Education Minister highlights value of transformative capacity of scientific research
The importance that the Mauritian Government attaches to the value of the transformative capacity of scientific research and the development of science policies were highlighted by the Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, yesterday at the Sofitel Mauritius l’Impérial Resort & Spa, in Flic-en-Flac.
The Minister was addressing delegates attending in the International Conference on Pure and Applied Chemistry (ICPAC-2016). It is being organised by the University of Mauritius and sponsored by other stakeholders under the theme Emerging Trends in Chemical Sciences.
ICPAC-2016 is providing a platform to share and discuss recent findings and shape new ideas of research covering all topics related to Chemistry. Chemistry is one of the subjects of Science for understanding and explaining makeup and changes of everything that has mass and occupies space.
In her opening address, Minister Dookun-Luchoomun observed that this gathering of scientists clearly matches with the vision and mission of her Ministry in transforming Mauritius into a knowledge-based economy and in promoting quality research. ‘Your presence is indeed an opportunity to establish new scientific and professional bridges with diverse geographical realities. T hese are in line with one of the objectives of the Government of Mauritius and my Ministry to promote high level research, especially interdisciplinary and collaborative research’, she stressed.
According to the Minister, a number of participants attending ICPAC 2016 are leaders in their respective fields. Emerging young scientists from diverse multidisciplinary chemical fields, will be on the same platform to disseminate their research findings. She also said that it is a reflection of our times that, in our complex and, sometimes, dangerous world, there is greater need than ever for the best scientific minds to grapple with pressing problems such as water shortages, climate change and food security.
For his part, the Director of the OPCW’s (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) Verification Division, Mr Philippe Denier, gave an overview of the OPCW which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013. His presentation focused on the topic Towards a World Free of Chemical Weapons: How Science Serves Disarmament. ‘We are only too aware of the fact that for health, prosperity and security, chemistry matters’ he said. He underlined the need to understand each other better in pursuit of a common cause and that cause is science always working in pursuit of peace, security and prosperity.
The International Conference is being held from July 18 to 22, 2016, in Mauritius. It is featuring a wide variety of keynote, plenary, invited and contributed lectures, as well as poster sessions. Workshops and symposia are also being conducted by experts on different chemical aspects.
Around 220 participants from 44 countries such as India, Brazil, USA, Canada, the UK as well as countries from the African continent are attending.
ICPAC 2016 is being organised against the backdrop that the world has condensed into a global village with progress in Science and Technology. However the world is now facing a crisis due to explosive increase in the demand for energy, food and water. On that score, Science and Chemistry have crucial roles for achieving some of the goals set by the United Nations for sustainable development of our planet.