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Soil Roundup

July 14, 2006

Chances are dirt’s something you want less of in your life. But good dirt’s actually something people need a lot more of.


Saving the world’s soil. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Between the World Cup and the Tour de France, much of the world’s attention is on Europe this summer. But in Philadelphia, this very week, the US is hosting an international event that’s far more important: The World Congress of Soil Science. That’s right, the science of dirt. Although it’s nothing more than a fine film coating our planet, we rely on soil for almost all of our food. And a big focus of this conference will be preserving and enhancing soil to fight hunger. Every month, 200,000 people die in sub-Saharan Africa because they can’t grow the food they need to survive. Worldwide, five and a half million children die each year of malnutrition. Soil scientists meeting at the congress are working on ways to manage soil and water resources to stem this disaster.

I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.