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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.

WikiLeaks

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TECHNOLOGY made news this year with the release of a treasure trove of material in Julian Assange’s website WikiLeaks (wikileaks.org). The site announced that it would release 251,287 US diplomatic cables that it had acquired from an anonymous source. This created a firestorm of condemnation on the one hand and of support on the other. Julian Assange had been hounded by arrest since the initial release of the documents and the website itself had been attacked by “denial of service” ploys to disable it.

Author: 
Dr. Giovanni Tapang, Phd

Fact finding mission for Leonard Co (2)

Conclusion

Last Monday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) withdrew its charges against the “Morong 43.” The 43 health workers were arrested in Morong, Rizal last February 6, 2010 and were detained for more than 10 months. Their eventual release (if the court approves it) puts in the forefront the case of Leonard Co and his companions as a human rights issue that squarely falls under the watch of the current administration.
We hope that this case is resolved in the end with a similar favorable outcome as the “Morong 43’s” case.

Author: 
Dr. Giovanni Tapang
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