Invest in STEM education, says Sultan Nazrin

Perak Sultan Sultan Nazrin Shah speaking during the launch of the ASIAN 2017 Science Camp at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) in Kampar, August 21, 2017. — Bernama pic
Perak Sultan Sultan Nazrin Shah speaking during the launch of the ASIAN 2017 Science Camp at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) in Kampar, August 21, 2017. — Bernama pic

KAMPAR, Aug 21 — Substantial investment in education, especially in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) must become an urgent priority to ensure public analysis and debate on different future scenarios and their implications are underpinned by well-informed and critical approaches. The Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Shah said it would be difficult to strategise about an unknown future, but there must now be far greater public analysis and debate about different future scenarios and their implications.

“There are a growing number of initiatives in this area of ‘future-watching’, as supply responds to demand, and such efforts must now be scaled up and magnified,” he said when opening the Asian Science Camp 2017 (ASC 2017) at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), here, today.

Sultan Nazrin said there must be effective control and management of new technologies and the wealth they created to ensure these would be used for the greater good rather than contributing to more inequality.

“This is why policy-making, regulations and education, especially in STEM fields, are all so important, “The choices we make now in these areas can help shape and determine how these processes play out, and this requires far greater public and policy discussion of all the relevant issues, including the more challenging aspects related to control and regulation.

“It is important to learn from history when looking at an uncertain future because the story of our recent past is one of previously undreamt of human progress due to scientific and technological advance, however uneven and incomplete.

“This longer historical perspective demonstrates just how far we have come and it also highlights the central role that has been played by political and social institutions in ensuring that the benefits have been spread as widely as they have,” he said.

Therefore, Sultan Nazrin urged all parties, whether as scientists, academics, educators or economists to work together to strengthen further those institutions and norms to be able to continue playing their vital roles in regulating and channelling change into a positive direction.

Touching on the science camp, the Perak Sultan praised the prestigious event which gathers together the best young science minds from around this region and exposes them to discussion as well as debate, besides learning from some of Asia’s finest senior scientists.

The six-day event which started yesterday aims to enlighten science-talented youths through discussion and dialogue with top scholars in the world, as well as looking deeper into the current digital age or better known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

ACS 2017, hosted by Kuala Lumpur Engineering Science Fair, is jointly organised by UTAR, the Asean Academy of Engineering and Technology, Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) and the Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM).

The week-long camp will see the presence of two Nobel Laureates and an array of distinguished scientists and technologists sharing their insight and knowledge with over 340 participants from more than 30 economies, including Malaysia. — Bernama

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