by Gab Segura || Photo credit: SARS (PSHS-EVC)
In an effort to bolster interest in research amongst the Philippine Science High School – Eastern Visayas Campus (PSHS-EVC) student body, the Society for the Advancement of Research in Science (SARS) organized STEER: Scholarly Talks to Encourage and Empower Research. The event was held last November 19, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm.
The event commenced with a speech by SARS President Vean Cordero, welcoming the student body. Mr. Numeriano Gutierrez provided closing remarks. Two scientists, Dr. Thomas Edison dela Cruz and Ms. Joy Ann Petronio-Santos, introduced by Mr. Carlo Apurillo and Ms. Janeth Morata, respectively, provided insightful career talks detailing their inspirations and struggles. In between were games with prizes consisting of merchandise bearing the SARS logo, furnished by EVC’s own FabLab.
Dr. dela Cruz, an expert in Microbiology and professor at the University of Santo Tomas, spoke of his experiences researching myxomycetes both locally and abroad as well as his efforts to draw attention domestically through establishing a shop for fungi. The efforts included holding workshops on their identification, and promoting them as an avenue for ecotourism. He emphasized that a study should not be hindered by its possible economic returns—citing his deep fascination with slime molds despite their unprofitability— and that it is essential to cultivate a passion for science among all walks of life.
A University Researcher at University of the Philippines – Diliman and Vice President of Manila HealthTek Inc., a biotechnology firm, Ms. Petronio-Santos described the possible career paths for prospective scientists and gave advice on how to take new opportunities in order to advance in both the academe and the industry. In her talk, she also urged aspiring researchers to stay in the Philippines “para sa bayan” in order to strengthen the local scientific community, sespite the warning of the many struggles Filipino scientists face.
According to SARS President Vean Cordero, STEER was intended to “increase [the student body’s] awareness and knowledge of some research careers that they may be interested in pursuing in the near future.” She hoped that the event would “pique the interest of our scholars and encourage them to eventually take up research as a career or at least push them to continue researching even after graduating college” and that it would paint a picture of what it means to be a Filipino scientist.