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.