Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Petri Dish: Bridging Biotech and Society

For the past four months, MABIC office turned into a mini pressroom and will remain so indefinitely. We have initiated another first-of-its kind in Malaysia, or perhaps in the region. MABIC is now publishing a free newspaper on biotech that aims to bridge biotech and the society. It is named The Petri Dish. We hope with The Petri Dish we will be able to dish out all the interesting and innovative research work at universities, research institutes and industry and make it palatable for the society.

Biotech research has remained in the ivory tower, far from the reach of average citizen for very long. This is a global phenomenon and more in developing countries where tools and media are not available to popularize science. Media often shy away from publishing science news. Almost all Malaysian mainstream newspaper does not have a science desk and news is source from wire sources. On the other hand, scientists often see media with suspicion as they are often misquoted. A preliminary research on cancer makes headlines like “Scientist finds cure for cancer”. This kills the reputation of the scientists among their peers.

So, at MABIC we took the onus to bridge the knowledge and communication gap. The Petri Dish will demystify biotech and translate it into simple laymen language. It is a free monthly newspaper that will be circulated to universities, research institutes, ministries, government agencies, industry, schools, hospitals and doctors’ offices, and public places.

We hope to instill the interest on biotechnology among schools students through The Petri Dish. This, we believe will help develop human capital for this industry. We also hope to develop a biotech-literate society who will be able to discriminate between science and pseudoscience. The Petri Dish will also highlight the accomplishment of private biotech entities that contribute to the GDP of the country.

The Petri Dish will ensure that MABIC’s efforts to create awareness on biotechnology will not be confined to seminars, workshops and events in closed rooms.

It is our hope that The Petri Dish will one day be part of the mainstream media and a household name.

For those who have read the first issue, give us your comments and suggestions. We are more than happy to improve it.

Mahaletchumy Arujanan


Cik Bucken said...

there goes my picture ^^

Ibnu Sina said...

Do u hav PDF file of teh Petri Dish? I can mail it to everyone i know.

MABIC blog said...

The PDF version of The Petri Dish will be up on MABIC's website by end of April.

Nisshant~ said...

Hi Maha,

I'm a post-STPM student and I'm very much interested in pursuing biotechnology. The only problem I am facing is that I am failing in convincing my parents to allow me to pursue this; they have the impression that this particular field is a 'road less taken', filled with uncertainties compared to a professional job, e.g dentistry/medicine where my life is secured immediately after I graduate.

I currently work as a temporary/substitute teacher at a local secondary school and and I couldn't help but fall in love with teaching. I hope I could become a lecturer though I haven't quite decided what I am going to major in biotechnology. So my question is: how can I convince my parents that I have a bright future in pursuing biotechnology and one day, become a lecturer? Sometimes the more doubtful they are, I am afraid, I sway into their direction.

I really hope you can help me out here. My email:
I understand that you are very busy but I hope you could lend me some of your time to let me know what you think. Hope to hear from you soon. Cheers.


Editormajalahsains said...

Congratulations for the publication of Petri Dish..

For your information, we would like to introduce our own online science news called MajalahSains.Com.

For the time being, it's only available in Malay version.

We hope we can collaborate in the future to report more news on science and technology for Malaysian.

Nice to know you..

editor MajalahSains.Com