JIS News

Story Highlights

  • ‘Science for Life’ will be the focus of National Science and Technology Month, which will be observed in November.
  • Acting Executive Director of the Scientific Research Council (SRC), Hawthorne Watson, says a number of activities targeted all sectors of the country, will be undertaken this year.
  • He noted that in the past the major activity to highlight the Month was the biennial Science and Technology conference; however in 1998, the decision was taken to celebrate November as Science and Technology month.

‘Science for Life’ will be the focus of National Science and Technology Month, which will be observed in November.

Acting Executive Director of the Scientific Research Council (SRC), Hawthorne Watson, says a number of activities targeted all sectors of the country, will be undertaken this year.

Mr. Watson was addressing a JIS ‘Think Tank’ at the agency’s headquarters, in Kingston, on October 30.

He noted that in the past the major activity to highlight the Month was the biennial Science and Technology conference; however in 1998, the decision was taken to celebrate November as Science and Technology month.

This year the third Biennial conference on Science and Technology will be held at the Jamaica Pegasus from November 10-12 and will surround the theme: ‘Green gold, medicinal Ganja and other natural products, potential source of wealth for Jamaica’.

“Ganja is the very topical natural product now, and we are fortunate in having over 50 per cent of the plants known to have medicinal properties, and many of these are known in our folklore,” Mr. Watson said, as he explained the reason for choosing the theme for the biennial conference.

Among the other activities to celebrate the Month will be a Church Service at the Bethel Baptist Church in Half-Way Tree on Sunday, November 2, beginning at 10:15 a.m.

There will also be the second staging of Science in the Park & Expo on November 27 at Emancipation Park in New Kingston.

Mr. Watson said the event will showcase scientific displays and businesses that support Science and Technology.

“We expect to have some 30 booths and it will be a forum for information for businesses, for students and for the general housewife,” he added.

During the month, various institutions and companies will facilitate tours by schools and other persons to be informed about developments taking place in the sector. An educational tour will also be held at the Appleton Estate in St. Elizabeth and there will a special community project targeting inner-city youth.

“This year we are going to August Town to show them how to make a proper sauce. We have a lot of interest there and we hope that out of that will come some business opportunities for the youth,” Mr. Watson said.

He said the SRC is hoping that after November there will be a heightened awareness of the importance of the application of Science, Technology and Innovation to the development of the country.

Mr. Watson pointed out that several ideas were developed from previous observances, such as using Sorrel as a year-round drink.

Meanwhile, Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, who also addressed the JIS ‘Think Tank’, said the Government is hoping that at the end of November, “the country will begin to celebrate many of our achievements in Science and Technology and see it as a way of life.”

“We are expecting that the country will accept that we are seriously pursuing this mandate of getting our people to fully embrace science, technology and  innovation as a way of life going forward,” the Minister  said.

For his part, Director General of the National Commission on Science and Technology, Professor Errol Morrison, is hoping that Jamaicans will feel a greater sense of belonging and a part of efforts to drive Science and Technology in Jamaica.

“We want the people to feel that they are a part of this…and to help them to take some of their ideas to the business world, where they can now begin to create jobs for themselves and earn some income,” Professor Morrison said.

Science and Technology Month is coordinated by the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining; the National Commission on Science and  Technology  and the Scientific Research Council.