Philippine-American Academy of Science and Engineering


 PAASE President's Corner 
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December 23, 2015


Dear PAASE colleagues,


Well that was a really quick 2014!  It seemed like I started my term just yesterday, and here we are, already looking at the New Year.  We were all individually and collectively busy in 2014, but I would like to point to a few highlights and accomplishments for the year.

The 2014 APAMS held at North Carolina State University last May was a lively gathering of 51 PAASE members and their spouses and partners.  There were excellent talks, including a wonderful plenary with Nobel Laureate Dr. Oliver Smithies. The Severino and Paz Koh Lectures by the awardees – Dr. Michael Purugganan in Science, and Dr. Ernie Terrado in Engineering- were informative and inspiring. Across the board, the oral presentations were of high quality, and led to many interesting questions and discussions.  Once again, APAMS has shown that discussions that cut across disciplines open new ways of viewing things, and are truly stimulating (especially when in the company of good friends).  I would like to especially thank the Organizing Committee at NC State University- Drs. Peter Cowen, Terts Morales, Perry Peralta, Rod Rejesus, and Dennis Pacardo- for their selfless service and hard work.  The Program Committee -Drs. Noreen Gonazales, Leah Tolosa, Manny Uy, Toby Dayrit, Peter Cowen, and Philip Ian Padilla - put together an excellent program.

In 2014, we started the process of obtaining 501(c)3 registration with the Department of State in North Carolina.  This is something that the Board of Directors has been discussing for several years, and will take a few more months to complete, but I intend to shepherd this process to completion.  This registration will allow PAASE to accept tax-deductible donations, and make it easier to raise funds to support our activities, such as sponsoring students in APAMS and paying for a Philippines-based secretariat.

We continue to support and be a conduit for collaborations between US and Philippine scientists and engineers. For example, the STRIDE program aims to improve collaborative S&T and R&D activities in the Philippines for broad-based sustainable and inclusive economic growth. It is the flagship program of USAID’s Partnership for Growth (PFG) and is being managed by RTI International, with its main headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina. PAASE members, individually and collectively, are active collaborators in this project, and we should continue to support this 5-year program that started in 2013.

Of course, our US- and foreign-based members continue to be active in their own collaborations with academia and industry in the Philippines. These are highlighted every year in the APAMS program. While these are individual efforts, we should continue to leverage our collective expertise, and seek ways to use PAASE as a mechanism to amplify the results of our efforts.

The Officers and Board of Directors have been looking at ways to improve our operations as an Academy.  These include formalizing the schedule of annual activities, such as Elections and submission of committee and financial reports. It was my intention to form new committees that will make our work more efficient and generate more meaningful participation by more members. It is my hope that incoming President Raymond Tan can look into this possibility in 2015.

Finally, we look forward to the 2015 APAMS (http://paase.org/apams2015.html), to be held at the De La Salle University in February.  We hope that you can participate.  Dr. Raymond Tan is organizing the meeting, and it promises to be another successful gathering of leading scientists and engineers in the Philippines.

I thank you all for your service to PAASE, and for your dedication to improving science and technology in the Philippines through collaborative work. I wish you all a Christmas full of peace and love. I hope that the Holiday season will be a time to enjoy the company of your loved ones, and a time to pause and reflect and recharge. And I wish you all a New Year filled with hope and gratitude.

Sincerely,

Francis L. de los Reyes III
2014 PAASE President 

Dear PAASE colleagues,


For more than three decades now, PAASE has sustained a prolonged campaign to intensify scientific work of researchers of Filipino descent. Drawing on the collective talent of Philippine diaspora in the US and elsewhere, PAASE’s efforts became instrumental in scientific capacity building in the Philippines. The academy has grown in numbers (by one order of magnitude!), and, after the turn of the century, recruitment of Philippine-based members also expanded significantly.


The end of 2015 marks the close of another chapter in the history of PAASE. One of our major milestones was the 2015 APAMS, which was held at De La Salle University in Manila in February of this year. The event featured scientific sessions, along with roundtable workshops with stakeholders from Philippine industry and government (including CHED and DOST). The Koh Lectureships were awarded to Dr. Ernesto Pernia and Dr. Gonzalo Serafica, and our journal, Philippine Science Letters, was relaunched as the International Journal of Philippine Science and Technology with the support of USAID’s STRIDE program.


Incidentally, our de facto partnership with STRIDE has been one of the key success stories of 2015. Support for research, scholarships and networking under STRIDE are perfectly complementary with the scientific talent pool that PAASE represents. More such opportunities for joint work can be expected in the near future. This year, we also welcomed six new full members and one new associate member. The infusion of fresh talent into our ranks will serve to ensure the sustained long-term growth of PAASE, just as the many professional achievements of our current members in 2015 serve to demonstrate the depth of talent that the academy represents. Sadly, this was also the year that 2010 Chemistry Nobel Laureate Richard Heck passed away after protracted illness. Heck, who graced the 2011 APAMS as our guest of honor, will of course be remembered as an inspirational figure for young scientists throughout the world.


PAASE’s efforts mesh quite nicely with the positive economic outlook for the Philippines. Never in our history as an organization has there been such reason for optimism. This period of unprecedented growth represents an opportunity to build our scientific talent pool, and thus catalyze further development with firm scientific and technological foundations. Meanwhile, our members continue to spearhead initiatives aimed at increasing the productivity level and impact of scientific work in the Philippines; we will also strive to ensure the growth of the careers of scientists of Filipino descent, wherever they may be based. The time has now come to pass the torch to a new team of PAASE officers, led by our new president, Dr. Xenia Tigno. In particular, we all look forward to the next APAMS, which is to be hosted by George Washington University.

Finally, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a fruitful, productive New Year ahead!

 

Best regards,

Raymond R. Tan

2015 PAASE President

  
Prof. Raymond Tan
PAASE President (2015)