AsianScientist (Dec. 8, 2018) – A Southeast Asian nation well-known and loved for its breathtaking tropical beaches and ornate Buddhist temples, Thailand is also home to a vibrant scientific scene.
Behind Thailand’s tourism-driven economy is a government which understands the importance of investing in research and development (R&D) to push the country forward. In fact, its National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Office (STI) has projected that by the end of 2018, Thailand’s R&D investment will amount to one percent of its GDP, with intentions to increase research expenditure to 1.5 percent of GDP by 2021.
Correspondingly, the number of researchers in Thailand is increasing gradually, and data from STI shows that there are about 1,700 scientists for every million people in Thailand. While this figure is among the lowest in the Southeast Asian region, it is important to note that Thailand fares well when it comes to gender equality in the science sector, with women comprising half of its scientific talent pool.
We feature here some of the top scientists helping science thrive in Thailand.
- Pimchai Chaiyen
Chaiyen, who won the 2003 L’Oréal Thailand For Women in Science Award, received the 2017 L’Oréal Woman Scientist Crystal Award for her research into a cleaner way to produce chemicals.
- Pussana Hirunsit
Hirunsit won the 2017 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science National Award for her research on environmentally friendly nanocatalysts.
- Anchalee Manonukul
For her work on powder metallurgy, Manonukul received the 2017 L’Oréal Woman Scientist Crystal Award, a special award commemorating the 15th anniversary of the L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science Awards in Thailand.
- Varodom Charoensawan
Charoensawan received the 2017 Young Scientist Award from the Foundation for the Promotion of Science and Technology under the Patronage of His Majesty the King for his bioinformatics research.
- Marisa Ponpuak
Ponpuak received the 2017 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Fellowship for her research on autophagy aimed at finding new drugs for malaria and tuberculosis.
- Napida Hinchiranan
Hinchiranan was awarded the 2017 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Fellowship for her studies on using natural rubber to create value-added products.
- David Ruffolo
Ruffolo received the 2017 Outstanding Scientist Award from the Foundation for the Promotion of Science and Technology under Royal Patronage for his research on global radiation and cosmic rays, including a computer program that can predict the effects of solar storms on Earth.
Copyright: Asian Scientist Magazine; Photo: Pexels.
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