On the 30th of June 2013, the 7th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention 2013 was held at the KL Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur. The conference was officiated by the IAS President and Nobel Laureate Prof. Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, Director of the Regulation of Retroviral Infections Unit at the Institute Pasteur in Paris and International Conference Chair for IAS 2013, and Adeeba Kamarulzaman, Local Co-Chair of IAS 2013 and Director of Centre of Excellence for Research in AIDS (CERiA) of University of Malaya.
When I was working at CERN, the perennial question posed to me by friends and family was, “What is the use of fundamental research?” Despite my slight indignation over the seeming short-sightedness of the question, it is not difficult to see where people are coming from.
Datuk Dr. Mazlan Othman is Malaysia’s first astrophysicist. She was the founding director of Angkasa, the Malaysian National Space Agency, and has played an instrumental role in sending our first Malaysian astronaut to space. She is currently serving as Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and Deputy Director-General of the UN office in Vienna. In a recent interview with Scientific Malaysian, she provided us with a privileged insight into her work and passion for the space sciences.
In 2012, Tan Sri Prof Ong was given the Merdeka Award in recognition for his “outstanding contribution to the research and development of the chemistry and technology of palm oil and for his significant role in advocating and promoting Malaysian palm oil industry to the world”. To date, Tan Sri Prof Ong is still actively involved in scientific non-government organisations, including the Malaysian Invention and Design Society (MINDS), which he founded in 1986.
After World War II, the U.S. government recognised the importance of scientific research for the country’s economic growth, public welfare and national interest. Technology transfer or commercialisation of technology became important in boosting innovation from private and governmental entities. Development or discovery of a pharmaceutical drug is an example of modern day technology transfer. Emergence of technology transfer has created alternative career options for scientists and engineers such as patent agents and scientific advisors.