Plant geneticist Emil Javier, who spearheaded the creation of the Institute of Plant Breeding (IPB) that popularized high-yielding crops and disease-resistant varieties, is the country’s newest national scientist. Read more
The launching of the Salinlahi Science Centre honours and pays tribute to esteemed scientists of the Philippines, who are considered the super heroes of science.
This is achieved through futuristic exhibits on the careers and life stories of the scientists.
According to a recent press release, the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) Philippines unveiled the Science Centre.
Celebrating the National Scientists
Doing so had revealed a new world of virtual and digital celebration of the works and valuable contributions of the 13 living National Scientists. NAST is one of the advisory bodies of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
The interactive exhibits, managed by DOST-NAST Philippines, is housed at the Philippine Science Heritage Centre or Salinlahi at the DOST Complex in Bicutan, Taguig City. The 13 National Scientists featured in the centre come alive in avatar where visitors will discover their minds and their careers, which reflect their unquenchable curiosity and thirst for learning. The displayed avatars of said science super heroes will hopefully serve as inspiration to the next generation of scientists.
The Salinlahi Science Centre
The upgrading of the Centre is a project that will be divided into three phases. It is envisioned to become the country’s hub of scientific pride, where the 13 National Scientists dedicated their work of science to make a better society and stronger country.
The Philippine Science Heritage Centre or Salinlahi, which means heirloom of a generation, was created under Republic Act 9107 or the Philippine Science Heritage Centre Act.
It was to be the repository of the achievements and outstanding accomplishments of the Filipino community in the areas of science and technology. More of the works of these 13 National Scientists and other experts will be featured in the upcoming celebration of the 2019 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) from 17-21 July 2019 at the World Trade Centre, Pasay City.
National Science and Technology Week
As reported, the NSTW is celebrated every third week of July to highlight the significant contributions of science and technology (S&T) to national development.
Additionally, the celebration has become a platform for heralding S&T advocacy in the country.
This year’s theme, “Science for the People: Enabling Technologies for Sustainable Development,” underpins the event’s showcase on the latest innovations in technologies, products, and research that can help achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This annual event of the DOST will feature the latest technologies and innovations in the fields of agriculture, enterprise development, industry, emerging technologies, health and nutrition, information and communication technology, and disaster preparedness.
It is the perfect venue for the science community and science enthusiasts, particularly the technology developers and investors, including the S&T service providers and clients, to interact, exchange ideas, and pursue potential opportunities in technology commercialization and linkages.
Written by Teresa Umali in Open Gov. Read original article here.
The National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), in its annual scientific meeting from July 10-11, concluded that the country needs more researchers, and an improved government procurement process is vital to achieve this.
President Rodrigo Duterte signed a law granting incentives and assistance to overseas Filipino experts, scientists, inventors, and engineers who will return to serve the country. The Republic Act No. 11035, also known as the Balik Scientist Act, would address the Philippines’ research and development needs.
William Dar, the former Agriculture secretary, said that with scientific interventions, the country’s farming sector would be able to increase yields and farmers could venture into value-addition, or the production of finished or semi-processed products for export.
Citing figures from the UN Trade Map, Dar, in one of his columns in The Manila Times, said the country was still a net food importer as it exported $5.7 billion worth of farm and food products in 2016 and imported $11 billion, for a deficit of $5.9 billion.
In comparison, Thailand exported $42.2 billion in farm products in 2016 and bought from abroad $15.7 billion for a surplus of $26.5 billion; Indonesia, $36.5 billion in farm exports and $17.9 billion in agricultural imports for a surplus of $18.6 billion; Malaysia, $26.7 billion in farm exports and $17.4 billion in agricultural imports for a surplus of $9.3 billion; and Vietnam, $23.1 billion in farm exports and $14.5 billion in agricultural imports for a surplus of $8.6 billion.
Dar blamed the inadequate number of Filipino scientists for the country’s being a laggard in farm exports compared with its Southeast Asian neighbors.
Citing Unesco recommendations, he said the Philippines had a very low researcher/scientist ratio per million of people. The agency recommends 380 scientists/researchers per million population, but the Philippines only has 189 researchers/scientists per million.
This means the country needs at least 19,000 more scientists.
Dar said countries that are industrialized exceed the Unesco recommendation: Israel has 8,300 researchers/scientists per million population, South Korea has 6,900, Singapore 6,700, Malaysia 2,100, and Thailand, 974.
Chief astronomer Dario de la Cruz of the state-run Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) told The Manila Times that some government-funded scientific facilities needed a “revamp” or relocation to perform more efficiently.
“Ang observatory pa nga lang natin, hindi na ideal site ito for astronomy dahil sobrang luma na [Even our observatory is not an ideal site for astronomical activities anymore because of its old and worn out facilities],” said de la Cruz.
Pagasa’s astronomical observatory, which recently invited more than a thousand sky watchers for the rare “super blue blood moon event” at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, has been standing on the site in Quezon City since 1954.
-Written by Mary Gleefer Jalea in The Manila Times with report from Conrad Cariño. See original link here.
Returning Filipino experts, scientists, inventors and engineers would receive more incentives as soon as the Balik Scientist Act would be enacted into law next month. Read more