UP Diliman launched the first Science, Technology, and Society (STS) Month with the theme, “Bodies, Science, and Philippine Society”, on October 4, 2018 at the Palma Hall Lobby.
According to the organizer, the UP Diliman Office for Initiatives in Culture and the Arts (UPD-OICA), the theme arose from UP Diliman’s Festival of Culture and the Arts last February, where the body was identified as an important device in knowledge production. “This time, the Philippine body is explored as a scientific concept grounded in a socio-historical milieu,” OICA said.
Science, Technology and Society (STS) is a course in the University that explores how the sciences and society interact.
According to Prof. Giovanni Tapang of the National Institute of Physics, who was the master of ceremonies of the opening program, the STS Month would celebrate the oneness of the natural and social sciences and the arts, as represented by UP Diliman’s former College of Arts and Sciences, which broke up to form three colleges 35 years ago. These are the College of Science, the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, and the College of Arts and Letters.
“We want to celebrate the opposite of the break-up. . . . These disciplines connect in many ways,” stressed UPD Vice Chancellor for Research and Development Fidel Nemenzo.
UPD Chancellor Michael Tan, citing the Indonesian concept of mata hati, said the University aspires to produce graduates who are able to understand society because they see through the heart. The images of an eye and a heart are prominent in the Manansala mural titled “Arts and Sciences” at the Palma Hall lobby.
UPD-OICA Director Cecilia de la Paz said the month-long celebration aims for science to be immersed in society, giving, and with imagination for shaping the country’s future.
The launch of the STS Month also saw the opening of “Agham para sa Bayan: An Exhibition of UPD S&T Achievements,” featuring 10 projects in UPD that can improve society. Exhibited are: the Philippine Microsatellite Diwata 1 & 2 Project; Gitara ni Juan, the use of indigenous wood for guitar-making; Visser, instrumentation for science education and research; Fish-I, using camera and video software for fish census; Automated Rapid Reef Assessment System, using physical video capture and stitching software; Learning English Application for Pinoys, software for senior high school students; Weather Manila, pinpointing local weather information; DREAM Phil-LiDAR, providing value-adding data for flood modeling and hazard maps; Community-led Integrated Non-cyanide, Non-mercury Gold Extraction Method; and, Mapa ng Loob, developing a Filipino personality inventory.
Many activities have been lined up for the month: an international food science and nutrition symposium; a visual arts exhibition on the science of genetics; a colloquium on HIV/AIDS in Southeast Asia; a forum celebrating the bicentenary of Frankenstein; and, the many activities of the College of Science for its 35th anniversary. (View full program here)
The STS Month opening was also attended by Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary Rowena Guevara and DOST Advanced Science and Technology Institute Director Joel Joseph Marciano Jr., UP Executive Vice President Teodoro Herbosa and Assistant Vice President for Public Affairs Jose Wendell Capili, other UP Diliman officials, and deans and representatives of UPD colleges led by the dean of the host college, Maria Bernadette Abrera of the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy. (Jo. Lontoc, UP MPRO)