Special Committee on Environmental Pesticide Science
Char: TAMURA, Hiroto
The Environmental Pesticide Science Committee was founded in 1983 by scientists who participated in a joint workshop on Environmental Pesticide Science of Japanese Pesticide Science Society and Professor Choseki Furusaka's project on " Behavior of synthetic chemicals in the soil environment " supported by a Grand-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan in 1977. This committee aims to discuss the environmental issues of pesticides from a scientific point of view and to exchange information. The first meeting was held at the University Farm of Tokyo University of Agriculture at Atsugi in 1983. Since then, the meeting is held annually in various places throughout Japan in the summer or autumn.
The meeting in 2003 was the twentieth anniversary. The meeting was held as a symposium by inviting speakers from not only environmental pesticide scientists of academia and industries but also government officers, agricultural distributors, farmers and consumers. Selected topics on environmental issues of pesticides were presented by the invited speakers and discussed among the participants. Topics characterizing recent meetings included pesticide behavior and its prediction by modeling, workers exposure to pesticides, ecological risk assessment, metabolic fate, biological pesticides, persistent organic pollutants and risk communication. These topics were selected to meet the immediate needs of the participants and concerns of the Japanese society. Meeting duration are two days. Participants are asked to stay at the same lodge to maximize chances for discussion even at night after the meeting dinner. The " midnight discussions " help many participants build personal contacts and a scientific network.
Recent grave concerns of the Japanese society on environmental issues of pesticides has led to an expansion of this field from natural sciences to include social sciences. Environmental pesticide scientists are not only required to intensively study the safety of pesticides but also to be able to explain the environmental issues to the public. The annual meeting provides a unique chance for the members in the field of natural sciences to learn the viewpoint of the social sciences.