Thursday, July 7, 2011

National Congress of Professors

Day Two

More interesting discussions took place on the second day of the Congress. The morning event started with a plenary session by Prof Dr Nay Htun, a Distinguished Professor from the Department of Technology & Society,Stony Brook University, New York USA. Prof Htun spoke on a paper entitled "Bridging the Natural Sciences and Social Sciences". In sycned with his own research on Global Warming, Prof Htun stressed that "Human actions have resulted in global warming and the acidification of oceans..", hence the solutions to many world problems such as global warming need to integrate both natural and social sciences. Social science-related solutions may include measures such as economic incentives, financing mechanism, behavioral/societal determinents, capacity building, governance and policy. Cluster workshops continued immediately after the plenary session. The evening was specially dedicated to three important events. Immediately after dinner was the Congress Official Opening by the YAB Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Haji Abdul Razak. In his speech, the Prime Minister reiterated his hopes and expectations that professors must play a significant and proactive role in nation building and in transforming Malaysia into a high income country by 2020. This was followed by a dinner talk by Prof Michael Porter from Harvard University USA. The talk was carried live through tele-conferencing from USA. In tandem with Malaysia's aspiration to become a developed nation, Prof Porter discussed on "Country Competitiveness". One of the most important aspects of a high income nation is the real need for businesses to increase their efficiency & productivity and for them to embrace innovations. Malaysia has most of the ingredients needed for a country to become a developed nation: resources, location and people. But Malaysia must enhance the production of skilled human resources and embrace innovation in a big way. Again, the call to integrate natural science & technology with social science elements was emphasized...

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