Singapore National Academy of Science - fasas

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20 Φεβ 2013 (πριν από 4 χρόνια και 8 μήνες)

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Achieving without investing in physical
infrastructure: Experiences from the
Singapore National Academy of Science


Prof Leo Tan Wee Hin


President

Singapore National Academy of Science






Scientists as building blocks for
national science academies


Scientists in a country work in various fields and
agencies


civil service, universities, research institutes,
polytechnics, and private sector


Their distribution in various agencies come in the way
of tapping their skills for collective gains even though
they are doing a good job on their own


When they are affiliated to a national science academy,
pooling of talent opens up more opportunities for
science promotion and science education as well as
collaboration with their parent agencies

Singapore National Academy of
Science (SNAS)


Established in 1967


Operating without a building


has been having
a virtual office even before the advent of the
Internet


Mailing address: c/o Singapore Science Centre


No full time employees


all volunteers


Only source of regular income is the S$500 paid
by each of its nine constituent societies for their
annual subscription fees


Principal mission objectives of SNAS


Promotion of science and technology to students and
the public


Even though the entire government machinery
supports a culture of S & T, SNAS still plays a role by
supporting capacity building through its various
initiatives


Big science is generally not the aim of SNAS


Emphasis is more on initiatives and programmes which
popularize S & T as well as those which meet certain
needs of scientists since these can reach out to a wide
audience and be done with minimal funding

Constituent Societies of SNAS


Singapore Association for the Advancement of Science


Singapore National Institute of Chemistry


Institute of Physics Singapore


Singapore Institute of Biology


Singapore Mathematical Society


Singapore Society for Biochemistry & Molecular
Biology


Singapore Society for Microbiology & Biotechnology


Singapore Institute of Statistics


Science Teachers’ Association of Singapore

Council of SNAS


Composition:

(a) President

(b) 2 Vice Presidents

(c) Honorary Secretary

(d) Honorary Treasurer

(e) Presidents and Honorary Secretaries of its 9 constituent societies
(18 members)


Having a lean Council found to be very important in getting
things done and moving forward with mission objectives


Structure involving nine constituent societies reporting to SNAS
provides multiplier effect for realizing mission objectives; the
nine constituent societies are like chapters but in different
disciplines

Programs for Science Education


In collaboration with the Singapore Science Centre, the
Singapore Association for the Advancement of Science,
and the Science Teachers’ Association of Singapore,
SNAS administers the Young Scientist Badge Scheme
for primary students and the Questa Club scheme for
secondary students. These initiatives promote inquiry
learning.


Other educational programmes run by each of our nine
constituent societies

Young Scientist Badge Scheme


Allows students to engage in project
-
based investigations in 15
disciplines:


Geology , Zoology, Mathematics


Physics, Ornithology, Botany


Astronomy , Chemistry, Entomology


Ecology, Meteorology, Environment


Information Technology, Food Technology and Water


Students need to complete tasks in an Activity Card and then get
these certified by the class teacher


Successful completion of Activity Card gets student a highly
coveted ‘I am a Young Scientist’ Badge in the appropriate
discipline


Over 60,000 badges awarded annually

Young Scientist Activity Card in
Physics

Questa Club Scheme


Not structured like that of Young Scientist
badge scheme but more open
-
ended


Secondary students can engage in a science
project of their liking


Successful completion of project gets them a
coveted Gold or Silver Questa badge, depending
on the quality of the project


About 10,000 Badges awarded annually

Programmes for Science Research
-

SNAS Young Scientist Awards



Two categories:

(a) Physical, Information & Engineering Sciences

(b) Biological & Biomedical Sciences


Each Award carries a cash prize of S$10,000, a
certificate and a trophy


Criteria: Below 35 years of age and resident in
Singapore for two years


Have been instrumental in nurturing and
encouraging young researchers in the sciences

Programmes for Science Research


COSMOS


Formerly known as the Journal of the
Singapore National Academy of Science


Revamped Editorial Board comprises eminent
scientists, including Nobel Laureates and
Fellows of the Royal Society


Published by World Scientific


Currently subscribed by over 370 institutional
libraries in the world

Programmes for Science Research


International Conferences


Each year, SNAS co
-
organizes an international
conference with at least one of its constituent societies


Variety of themes have been addressed over the years


Attracts international delegates to Singapore


Recent programmes
-

Forum on Creativity in the Arts,
Sciences and Technology, and 37
th

International
Physics Olympiad held in Singapore


Programs to give students national
recognition


By virtue of its position as a national
organization, SNAS awards certificates and
$S100 book vouchers to students from the
National University of Singapore and the
Nanyang Technological University who excel in
their final year examinations in the various
science subjects:


Physics, Chemistry, Biological Sciences, Microbiology,
Biochemistry, Mathematics and Statistics

Defacto commentator in
international scholarly literature on
issues related to S & T in Singapore


New role which SNAS embraced recently


not in our original
charter


Several articles relating to Singapore: for example, world’s first
nationwide broadband network, first use of electronic road
pricing to control traffic congestion, how SNAS is carving a
niche for itself despite not having its own premises and full time
staff, E
-
government, etc have been addressed in journals such as
Nature, Science, New Scientist, etc as well as in book chapters of
international publishers. (
No funding needed for writing these articles)


Serves to raise profile of academy


all articles bear the SNAS
byline


Scientists generally not keen to include other affiliations in their
journal papers

Funding


Always a constraint for any academy and SNAS is no exception


Circumvented by:

(a) riding on the commitment and enthusiasm of the SNAS Council

(b) leveraging on SNAS Council members’ parent institutions for
use of premises in organizing programs


contributes to more
effective utilization of a country’s built
-
up infrastructure

(c) seeking opportunities for collaboration


for example, SNAS
Young Scientist Awards done in collaboration with A*STAR, the
national funding agency for R & D.

(c) building a track record first and then seeking funds from other
agencies


SNAS experience has been very positive

(d) riding on the Internet


saving on postal expenses, etc.


Summarizing Comments


Spirit of volunteerism very much alive among scientists,
and needs to be harnessed for national good


A national science academy can open up a parallel track
for the promotion of S & T, and thus complement
government efforts in this direction


Science academies have a role to play in nation building
efforts but they need to do more to realize their true
potential


In developing countries, science academies can make a
difference by sensitizing government to the role of S &
T in socio
-
economic development as well as reaching
out to the public through their outreach programmes