Others

State U

FROM the middle of this week until Friday, various mobi-lizations and community programs will be held in most of the country’s state colleges and universities (SUC/SCU) to protest the dwindling budget allocation to our public tertiary system. It is alarming since in a span of only 12 years, state subsidy has shrunk from around 87.7 percent to only 65.6 percent of the budget of these institutions. It is also worrying since President Benigno Aquino 3rd himself, in his budget message this year, said that his government is “gradually reducing the subsidy to SUCs to push them toward becoming self-sufficient and financially independent, given their ability to raise their income and to utilize it for their programs and projects.”

Author: 
Dr. Giovanni Tapang, PhD

Passwords, encryption and WikiLeaks

WIKILEAKS has recently released publicly the entire cache of diplomatic cables that they had in their possession. The move stemmed from allegations by WikiLeaks that accused the UK newspaper The Guardian of divulging passwords that enabled access to encrypted files that contained the cables. The passwords were published within a passage in a book by Guardian journalists David Leigh and Luke Harding on WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange. The Guardian denies the allegations saying that although they did in fact publish a password, they did not give out details of the location of the files (to which the password is to be used) and that they +gwere told that it was a temporary password which would expire and be deleted in a matter of hours.+h

Author: 
Dr. Giovanni Tapang, Phd

Tipping the scale

PUBLIC opinion, in theory, is the sum of all the views, attitudes and beliefs of a community on a particular topic. How society views an issue is important in politics, elections and in other spheres such as culture, fashion and the arts. Typically, through interaction and communication, a consensus is built on a particular issue (usually through a substantial number of individuals holding the same beliefs), which in turn exerts influence, directly or indirectly, on others.

Author: 
Dr. Giovanni Tapang, PhD

Physics, Biology, and our growing understanding of society

(Dr. Tapang’s colleague Kim Gargar contributed today’s column.)

MANY scientists have realized that the distinction between biology and physics is artificial; that if we are to completely understand living things, we must first accept that each of them are composed of matter wherein various forms of transformation of energy and matter occur within and with their surroundings. While “mainstream” physicists keep themselves busy either with elucidating how fundamental particles work or with finding ways to manipulate inanimate condensed-matter for the development of new materials, an increasing number of their colleagues are helping biologists answer diverse biological questions piece by piece, and for various goals.

Author: 
Mr. Kim Gargar

Brain drain continues under Noynoy Aquino administration; No industrialization plan to provide jobs for S&T workers

Press Statement
July 24, 2011

On the eve of his second State of the Nation Address (SONA), progressive scientists led by AGHAM reminded President Benigno Aquino III that the massive brain drain phenomenon continues under his administration.

The Search for Bayani ng Kalikasan 2011

From GBK2011

The glue that binds us

THIS coming Saturday, June 25, the University of the Philippines Alumni Association (UPAA) will recognize forty outstanding graduates for the year 2011 in an award ceremony during the UP General Alumni-Faculty Homecoming and Reunion at the Bahay ng Alumni in UP Campus. The UPAA Distinguished Alumni Awards are conferred to alumni who have brought about substantial benefits to society and brought distinct honor to the University in their various fields of expertise and work.

Author: 
Dr. Giovanni Tapang, PhD

Nuclear hazards

A Filipina cousin of mine who was living 70 kilometers away from the site of the Fukushima nuclear plant sent a message to me through the Internet asking advice on what her family could do about the nuclear accident. It struck me that even if the Philippine government has allayed fears about the direct effect of the nuclear accident, there are Filipinos that are going to be near the site of one of the biggest industrial disasters in record.

Author: 
Dr. Giovanni Tapang, Ph.D.

Scientists group condemns DoJ whitewash of botanist death

A whitewash-- this is how the scientist group AGHAM-Advocates of Science and Technology for the People called the findings of the Department of Justice fact-finding panel that cleared the military of any wrongdoing on the death of Leonard Co, forest guard Sofronio Cortez and farmer Julius Borromeo last November 15 in Kananga, Leyte.

Forecasting 2011

THE year started with ones—1/1/11—which is not necessarily auspicious but certainly a rare occurrence. A better date to watch for would be 1/10/2011, which is a palindrome (one that reads the same forwards and backwards). As usual, the question at every turn of the year would be what is in store for us. For those inclined to believe soothsayers or the change in signs, one can just pick his or her version of the various fortune-tellers that abound.

Author: 
Dr. Giovanni Tapang, Ph.D.
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