by Bridgette Komatep – EM TV Port Moresby
Scientific research in the country has been hindered by various factors, including ageing and lack of modernized scientific equipment.
Coupled with this is the missing Ethical Framework Policy in the country which determines whether scientific research is conducted ethically when it comes to testing human DNA among others.
This was revealed by some of participants from the different universities during the Consultative Meeting with the PNG Science and Technology Secretariat.
The consultative meeting was hosted by PNG Science and Technology Secretariat. It was attended by heads of universities and representatives from the University of PNG, Unitech, University of Goroka and Pacific Adventist University.
Discussions centred on how all research universities can collaborate all scientific research work to achieve national goals and even medical breakthrough while others can be commercialized. This was highlighted by the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PNG Science and Technology Secretariat Professor Teatulohi Matainaho.
The PNG Science and technology secretariat was established to coordinate and fund all research work however, the Secretariat says the government’s funding component as stated in Vision 2015 for 5 percent of the annual budget to be allocated for scientific research, has not been released to the Secretariat.
This has halted funding to carry out scientific researches in many of the universities an issue which was highlighted by Deputy Managing Director for the PNG Science and Technology Secretariat Dr Kulala Mulang.
Representing University of PNG, Nicolas Garnier who is the Dean of Research said one of the hindrances to scientific research at the university was the ageing equipment. He also pointed out the need for Senior Scientific Researchers to train cadets well to maintain high standards of research.
Pacific Adventist University led by Vice Chancellor Ben Thomas were of the view that scientific research must have real results that can be sold instead of seeing research as funding absorbers. This means, as more money is given to fund scientific work, there must be quality results that can be commercialized both locally and internationally.