1. Yesterday 25th April, as usual as a Fellow of the Academy, I attended the 14th Annual General Meeting of the Science Academy of Malaysia. The meeting started 10 minutes after 10 am and went on as scheduled.
2. The Presidential address was good especially coming from a corporate engineer who wished to see a more meaningful and effective academy in Malaysia. In his capacity as the President, he had visited the Royal Society in London and he tried to make a comparison between a 14-year academy with a 350 years old institution that is full of scientific history. Well, he has the right to compare.
3. The Royal Society as well as other science academies elsewhere had a long illustrious history and scientific innovations and ideas for their Fellows were real scientists who made their names in hard research. Many of our Fellows are not even scientists and let alone had done scientific research in their life times.
4. Apparently, the average age of the fellows of the academy is about 70 and in yesterday inception of 18 new fellows, the average age is 57. Among the new fellows are Prof. Dato Zaini Ujang (UTM Vice Chancellor), Prof. Datin Paduka Aini Idris (UPM Deputy Vice Chancellor), Prof. Phang Siew Moi (UM), Prof. Dato' Halimah Badio Zaman (UKM) and Dr. Wan Abdul Rahman Wan Yaacob (ex RRIM). The academy incepted two new senior fellows including Tan Sri Mustafa Babjee.
5. As in previous years, there were similar debates on the academic criteria to be adopted for the inception of new fellows. While there were those who had wanted to limit the number, there are also who would like to see some deserving scientists to be admitted as fellows. As an academy of science, I would like it to grow bigger in lights of Malaysia wants to be developed by 2020, hence the academy must pursue good science and scientists. The definitions of "academy" must be upheld and preserved and I didn't agree with the admission of some fellows in the past. But they were admited on certain purpose, it is only the founding fellows knew their criteria.
6. All in all, the academy is developing and I look forward to contributing to it in my own small ways.
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