(In the early days of ICUS, UTS always sent a large contingent of students and professors to participate in its annual conferences. It is therefore fitting that Greg Breland of the Class of '84 is now the executive director of ICUS.)
The International Conference on the Unity of the Sciences marked 25 years of support from its founder, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, by meeting in Washington D.C. on the theme "Science for the Benefit of Humanity" from November 24th to the 29th. Conference Chair, Tor Ragnar Gerholm, professor of Physics, Stockholm University and member of the Nobel Prize Nominating Committee, helped assemble a vast array of notables for this ICUS on topics ranging from "Information Technology" to "Life, Death and Eternal Hope." The 159 participants from more than 40 countries were truly rewarded for their efforts in which over 100 papers were presented and discussed in a three day period. In fact the discussions were so intense that many a coffee break was missed, but no one seemed to mind.
ICUs and PWPA held several joint activities such as the opening reception, opening plenary and three evening plenary sessions. Just being in the receiving line and shaking the hands of over 500 people from 121 countries was an exhilarating, if exhausting, experience. The joint opening plenary was set in the International Ballroom of the Washington Hilton and Towers and was adorned with flags from each of the 121 countries represented. Dr, Gerholm gave welcoming remarks noting that science was, at least in part, responsible for making Washington D.C. and America, in particular, the world's focal point for military and political power. He opined that with this power comes great responsibility. He was followed by the conference vice-chair, Norge Jerome, Professor Emeritus of Preventive Medicine and Associate Dean of Minority Affairs at the University of Kansas, who introduced the Founder. She observed that having a woman introduce the Founder, ICUs had come of age at twenty-one! After noting some of the endeavors she had been involved in, such as ICUS, PWPA and the University of Bridgeport, she said the best way to know and understand a man like Reverend Moon is to come to know the fruits of his labors. "I have come to know that his morality and integrity know no bounds and are manifested in the executives who administer his organizations. If you really want to know the man, look at his fruits. They say more about him than I can.
Several of the participants commented that Reverend Moon's Founder's address was "great." In it, Reverend Moon said that every parent wants their son or daughter to be better than them that every parent wants their children to be children of filial piety, loyal citizens, and saints. And following the logic that God is the parent of humankind, God wants this for each of his children too.
Throughout the five days, there was a festival-wide committee on Unification Thought entitled, "Constructing Theories for a Coming Age of Global Family." The topics addressed included "Religion v Science," "Theories of Evolution and Creation," "Re-construction of the Concept of the Family," "Theoretical Heirs to Socialism and Capitalism," "Equalization of Technology," and "Harmony of Humans in Nature."
If you would like a conference program, they can be obtained from the Secretariat's Office by e-mail at icus@compuserve or by phone at 606-277-3743.