WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Nov. 21, 2006) - Scientists and engineers from across the world will gather next week to celebrate the 25th biennial Army Science Conference and its 50-year contribution to scientific research, education and technology.

Held in Orlando, Fla., Nov. 27-30, the conference will give government employees and academic and industry professionals from more than 30 countries the chance to discuss scientific progress relevant to the Army's mission.

Dr. John A. Parmentola, Army Science Conference chair and director of Army Research and Laboratory Management, said the conference provides a unique forum for scientists to assess the Army's current and future needs.

"The purpose of the Army Science Conference is to articulate how science and technology supports the Army vision for transformation and the future force," Parmentola said. "It provides a very unique opportunity for scientists to gather every two years to review progress."

This year, scientists will challenge each other on three main topics: Network Science, a new field of research led by the Army; Army Educational Outreach, a program that encourages youth to pursue math, science and engineering; and The Warfighter, a panel exploring the impact of technology on urban and counter-insurgency operations.

The conference will also feature keynote speeches by six Army-funded Nobel laureates; scientific presentations by students of the Army's Educational Outreach program; and an award ceremony honoring the most outstanding technical papers, international partnerships, and science and research projects.

"At this particular conference we are trying to show people that the way we did things 50 years ago affects the way we do them today and the way we will do them in the future," Parmentola said. "Scientists and engineers continue to build upon the progress made at the first Army conference, and their discoveries have a great deal of potential for our Soldiers."

While many of these discoveries are still in their infancy, Parmentola is confident that such recent technological advances as up-armored humvee-protection kits, lighter body armor and unmanned aerial vehicles are only the beginning.

"The Army Science Conference follows a long tradition of scientific progress," said Parmentola. "It promotes open dissemination of research results and ideas, and allows people to challenge each other, ensuring that work is correct and reliable."

Parmentola believes that topics discussed at this year's conference will impact the Army science community, its international partners and future scientists for years to come.

"The Army Science Conference recognizes important collaborations between our scientists and engineers here in the United States and our allies who partner to solve major problems for Soldiers who defend liberty, freedom and our basic values throughout the world," he said. "These individuals continue to change the way we understand the world. Their discoveries have expanded human imagination and enabled us to think about ways of solving problems that we couldn't think about before."

To learn more about the Army Science Conference and its contribution to the Army community, go to www.asc2006.com.