Message from Dr. Charah Watson, Executive Director, SRC – S&T Supplement 2021

Twenty-four years ago, the Scientific Research Council (SRC) started on a mission to stimulate national awareness about science and technology (S&T) and the integral role it plays in the development of our society, and today we continue to do the same. The truth is, though our mission of popularizing S&T among our publics has been largely successful, as it is crucial to the success of our economy, we cannot afford to drop the torch. We aptly chose the theme for the month “Science & Technology, the Heartbeat of National Development” as the very infrastructure of our society is dependent on S&T. Essential sectors such as health, education, finance, manufacturing, business, environment, agriculture, energy, transport, construction/housing, recreation and entertainment, etc. are all grounded in scientific research and technological advances. 

The value of science and technology has never been more pronounced than it is in this present pandemic, as it puts to test the world’s ability to respond and recover. This urgent situation has heralded in a new period of innovation, with developments such as hands-free door openers/sanitizers making their debut. Perhaps most significant is the global collaborative efforts of the scientific community in the rapid development of the life-saving COVID-19 vaccines. This revolutionary breakthrough is indeed historic as we witnessed the development of vaccines 

that would normally take 12-15 years being developed in a fraction of that time. The fact is: science saves. It has done so since the dawn of man and the discovery of fire and it continues to do so today. 

This COVID-19 pandemic is indeed adversity that has disrupted and destroyed lives and livelihoods, but the judicious application of S&T can assist in mitigating some of its effects over time. What this present situation has highlighted is the importance of providing real time scientific response/solutions to some of our more critical national issues. 

The Scientific Research Council which has been playing a major role in impacting commercial activities through the application of science and technology, stands ready to do its part in enabling the growth of various sectors in support of economic recovery. Maintaining product quality and standards that facilitate local and international trade, our services are far-reaching and impact most of the productive sector, environmental protection and preservation. Our work contributes to the growth of the small business sector, agro-processing, personal care industry, sustainable agriculture, product safety, scientific innovations and improved performance in STEM Education. 

Affliction presents opportunities for science and technology (S&T) to be a part of the solution. Government, private sector, scientific entities and citizens, we now need to collaborate and direct all our efforts towards building capacity through science, technology and innovation and enhancing Jamaica’s growth and development. We encourage the support of all stakeholders at various levels so that as individuals, communities and a nation at large, we will experience improved health, wealth and an overall higher standard of living. 

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