Monday, January 14, 2008

Harnessing Science & Technology for Our Development

Science & Technology affects every aspect of our lives. The difference between the rich and poor nations is their level of Science and Technology ( application of scientific knowledge). The question has been “how can we bridge this gap and catch up with the developed world?” Singapore’s answer was to develop our human resource as quickly as possible. This policy comes with a lot of risks and cost which we accepted and shared.

Science is not an easy subject to learn. Neither is it a profession that will offer a fantastic pay. We appealed to those who are interested in the “wonders” of science and the need for Science if Singapore is to survive and thrive. This was what my husband Dr. Lee Kum Tatt (LKT) and me did throughout our lives in the numerous positions LKT and me held, mostly on an honorary basis, with limited resources to do what could and had to be done.

Both LKT and I are the early Science graduates of our University. We fell in love with Science only with time because we did not know what to expect when we started. Now we understand the reactions we can expect when we promote and develop S & T into our development policies.

Our colleagues in many developing countries are still trying to do some of the things we did. Our experience should be useful to them. You will face many problems. Have faith that you have the capability to do what you want to do. Often you need courage to see it through. This is entirely dependent on yourselves. If more of our scientists dare to do what has to be done we can make a difference.The world, Singapore included, needs more scientists and technologists who dare to try new approaches through innovation and entrepreneurship to solve some of the many problems we are still facing today.

Mrs. Engeline Lee Eng Nio

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