The 12th Asian Science Camp (ASC) Indonesia Hosts ASC for the Second Time, Inspiring Young Asian Scientists

After opened by the Governor of North Sulawesi, Olly Dondokambey, SE, last 4th of August, yesterday evening (August 8), the Vice Governor of North Sulawesi, represented by 1st Assistant for Governance and People’s Welfare Edison Humiang, closed the 12th Asian Science Camp (ASC) which has been going on for the last six days at the Sutan Raja Hotel in Manado. Edison Humiang was accompanied onstage by Prof. Ming-Juey Lin, Chairman of the International Committee for ASC, Prof. Yohanes Surya, Chairman of Surya Institute, Grace Punuh, Head of the Education Department of the Provincial Government of North Sulawesi, and Prof. Mezak Ratag, Rector of Indonesian Christian University at Tomohon (UKIT).

For the second time, after hosting the 2nd ASC in Bali in 2008, Indonesia is now host to ASC. Surya Institute (which encompasses Surya University and Surya Teachers’ College amongst other institutions) cooperated with the Provincial Government of North Sulawesi, such that it was held in Manado, with full support from the Governor and his people.

Prof. Yohanes Surya, as Chairman of Surya Institute, together with a representative of the North Sulawesi Provincial Government, presented Indonesia’s plan to be host for the 12th ASC at the closing of the 11th ASC in Kampar, Malaysia, in August of last year. Invitations were sent to various countries and areas in Asia, and 24 delegations have responded positively, bringing their best students in science to attend. The number of students, team leaders and observers has reached more than 250 delegates, and come from Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Chinese Taipei, Egypt, Georgia, Guam, India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Palestine, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Russia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam dan the host, Indonesia.

The objective of ASC is to motivate and encourage the young generation of Asia to seriously enter the world of science and aspire to become world-class scientists, and forge a network amongst themselves. This is achieved through discussions and dialogues with Nobel Laureates and world-class scientists, in the form of plenary and parallel session, panel discussions, round-table dialogues and a science poster competition.

The 12th ASC succeeded in inviting 13 distinguished foreign and local speakers, including one Nobel Laureate (Physics 2015), Prof. Takaaki Kajita; recipient of the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award in Life Sciences, Prof. Ronald D. Vale, Ph.D. from the University of California San Francisco; recipient of the Albert Lasker Award and Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences, Prof. Dr. Michael P. Sheetz from the National University of Singapore (NUS); recipient of the Robert Dirk Prize in Molecular programming, Dr. Ashwin Gopinath from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Biodesign Center for Mechanisms of Evolution founder from the Arizona State University, Prof. Dr. Michael Lynch; cosmologist Prof. Jiun-Huei Proty Wu from the National Taiwan University; Prof. Linda J. Kenney from the Mechanobiology Institute at NUS; and Rizal F. Hariadi, Ph.D. from the Biomolecular Mechanics and Nanotechnology Laboratory (BIOMAN Lab) at Arizona State University. Local speakers invited include Prof. Mezak A. Ratag, APU an expert in astronomy and astrophysics, and currently is the Rector of the Christian University of Indonesia; three women who won the L’Oreal Women In Science Award: Dr. Bidhari Pidhatika from the Center for Leather, Rubber and Plastics (CLRP) under the Ministry of Industry; Dr. Fenny Dwivany of the Bali International Research Center for Banana; and Dr. Sidrotun Naim, MPA from Surya University and also as expert with the Food and Drug Authority; and Dr. Teguh Triono from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), Indonesia.

As host, Indonesia has the privilege to send a delegation of up to 20% of the total participants. From the 41 students, asides from the 20 students chosen through the national selection, 21 students were selected by the Provincial Government of North Sulawesi, so it is expected that these students will also be able to contribute in the field of science to the nation’s advancement and North Sulawesi in particular.

The Camp has been held since August 3 until August 8 2018, at the Sutan Raja Hotel in Manado, and asides from listening to sessions given by the speakers, participants have been taken to the Laboratorium at the Bio-medical Polytechnic Institute (Poltekkes), and also to Paal Beach. The evening before the closing, after all the speakers’ sessions, the day ended with a “Cultural Night”, of which all delegations presented a performance, whether dance, song or theater, representing their respective cultures. The Indonesian Delegation performed the Saman Dance (from Aceh) and the Sajojo Dance (from Papua). The Sajojo Dance managed to get all the participants to come up and dance together on stage with a lot of fervour.

One of the more interesting activities was the Science Poster Competition amongst mixed groups of participants. The topic for the poster competition was aligned to the Panel Discussion’s theme: “Integrating Science to solve World Problems”, of which the problem was to solve the “plastic ocean” that is increasing by the day, threatening and even killing marine and coastal life.

At the closing, the winners of the Science Poster Competition and “Best Question Award” were announced by the respective juries and Prof. Ming-Juey Lin also announced that the 13th ASC 2019 would be held in Shantau, China, hosted by the China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE). Their goal is to be able to invite more Nobel Laureates to ASC.

Leave a Reply