Scientific and Mass Culture

Brain drain?

An opinion piece came out last week in another periodical arguing that our concern about “brain drain” is misplaced and that global cosmopolitanism is a forgivable choice of professionals looking for opportunities to improve themselves and their economic well being. Arguing that millions more of other professionals stay otherwise, the article instead points out that we have an over-supply rather than a lack of experts in the country.

Author: 
Giovanni Tapang, Ph.D.

Revisiting vulnerability (3): Fixing elections by fiat

Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes announced a few days ago that the Comelec will not anymore conduct another mock polls prior to the May polls. This is despite the many major glitches that were observed during the February 2 mock elections and the still unresolved issues of the source code powering the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines. During the mock trials, volunteer observers from Kontra Daya and other groups documented some ballots being rejected by the PCOS machines and delay in the transmission of election results to the canvassing centers.

Author: 
Giovanni Tapang, Ph.D.

Black hole

I had an interesting discussion last Tuesday with a young PhD faculty from the UP Physics Department who is about to go to his postdoctoral studies abroad. He came from the Philippine Science High School program, took his undergraduate and graduate physics degrees from the UP and is one of the most promising young faculty in the department. We were discussing about the serious problem of the lack of science and engineering faculty and researchers in the country and how many of his high school batchmates find jobs either out of the country or in lines of industry outside of their expertise.

Author: 
Dr. Giovanni Tapang, PhD

Scholars

Despite the rain last Monday, the College of Science of the University of the Philippines in Diliman held a recognition program for its students who have garnered grades that qualify them as University and College scholars. These are those students who have grades higher than 1.25 and 1.75 respectively. Their recognition as scholars do not carry any monetary remuneration but is a testament to their academic achievements and is a source of pride for their parents.

Author: 
Dr. Giovanni Tapang, PhD

Science and K+12

LAST week, news reports carried the announcement of Education Secretary Armin Luis-tro that Science would be dropped from the subjects being taught at the Grade 1 level. This decision of the Department of Education (DepEd) is based on the design of the K+12 curriculum and the department’s efforts to decongest the Basic Education Curriculum. Instead of Science, the Grade 1 curriculum will focus on “oral fluency” and include learning areas on the Mother Tongue, Filipino, Edukasyon sa Pagpapakatao, MAPEH (Music, Art, Physical Education and Health), Mathematics, Araling Panlipunan (Social Studies) and English. Science will be introduced as a subject only when the student comes in at Grade 3.

Author: 
Dr. Giovanni Tapang, PhD

Scientists and heroes

Yesterday marked the birth anniversary of Andres Boni-facio, Filipino nationalist, revolutionary and Supremo of the Katipunan. His anniversary yesterday was marked by protests actions in the metropolis by workers and peasants due to the ever increasing costs of living nowadays. Pressed by current economic concerns, people made the celebration of his birth also a time to reflect on the value of heroism in our time.

Author: 
Giovanni Tapang, Ph.D.

Merging culture and New Media

THE trend to democratize is inherent in many technologies especially in information technologies which makes the communication and consumption of information more and more participatory in nature.

Author: 
Ms. Gladys Regalado

The brain drain and the GPH-NDF peace talks

The preliminary results of a recent study by the Department of Science and Technology Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) show that the “brain drain” phenomenon continues and has even worsened during the past few years. According to DOST-SEI Officer in Charge and Deputy Director Dr. Leticia Catris, the number of emigrating science workers from the Philippines has ballooned to around two and a half times compared to the figure 11 years ago. In 1998, there were 9,877 outbound science workers from the country. More than a decade after in 2009, the number has grown by 148 percent to 24,502. More than half of these are health professionals and nurses while a fifth are engineers.

Author: 
Giovanni Tapang, PhD

Lotto by the numbers

The pot for the Grandlotto 6/55 prize remained elusive as of last Monday’s draw. It has risen already to around P574 million last time and would likely breach 600 million. The large pot is a big payoff for the stream of bettors that line up the Lotto outlets everyday. Their dream is to get this prize for just P20 per combination.

Author: 
Giovanni Tapang, PhD

Sign up on the statement to Call for Justice for the Killing of Leonardo Co and his Companions

An urgent appeal to President Benigno Aquino III and the Philippine Legislature to effect a thorough, independent, and transparent investigation on the killing in Kananga, Leyte of Leonardo Co, a renowned Filipino scientist, and his two companions

Sign up at http://www.justiceforleonardco.org

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