A milestone was achieved in the field of science and technology (S&T) communication with the signing of an agreement between the leaders of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (Searca), an international organization based in Los Baños, Laguna, and Science Communicators Philippines (SciCommPH) Inc., a nonstock, nonprofit organization composed of scientists, science journalists and science communicators.
Searca director Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio and SciCommPH chairman Angelo B. Palmones signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate in promoting S&T as a game changer in social and economic development by highlighting its relevance and practical use by Filipinos.
Assoc. Prof. Joselito G. Florendo of Searca, and Atty. Melvin G. Calimag, president of SciCommPH, signed as witness for their respective organization.
The event was held online via Zoom on September 4. It was attended by Searca executives and experts, and by SciCommPH officials and members.
In his message Gregorio said, “Knowledge is power and with great power comes great responsibility.”
“Communication is very important,” he added.
He said the partnership of Searca and SciCommPH should communicate and laymanize S&T researches and innovations.
Gregorio pointed out the importance of the collaboration in communicating S&T, citing its significance in the current program of the National Academy of Science and Technology, the Pagtanaw 2050, in which Searca is involved, especially in National Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization and Inudsutrialization Plan.
“I hope this collaboration [between Searca and SciCommPH] will go a long way. We are very excited with our engagement,” Gregorio said.
Gregorio was the keynote speaker during the launching of SciCommPH in March 2023.
For his part, Palmones said SciCommPH “is committed to capacitate both journalists and scientists to enable them to communicate the value of research and development, as well as their products to the public and ultimately pave the way toward evidence-based mindset decision-making technology adoption and the development of a science culture.”
He added that SciCommPH recognizes that “science holds the key to solving most of the pressing problems of the country”
Palmones pointed out the challenges being faced by the S&T sector in research and development (R&D), technology commercialization and science policy development, and in human resources and science education.
However, he said that with Searca and SciCommPH working together they hope to be able to find better ways of reaching out to the stakeholders of the various processes and outputs of agricultural research, “most importantly to the beneficiaries of the products of the works of our scientists in the fields of biotechnology, genomics, plant breeding and horticulture … animal science and other disciplines that contribute to attaining food security in the country and the whole of the Southeast Asian region.”
Meanwhile, although the MOU was just signed, Searca and SciC0mmPH have already prepared their first project.
Searca project director Jerome Baradas announced the media forum titled, “A Media Briefing on the Status of Biotechnology in the Philippines.”
It will be held onsite at Searca and online via Zoom on September 8.