President ECOSF: The celebration of a World Science Day for Peace and Development underlines the importance and relevance of science in our daily lives. This year, the theme is “Science, a Human Right”, which is in recognition of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations. Everyone must have a right to participate in and benefit from science. Science has played a critical role in the development of this world, and scientific innovations and inventions have led to significant technological advancements, which have continuously improved our lives. There are numerous aspects of life upon which science has a tremendous beneficial impact including: food security, disease prevention, water security; climate change, energy and agriculture etc.
Today, we face enormous challenges and it will be extremely difficult for us to improve our lives, feed our growing populations, protect our children and environment, if we do not create opportunities for all to benefit from science. Thus we must invest in our young scientists to find efficient, cheaper and smarter ways of manufacturing goods and commercialization to respond to the global challenges.
It is quite encouraging to see the rapid industrialization and economic boost achieved by the Four Asian Tigers (Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan). Despite their low natural endowments, these economies have achieved exceptionally high economic growth. The unprecedented high economic growth is mainly linked to their supportive policies and investments in Science and Technology sectors, which have enabled them to establish competitive edge among the top world economies.
I count myself, as a President ECO Science Foundation, a strong proponent of Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE) and inquiry based lifelong learning. Today’s child is tomorrow’s scientist, entrepreneurs and policy makers, thus we must provide them with the opportunity to discover and inculcate the concept of inquiry and questioning in them. While planning for the future in this constantly changing world, science literate people at large, especially scientists and technologists will be at the core of most of the challenges in responding to our needs. Thus, understanding of science is a ‘human right’ and must be promoted across the board.
In the end, I believe that Pakistan’s Science Community has all the potential to create economic and business opportunity to maintain prosperity of Pakistan in today’s competitive global economy. Our future economic standing and development of our society solely depends on our ability to nurture Pakistan’s future generation of scientists. Therefore, we have to inspire our youth to embark on a career in science if we are to meet the challenges of the future.