Welcome to the NATPA’s 22nd Annual Conference.
This year’s theme is “Taiwanese Origin and Identity.” The Identity is a frequently discussed subject. We have invited seven speakers and panelists to discuss the Taiwanese identity from Culture, Nation, Population, Linguistics and Economy viewpoints. Mustn’t we be aware of the progress having made during the last decade or two that may lead to change our thought on each of these subjects? Let’s hear what our speakers say.
The Origin is a different matter. The now commonly accepted “Out of Africa” theory was established firmly only 15 years ago in 1987 at Allan C Wilson’s laboratory, in Berkeley, California. They applied successfully the then rapidly progressing biology, molecular biology, genetics, DNA and other fields of studies to Physical or Biological Anthropology. The conclusion and experiment most certainly have revolutionized our understanding on the evolution of human species. New knowledge frequently repudiates antiquated dogmatic interpretations based on subjective conjectures of the past. However, the new information has not traveled afar beyond the people in the core field, and public is still basking in an obsolete and yesteryears9 world of anecdotes. Three panelists will outline molecular evolution, history, and peopling. New ideas on the identity and lately unveiled knowledge on the origin will be introduced here. Our mission is to disseminate what we learn during this conference to fellow Taiwanese and others that may not have an easy access to such information.
Adding to the program are different subjects that should be of interest to our lives. We witness new happenings daily that sometimes appear matters of nuisance or demand our immediate awareness to those incidents. After the intense and serious discussions scheduled for over a daylong time, a change of subjects and scenario must be refreshing. The puppet show may bring fun and laughter, and appreciation of a Taiwan9s authentic culture; the senior exercise program will certainly benefit us all, young and old; and scenery tours that can relax our minds.
This is the conference for us. We are not expecting to reach or take home the unified consensus on any of the subjects from merely a little over one day’s discussion. Rather, the conference will bring us the golden opportunity to open a new window and look into the different world that may be filled with intriguing thoughts and ideas. We can renew our interest and explore into these new territories. This is also the time that all friends, young and old, share moments of togetherness in the passing of our lives. I trust that it is you who will decide how to enjoy the precious moments of togetherness, which the NATPA has painstakingly arranged and provided for your disposal. Grab the opportunity and enjoy your time while you are here in Denver, Colorado.
With my best wishes here to your life and career, now and future.
Jim Chen (鄭昭任)，Ph.D. NATPA President (2001-2002)
Print in 2002/08
Posted in 2015/12