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The National Science Foundation (NSF) celebrated the World Science Day (WSD) on 16th November 2021 under the theme “Let’s Apply Science to Rebuild the Nation” (විදු නැණ යොදවමු: යලි රට නංවමු)” as a hybrid event at the BMICH. Dr Seetha Arambepola, Hon. State Minister of Skills Development, Vocational Education, Research and Development was the Chief Guest.

Prof. Ranjith Senaratne, Chairman of the National Science Foundation in his opening remarks highlighted the impact of science and technology to the development of humankind and the importance of enhancing scientific literacy among people in the areas of infectious diseases, disasters, environment, climate change etc. Addressing the gathering, the Hon. Minister stressed the importance of science and scientific thinking in day to day life. She emphasized the significance of taking science to the community using simple and effective communication techniques making it more understandable and interesting to public. She appreciated the initiatives taken by the NSF, to create a scientific culture in schools and engaging schools in different activities that awaken the interest of children in learning and using science in their lives. Senior Prof. Sampath Amaratunge/Chairman of the University Grant Commission, Prof. Neelika Malavige, a professor in immunology and molecular medicine, University of Sri Jayewardenepura and Mr Manju Gunewardena/Director Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology were the keynote speakers of the event.

Number of awards under the NSF School Science Competitions, Kid naturalist Competition, and Science Research Project Competition (SRPC) were conferred to the winners. Best performed School Science Society and the Best Science Teacher of the Year in Popularizing Science were also recognized at the ceremony. This year’s event was combined with the SUSRED awards (Scientists for Successful Supervision of Postgraduate Degrees and NSF Technology Awards to scientists. View at YouTube via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5QAoE5gqSk

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Establishment of a digital platform to harness Sri Lankan scientific and professional expatriates for national development
 
There are nearly three million Sri Lankan expatriates and emigrants, including an appreciable number of reputed scientists and professionals holding senior positions in academia, R&D institutions, and industry. They undoubtedly constitute a formidable potential asset of Sri Lanka which has hitherto been almost untapped and untouched for national development. In fact, many SL expatriates are keen to contribute to the development of the motherland. However, the lack of a credible and pragmatic mechanism has hindered such contribution, while countries such as China, India and Taiwan have derived remarkable benefits by harnessing expatriates for national development.

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International day for women and girls in Science and the engagement of NSF Sri Lanka to assist the progression of women
At present, less than 30 per cent of researchers worldwide are women. According to UNESCO data (2014 - 2016), only around 30 per cent of all female students select STEM-related fields in higher education. Science and gender equality are both vital for the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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Application closing date - 15th February 2021
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