Call For More Research On The Effects of Technology On Society
By Saiful Bahri Kamaruddin
Foto: Ikhwan Hashim
BANGI, 20 Oct 2015 – More research should be done on the impact of technology on society.
The balance of scientific development and social needs still have some way to go, said Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) of The National University of Malaysia (UKM) Prof Datuk Dr Mazlin Mokhtar.
Collaboration between scientists and sociologists is part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the United Nations slotted for 2015-2030, he said when launching the 2015 Research@FTSM Day in conjunction with the 21st anniversary of the Faculty of Technology and Information Science, here today.
“We need a balance between Science and Technology and Social Sciences. The mind-set change is very important, more important than the technology.
“We are bringing the next level of researchers through, giving motivation programmes and mentor/mentee programmes,” he explained.
However, he noted that Malaysian researchers have their work cut out for them in achieving goals set by the inter-governmental SDG for targets relating to international development, despite the country achieving all the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) 2000-2015.
“Sustainable Development Goals contain proposal contained 17 goals with 169 targets covering a broad range of sustainable development issues. These include ending poverty and hunger, improving health and education, making cities more sustainable, combating climate change, and protecting oceans and forests.
“So we form 17 groups for Malaysia to achieve all the 169 targets by 2030,” he clarified.
He said one of the most challenging goals is to mitigate the effects of Climate Change.
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor gave an account of one of the most serious effects of climate change in peninsular Malaysia, in Batu Pahat where rising sea waters are encroaching into the fishing villages.
“The sea level went up to the level of the stair-case of houses of fishermen. Here we need the help of science and technology on how to persuade decision makers to make the decision.
“We need your expertise to help make decisions,” he urged.
He praised Prof Dato’ Dr Sharifah Mastura Syed Abdullah, the Director of the Institute of Climate Change for her and her team’s work in climate change and the effect on society.
He pointed out that Prof Sharifah Mastura has included sociologists, anthropologists and economists in her team so that research on the human effects can be carried out in addition to studies on how to protect the environment.
Also taking part in the one-day 2015 Research@FTSM Day conference were 28 collaborators, among them from the Terengganu Museum Board and the National Metrology Institute of Malaysia, who worked with the scientists.