Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Trials And Tribulations of our reseach scientists

Many are very enthusiastic to do scientific research. They are often frustrated by the bureaucratic system and office politics as they rise from the rank and file. Many have left for better working environment overseas. This becomes our loss. What can we do about it?

Here are some of the cartoons on Research and Development (R & D) which I produced together with my friends during our more sober moments.

Difficulties in getting support for your ideas

In the colonial and early days of Singapore, getting support for proposals and projects from the bureaucratic system (especially the Treasury) can be quite a frustrating and stressful experience. This is particularly so when the approving officers are young, have no scientific background, inexperienced and are completely ignorant of what we were trying to do. Even the University had difficulties in getting funds for their academic research. Under these conditions it was very difficult to start any R & D project. We need passionate souls who are also courageous enough to challenge these people and the system to get things started.
Many changes have taken place since. The questions remain ‘Are these changes enough’? How else can they be improved to encourage more of our talents to go into research that our country needs?

Lee Kum Tatt

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