Honouring Malaysian women in science

Malaysian women who have made great strides in advancing science and technology and also the social sciences. Photo: 123rf.com

IN conjunction with International Women's Day on March 8, the Malaysian Invention and Design Society (MINDS) organised an online conference to pay tribute to Malaysian women's scientific achievements.

Titled National Conference on Contributions to National Development by Malaysian Women Scientists, the event aimed to inspire and encourage students to pursue careers in science.

This is MIND's second women's seminar after its National Conference on Scientific Research Achievements by Malaysian Women in 2019.

In his welcoming speech, MINDS president Emeritus Prof Tan Sri Dr Augustine Ong acknowledged Malaysian women who have made great strides in advancing science and technology and also the social sciences.

The conference was attended by about 150 academicians, scientists, professionals, and students attended the conference. MINDS vice president and conference chairperson Datuk Dr Choo Yuen May presented the Outstanding Woman Lifetime Achievement award to lawyer and human rights activist Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan.

In her keynote address, Ambiga stressed how the Covid-19 pandemic has brought to light the many inequalities in our society, specifically in health, education, social and economic well-being. She also stressed the importance of highlighting these inequalities while not losing sight of climate change.

During the conference, Universiti Sains Malaysia lecturer Assoc Prof Dr Oon Chern Ein and Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka deputy dean Assoc Prof Dr Massila Kamaludin were announced as recipients of MINDS' Young Woman Scientist Award. These women scientists were handpicked due to their dedication and journey in various disciplines in science and the audience were given the chance to engage with them during the conference.

Other women scientists who presented at the four-hour virtual event included were Ar. Almaz Salma Abdul Rahim (on architecture), Prof Dr Toh Chooi Gait, the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Engagement and Industrial Partnerships at IMU (who spoke on dentistry), UM's Prof. Dr. Yvonne Lim Ai Lian (on parasitology), Dr Emily Leong Hung Yang from The Institution of Engineering and Technology Malaysia, Prof Dr Massila Kamaludin,, Assoc Prof Dr Oon Chern Ein from Universiti Sains Malaysia (on medical sciences) and Dr Tan Swee Lian, Fellow of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia who spoke on angriculture.

In her closing speech, Dr Choo reiterated that science and society are not discrete entities, and social science should thus be integral to science, technology and innovation.

The Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation and Loreal Malaysia supported the conference. The Institution of Engineering and Technology Malaysia and Silverlake were sponsors for the event.

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