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WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Under Secretary for Science Dr. Raymond L. Orbach will travel to Okinawa, Japan this weekend to participate in the G8 Science and Technology Ministerial hosted on June 15 by Fumio Kishida, Japanese Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs, Science and Technology Policy, Quality-of-Life Policy, and Regulatory Reform.  While in Japan, Dr. Orbach will meet with ministers and other high-level government officials from G8 countries, the European Union, China, India, Korea, Mexico, the Phillipines, and South Africa to discuss a wide range of global science and technology issues.  Specifically, Dr. Orbach will encourage multilateral collaboration in the development of next-generation large-scale research facilities to advance scientific discovery and address pressing global energy challenges.

"The G8 Science and Technology Ministerial is an important step in coordinating the construction and use of large-scale research facilities, and ensuring access to these facilities for all scientists solely on the basis of the quality of their work," Dr. Orbach said.  "The G8 governments realize that these facilities are becoming so expensive that they are beyond the financial reach of individual nations, and international collaborations that share the costs of development, construction, and operation are required."

During the meetings, Dr. Orbach and his counterparts will explore opportunities for increased collaboration in the research and development of clean energy technologies to promote a low-carbon society, as well as ways to promote sustainable development around the globe, through scientific research related to water, food and energy supplies, infectious diseases, and biodiversity.

The G8 Science and Technology Ministerial is one of a series of G8 ministerial meetings leading up to the G8 Heads of State meeting in July of this year, and builds upon U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman's trip to the G8 Energy Ministerial in Aomori, Japan earlier this month.  Dr. Orbach is leading the U.S. delegation at the request of Dr. John H. Marburger, III, the President's Science Adviser and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

The G8 comprises the G7 nations (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States)-which together account for about two-thirds of the world's economic output-plus Russia, which began participating in a portion of the meetings starting in 1994.  The leaders of the largest industrialized democracies have met annually since 1975 to discuss major economic and political issues.

DOE's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the U.S. and helps ensure world leadership across a broad range of scientific disciplines.  The Office of Science supports a diverse portfolio of research at more than 300 colleges and universities nationwide, manages 10 world-class national laboratories with unmatched capabilities for solving complex interdisciplinary scientific problems, and builds and operates the world's finest suite of scientific facilities and instruments used annually by more than 21,000 researchers to extend the frontiers of all areas of science.  For more information, visit DOE's Office of Science.

Learn more information about Secretary Bodman's participation in the G8 Energy Ministerial.

Media contact(s):

Bethany Shively, (202) 586-4940