“Pamanang Handog in Bayan [Legacy as Gift to the People].” This theme aptly described the five books, the latest in the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) “Science for the People” book series that was launched at a hotel in Quezon City on June 14.
Science Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña and his co-authors described the importance and content of books that featured success stories and life-changing innovations in research and development (R&D) programs and projects of DOST during the six years under his direction. .
The books were ‘Science for the Arts’, ‘Science for Healing’, ‘Science for Resilience’, ‘Science for Awareness’ and ‘Science for Business’.
The first five books in the series were launched in November 2021. They were: “Science for Change”, “Science for Innovation”, “Science for Human Capital”, “Science for Cooperation” and “Science for Communities”.
Capture hard work
“The books will immortalize the hard work and dedication of our scientists, researchers, communicators and public servants so that our readers will better appreciate the importance of science, technology and innovation in our lives,” said de la Peña. when launching the books.
Through the books, “so many stories have been told,” he said.
“From the mouths of our scientists and researchers as well as the target beneficiaries of their noble works, [we] would see how conducting S&T-related research and selecting the brains of our scientific heroes would give us a huge chance to achieve inclusive and sustainable development…while addressing the challenges and limitations of a specific field or sector in our country,” he said.
They highlighted innovative technologies and products that have generated local jobs and created livelihoods and other opportunities, he said.
De la Peña said in Filipino that the books were the “legacy” he and his DOST colleagues could give away when his tenure at the department ends on June 30, and thanked everyone who helped the department in their quest. . for science for the people.
“Science for Art”
Executive Director Dr Marieta Sumagaysay of the National Research Council of the Philippines, co-author of the book, said she believes “there is a dialectical relationship between the arts and humanities with science, technology and innovation”. [STI].”
“It is creativity that fuels the construction of worldviews, of which science is one among many, the development of tools that improve ways of life. The arts and humanities are where creativity is recognized, honored and nurtured,” she explained.
Sumagaysay pointed out that the book “celebrates the milestones” of DOST “whenever science and technology [S&T] merge with the arts.
“There’s no [STI] without the arts and humanities. To leverage inventiveness, we believe it is necessary to recognize that art and science share many basic requirements and techniques that foster creativity and innovation. I believe science is about creativity, so art is as important as science,” Sumagaysay explained.
“Science to Heal”
The book focuses on the department’s initiatives that led to the fight against the ongoing pandemic, said executive director Dr. Jaime Montoya of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD), co -author of the book, with the assistant of the DOST. Secretary Maridon O. Sahagun.
He stressed how “investment in R&D is essential” to address or prevent emerging health crises.
Montoya said the urgent health crisis posed by Covid-19 at the end of 2019 served as an “urgent call” in the health field to quickly seek solutions or innovations that will respond to the challenges.
This led DOST-PCHRD to launch the “Addressing and Responding to Covid-19 through Health Research Program”, to provide support and funding to research projects that have been “instrumental” to the country’s response to the pandemic. .
Among those featured in the book, it touched on improving and expanding the country’s testing capacity for Covid-19, providing support to health workers, mapping the spread of the disease to evidence-based policy making, researching and validating possible treatment regimens, and participating in vaccine clinical trials and generating data on Covid-19 vaccines.
“Science for Resilience”
Undersecretary Renato U. Solidum, for Scientific and Technical Services, said as the book’s co-author, the difference between disaster victims and victors is how they handle adversity. The former suffers from the same repeated history; the latter moves forward and builds capacity.
Solidum said, “This book is inspired by the context of Filipino resilience – not just surviving amid repeated loss and damage – but living, coping, thriving and adapting to the risks. And we at DOST have translated those lessons into innovations and technologies.
The book lays the scientific groundwork in terms of early warning systems, man-made infrastructure and physical settlements, environment, water and agriculture, transport and energy, a- he added.
Solidum explained, “Innovations for disaster risk reduction and management are our way of connecting with the Filipino people and giving them aspiration that we are on the path to disaster resilience.
“Science for Awareness”
Director Richard P. Burgos of the Science and Technology Information Institute (DOST-STII) said national awareness of ITS has more than quadrupled from 6% in 2017 to 24.5% in 2021, which in itself is a great achievement in terms of communicating STIs to people.
He revealed that six of DOST’s social media platforms have a total reach of $30 million and his media coverage in 2021 generated an advertising value of 9.8 billion pesos and a public relations value of 13.5. billion pesos.
Quoting Anne Roe “Nothing in science is of value to society if it is not communicated,” Burgos said, “This is where science communication plays a vital role” and DOST-STII becomes crucial importance.
The DOST-STII provides public access to its products and services, such as S&T Post, Balitang RapiDOST, DOST Digest, DOST website, DOST app, press conferences and webinars, seminars and DOSTv episodes.
The multi-award winning DOSTv airs on two TV shows, four online shows, 10 segments, has 13 million Facebook reach and has had 2,000 episodes since 2016.
Meanwhile, Starbooks, or the research-based science and technology-based open kiosk system, has been installed in more than 5,800 locations across the country. It provides access to the DOST library collection in remote areas without internet or electricity.
The Department of Education has embraced Starbooks and pledged to pre-load it on all computers and gadgets in the regions.
“Science for Business”
Atty Director. Marion Ivy D. Decena, of DOST-Technology Application and Promotion Institute, said the book is one of the best ways DOST could provide to reach and inspire as many of the country’s inventors, innovators and technopreneurs as are on their journeys towards creating their own businesses.
“We have supported in support programs to help each of them achieve a concept prototype, protect their intellectual properties, create a working model for market and pilot testing, and commercialize their technologies,” she said.
Successes in areas such as agriculture and natural resources, health and nutrition, advanced engineering and robotics have mitigated disasters, eradicated malnutrition and public health problems , improve business operations and productivity, and protect the environment, Decena explained. .
“Reading from the lives of our noble partners, I learned and realized a thing or two: that having a creative or inventive mind is not simply measured by social class, level of education or disposition in life, because ultimately anyone can become successful through science for business,” Decena emphasized.
“The Greatest Achievement”
Responding to the book “Science for Healing”, Dr. Nina G. Gloriani, head of the DOST Vaccine Expert Panel (VEP), emphasized that she considers her involvement with DOST VEP as her “greatest achievement” in her professional life/career. in public health.
“I admire the leadership of DOST, which has time and time again devoted heart and soul to its many accomplishments, some of which are featured in these books,” she said.
Citing parts of the book where the role of VEP was highlighted, Gloriani said the chapter on vaccine evaluation and selection (VES) highlighted the streamlining process of DOST and other relevant agencies, which have helped advance the country’s access to Covid-19 vaccines.
The VES Working Group (TG-VES), she added, has established bilateral and multilateral collaborations on vaccine clinical trials.
He also developed a national roadmap for vaccine development and manufacturing that will guide the country towards vaccine self-sufficiency and self-reliance in the future.
“A great contribution of DOST is its very strong support for the World Health Organization Solidarity Trial Vaccines which have put the Philippines on the global map of vaccine collaborations,” she said.
The major contribution of the TG-VES, through the VEP, included its engagement in information and communication activities, which explained the Covid-19 vaccine issues to all sectors, including those at the local level, a noted Gloriani.
Empowering Inventors and Scientists
Written in plain language, the “Science for Business” provides diverse examples that can target a mix of investors, inventors, innovators, policy makers, students and entrepreneurs, said Greg Çiocson of the DOST Technology Transfer and Business Development Team in their response to the book.
In the chapter on technology development, “We will see how inventors and scientists can be empowered, how other actors in technology transfer have expanded their skills in technology management, and its context in the organization, the industry, market and country,” Çiocson said.
Those who also gave their answers to the books were: NRCP researcher Dr. Rochelle Irene G. Lucas and Ret. Colonel Gilbert Ramos (conductor and musical director of Musikawayan), at “Science for the arts”.
FASSSTER Developer Dr. Maria Regina Justina E. Estuar in “Science for Healing:” Under Secretary of Defense Ricardo B. Jalad and Under Secretary of Local Government Nestor F. Quinsay Jr., in “Science for Resilience “.
Leo and Maria Elaine P. de Velez of Frontlearners Inc., and Lyn Resurreccion, Science Editor of BusinessMirror, at “Science for Awareness,” and Nestor Precioso of Techmatch Asia, at “Science for Business.”
Image credits: Lyn B. Resurreccion