A magnitude 3.8 earthquake shook Baling (Kedah, Malaysia) at 8.26am, 20th August 2013. This raised some of the fundamental questions regarding the causes of earthquakes in Malaysia and primarily, our understanding and preparedness to handle earthquake disasters.
Issue 7 / 2014
The “Science Communication Workshop: Science needs a new language” on the 14th of November 2013 was held in conjunction with the World Innovation Forum KL 2013 at the KL Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur. This workshop was organised by the Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM) and the British High Commission. Approximately 30 participants from ASM, Petrosains and Malaysian Biotechnology Information Centre (MABIC) attended this workshop. Its aim was to connect the ‘why’s’ and ‘how’s’ to more effectively communicate science with the public.
The International AIDS Society (IAS) and National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) Research Fellowship is a fellowship programme established in 2009 to promote research in drug use and HIV. This year, it was awarded to four outstanding recipients during the 7th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2013) held in Kuala Lumpur. One of the recipients is Dr. Sin How Lim, a postdoctoral researcher from the University of Malaya. Scientific Malaysian News Editor, Azilleo Kristo Mozihim had the opportunity to speak to him at the IAS 2013 conference.
Prof. Sudesh Kumar (PhD, RIKEN Institute & Saitama University, Japan) is a Professor of Microbiology and Biotechnology at the School of Biological Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). His specialisation is in the field of microbiology, genetics and polymer chemistry of microbial polyesters (bioplastics). Prof. Sudesh has published more than 90 original research articles, two books, four patents, with more than ten PhD students graduated under his supervision, and he was awarded with multiple national and international grants. He is currently a RIKEN1 programme coordinator in USM. In this interview, we gain insights into his humble academic path to becoming an established scientist in biomaterials research.
I had a rare opportunity to pursue a degree in Biochemistry at Purdue University, USA with a scholarship from the Malaysian government. An American undergraduate degree is typically a 4-year programme.
I first arrived in Australia to pursue my degree in biomedical science in Brisbane in 2007 and made a decision to start my PhD four years later. At the time, I was looking forward to conducting research, publishing papers and going to international conferences. I had also planned to thoroughly enjoy the best of Brisbane and to keep exploring down under. I had plans of flying to Melbourne in the winter for skiing, shopping in Sydney, diving the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns, and hopping over to visit the ‘Middle Earth’ in New Zealand. To say the least, I was full of optimism and anticipation when I left for a short holiday in Malaysia before starting my PhD in Australia. But fate had other things to offer.
When I saw the release of the first batch of The Joy of x in bookstores a few years ago, I wanted to get the book immediately. Prior to that, I had enjoyed Strogatz’s 2003 bestseller Sync: How Order Emerges From Chaos In the Universe, Nature, and Daily Life, based on his highly influential research on synchronized networks and the first in a series of books which subsequently cemented his reputation as one of the most popular mathematics writers of recent years.