Akademi Sains Malaysia (ASM) Eminent Person’s Lecture by Dr. Rita Colwell, U.S. Science Envoy, entitled, “Promoting Science Diplomacy through Scientific Collaboration”
A Public Lecture entitled, “Promoting Science Diplomacy through Scientific Collaboration”, by Dr. Rita Colwell, U.S. Science Envoy was held at the IDFR Auditorium on 26 July 2011 attended by 100 participants.
The session was moderated by YBhg. Prof. Emeritus Dato’ Dr. Zakri Abdul Hamid, Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia. In her presentation, Dr. Colwell identified the following four themes to science diplomacy engagement namely: science policies and science policy decisions; building relationships; innovation in economic growth and solving global challenges and problems. Dr. Colwell, whose research focuses on global infectious diseases, water and health, stressed on the importance of building genuine and lasting friendships among scientists from different countries as well as the need for an interdisciplinary approach to addressing the complex problems of climate change and food.
The speaker was of the view that Malaysia was at the cusp of becoming a top ten research country, helmed by the signing of the MoU on Science and Technology Cooperation, between the US Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Foreign Minister of Malaysia in November 2010.
Dr. Colwell is currently developing an international network to address emerging infectious diseases and water issues, including safe drinking water for both the developed and developing world. The participants noted with interest that a geological site in Antarctica, Colwell Massif, has been named in recognition of her work in the polar region.