ECOSF contributes to the Science Education Policy Forum with the theme “Role of Science Museums and Centers in Public Science Literacy” co-organized by IAP SEP and NSM Thailand
The National Science Museum (NSM) of Thailand in Bangkok and Inter Academy Partnership Science Education Program (IAP SEP) with the support of Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation (MHESI) of Thailand organized an Science Education Policy Forum entitled; “Science Literacy: Role of Science Museum and Science Centre”. This Forum was held as a part of National Science and Technology Fair 2019 (NST-2019) of Thailand which opened on August 16th and concluded on August 25th 2019. The Science Education Policy Forum was held on 20-21 August 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand.
The aim of this Science Policy Education Forum was to discuss the possibilities of the collaboration between science museum/centers and the national museums in the promotion of science literacy for the sustainable development in the region under the aegis of IAP SEP. The NST Fair provided a platform to encourage and inspire young students and the general public to adopt Science, Technology, and Innovation as guides to improve quality of life, appreciate the value of science and technology, and strengthen the economy.
Prof. Rawin Raviwong, President of the National Science Museum (NSM), Thailand opened the Forum and congratulated the organizers, where he highlighted the importance of interactive learning through Science Museums and Science Centers.
Opening ceremony was chaired by Dato Lee Yee Cheong, the Interim Chairman of the IAP SEP Global Council and Commissioner, UN Broadband Commission for the Sustainable Development, who shared the goals and objectives of the forum. Prof. Wang Xiouming, Director General of Shanghai Science and Technology Museum delivered his Keynote Address in the opening ceremony. Prof. Xiouming stressed that Science Museums play a critical role in developing scientific spirit and culture while providing a space for interaction among the government, scientists and the general public.
During this two days Forum, a number of sessions were organized to highlight and discuss the important role of science museums and centers in promoting science literacy.
President ECO Science Foundation (ECOSF) Prof. Dr. Manzoor Hussain Soomro chaired the session on “Global and Regional Perspectives”. Prof. Soomro introduced the session and speakers and also delivered his presentation on “The Role of Science Centers and Museums in Public Literacy and the Status of ECO Region”. He said that the science museums and centers have significant potential to develop positive attitudes towards science and technology, strengthen science learning and influence career choices by young people. He further discussed the important role, the science museums and centers can play to bridge the gap between science and society. In the end, he also highlighted the status of science museums in the ECO region.
Other notable speakers of the session were:
- Dato Ir. Lee Yee Cheong, Commissioner, UN Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development
World Bank Africa Digital Infrastructure Moonshot
- Carol O’ Donnell, Director, Smithsonian Science Education Center, Washington DC. Science Education and Literacy for Global Goals (SDGs)
- Daniel Rouan, Chairman, LAMAP Foundation, France
LAMAP: The Next 10 Years
- Susan Stocklmayer O.A., Science Communication Expert at Australia National University. Latin American and African Perspectives
On the second day of Forum, a concluding session was held, where the all the Session Chairs, including President ECOSF were invited to give brief summary of their respective sessions. Prof Soomro shared the outcome of the session on “Global and Regional Perspectives” and concluded that Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE) is essential for understanding the world dynamics, especially in the context of emerging technologies and promotion of global peace and harmony. Prof. Soomro underlined the importance of developing effective networking linkages amongst the stakeholders to better achieve the shared goals and promote scientific culture through science museums and centers.
It is pertinent to mention that the National Science and Technology Fair is the largest annual fair of Thailand to promote Scientific Literacy and Science, Technology and Innovation. This year (2019), the Fair attracted more than a million visitors including children, parents and youth who actively participated in many interesting scientific experiments, exhibits, interactive displays and activities. This year, the theme is “Science, Technology and Innovation: Inspiring Creativity for Better Living and Sustainability for the Nation” with subtheme of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), and to celebrate the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements (IYPT 2019).