AsianScientist (Dec. 4, 2019) – The Asian Scientist Writing Prize 2019 culminated in an award ceremony which saw 26 winners receive prizes worth over S$16,000. Co-organized by Asian Scientist Magazine and Science Centre Singapore, the third edition of the biennial competition challenged participants to consider how science, technology, engineering and mathematics could help create a sustainable society. This year, the organizers received 450 entries from all across Asia, including Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
Gracing the award ceremony as the guest of honor was Mr. Masagos Zulkifli, Singapore’s Minister for the Environment and Water Resources.
“Building a sustainable future is not just the job of policymakers, scientists and engineers. Education in STEM will play an important role in helping our present and future generations to understand climate change and be adequately prepared to adapt to and mitigate its impacts,” said Minister Masagos in his speech at the award ceremony.
“In addition, both scientists and mainstream media can help by explaining discoveries and findings in a clear, concise and engaging manner. This is where science communication comes in. Publications like the Asian Scientist Magazine play a big role in piquing our interest in science, by highlighting scientific developments from Asia to a global audience,” he added.
The top three winners in the Open category received S$5,000, S$3,000 and S$2,000 in cash prizes. In addition, the first-place winner of the Open category, Dr. Ye Weijian, a research scientist at the Singapore-Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Alliance for Research and Technology, walked away with a 3D/2N stay at the Banyan Tree Bintan Villa Resort, courtesy of Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts. Dr. Ye’s winning entry will also be published in the Jan 2020 issue of Asian Scientist Magazine.
Apart from the top three prizes in the Open category, three prizes were given out under the Science Centre Singapore Youth Writing Prize, a special category for participants aged 13-18. The winners each received personalized trophies and a total of S$1,000 in cash prizes. In addition, ten Merit Award winners each received S$500 worth of book vouchers from World Scientific Publishing Company, while each of the ten Honorable Mention awardees received a personalized certificate.
“The entries we received were of high quality and gave uniquely Asian perspectives on the pressing challenges of climate change, loss of biodiversity and widespread pollution that society is facing today,” said Dr. Juliana Chan, editor-in-chief of Asian Scientist Magazine, who chaired the judging panel. “The essays also highlight a sense of optimism—we can still come back from the brink of environmental disaster if we get the science right.”
“We hope that the Asian Scientist Writing Prize will encourage more people—scientists and non-scientists alike—to think more about how scientific advances affect us and our environment,” Dr. Chan added.
Associate Professor Lim Tit Meng, chief executive of Science Centre Singapore, said, “I am encouraged by the creativity of our young people, particularly the winners of the competition. The entries show a firm grasp of science and all the promising possibilities for a sustainable future.”
The winners were selected by a panel of five judges including Dr. Chan; Associate Professor Lim; Dr. Benjamin Seet, executive director of the Biomedical Research Council at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR); and Mrs. Doreen Phua, managing director of World Scientific Publishing Company.
The Asian Scientist Writing Prize 2019 is supported by the following organizations: National Youth Council (NYC), Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), SGInnovate, and the Science & Development Network (Scidev.net).
Winners of the Asian Scientist Writing Prize 2019
- Gutter Gold by Ye Weijian
- Hokkaido Researchers Break New Ice in Cryosphere Science by Nathaniel Gronewold
- Corals: The Turn of the Tide by Amanda Bambby Cheuk
Dr. Ye Weijian is a research scientist at the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology. His article, Gutter Gold, highlighted how waste cooking oil is being repurposed as a type of biodiesel with the help of new catalysts and biological enzymes.
Mr. Nathanial Gronewold is a reporter and PhD candidate at the Hokkaido University Graduate School of Environmental Science. Writing about ice core samples studied at the Institute of Low Temperature Science at Hokkaido University, he shed light on how researchers investigate the Earth’s past climate.
Ms. Amanda Bambby Cheuk is an undergraduate at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Diving deep into the issue of coral bleaching, her essay provided insights into how scientists are trying to rescue coral reefs, which are an essential part of the marine ecosystem.
Winners of the Science Centre Singapore Youth Writing Prize 2019
- Bee Change by Aimeirene Yzabel Ines
- The Insect Apocalypse by Sheryl-Lynn Tan
- The Great Walls on Mekong: Dams of Fate by Duong Nguyen
A student at Academia de Sophia International in the Philippines, Ms. Aimeirene Yzabel Ines emphasized the importance of bees in sustaining the planet and drew attention to colony collapse disorder.
Ms. Sheryl-Lynn Tan, a student at Hwa Chong Institution, wrote about how the widespread use of pesticides, the loss of natural habitats and global warming are putting a strain on insect populations around the world.
Ms. Duong Nguyen, a student at Hanoi-Amsterdam High School for Gifted Students, discussed the impact of dams built along the Mekong River, questioning if the benefits of hydroelectricity outweigh the risks of upsetting the river’s ecological function.
Merit Award Winners
- Dr. Anggit Sunarwidhi, a junior lecturer at the University of Mataram, Indonesia.
- Dr. Daphne Ng, a technical writer at Vela Diagnostics.
- Ms. Jacklin Kwan, a student at the University of Manchester, UK.
- Ms. Mary Grace Nidoy, a science research specialist at the Philippine Rice Research Institute, the Philippines.
- Mr. Yuan Lee, a student in Singapore.
- Dr. Cindy Lee Lai Yeng, a senior lecturer at National University of Singapore.
- Ms. Brenda Lau, a creative writer at 3M Singapore.
- Dr. Lakshmi Supriya, a freelance science writer.
- Mr. Li Lidao, an undergraduate student at Oxford University, UK.
- Dr. Poorna Roy, a scientist at IIT Kanpur.
- Ms. Aditi Krishnakumar, a doctor at Banaras Hindu University, India.
- Mr. Danielle Jorge Malantic, a student at the Philippine Science High School, the Philippines.
- Mr. Jason Yip, a project manager at EDF Lab, Singapore.
- Ms. Ng Jia Yi, a graduate student at the Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore.
- Mr. Ng Yao Ting, a student at Raffles Institution, Singapore.
- Ms. Shabdita Vatsa, a research assistant at Prestige BioPharma Pte Ltd, Singapore.
- Mr. Vasu Kaker, a student at United World College of South East Asia, Singapore.
- Ms. Carissa Quintana, an environmental professional in the Philippines.
- Mr. Prasenjit Ghosh, a PhD candidate at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India.
- Ms. Sidra Raihana, a student at the Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani, India.
Copyright: Asian Scientist Magazine.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.