Science community’s role in serving democracy

The National Academy of Sciences of Sri Lanka (NASSL) concluded its 45th annual general meeting on Saturday, March 16, at the Hilton Residences, Colombo. The election of 10 new fellows to the academy, two members to the council and new office bearers to the council took place. Medals were presented to past and present presidents of the academy.

Outgoing president, Prof Nadira Karunaweera reflected on science promotional activities conducted during 2022-2024. Training trainers in ‘Small-Scale Chemistry’ – an economical and environmentally friendly way of teaching chemistry in local schools, a method introduced through collaborations with Thailand, has far-reaching benefits for local teachers and students.

NASSL helped document, for the first time, science advice systems in operation in the region. The findings help Sri Lanka develop a suitable structure and a process for scientific advice to the Government.

Newly-elected president, Prof Ajit Abeysekera stressed the importance of taking science to the public, and outlined projects he intends to carry out to disseminate science. Guest speaker Dr Nishan de Mel, Verite Research executive director, in his speech on ‘Serving Democracy As A Science Community’ said how science journalism can be a tool in addressing issues of the country. The fellowship and dinner allowed those present to continue on the topic of taking science to the people.