2013), the Council announced the formation of a new ad hoc Committee on Scientific Activities (PSA-CSA)that will seek ways to define and develop a unique niche for PSA’s scientific activities, facilitate inter-sessional scientific activities between Congresses and Inter-Congresses, and help organize the content and activities of Congress/Inter-Congress sessions and keynote presentations. The PSA-CSA will liaise with the PSA Secretariat, Executive Board, as well as Local Organizing Committees of Congresses and Inter-Congresses. The five members of the PSA-CSA are:

Phil COWAN (Landcare Research; New Zealand)

HAN Sang-Bok (National Academy of Science; Korea)

Kevin JOHNSON (University of Hawaii, Manoa; USA)

LU Yonglong (Chinese Academy of Science; China-Beijing)

David SCHINDEL(Consortium for the Barcode of Life, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution; USA)

Prof. Chang-Hung CHOU (PSA Vice-President and PSA-CSA member ex officio; China-Taipei)

The Council also identified a possible new model for PSA activities that would help advance emerging new research topics that have region-wide importance to the Pacific. The PSA-CSA, Secretariat, and Executive Board will target new, emerging critical issues, and explore the possibility of PSA to provide modest funding to convene an initial meeting of key individuals and institutions from around the region in order to help put those topics “on the research radar”. This model was suggested by PSA’s (less formal) role between 2007 – 2009 to help put the issue of ocean acidification (OA) “on the map” as a critical topic for international research attention.

The PSA Board, Secretariat and PSA-CSA will explore options to use this new model for PSA’s inter-sessional activities that would: provide a valuable service to advance international research on emerging topics of regional importance; help ensure that the research agenda is both multidisciplinary and geographically inclusive; and demonstrate PSA’s relevance.