Mon | Jul 16, 2018

Louis E.A. Moyston | Unleash a scientific revolution in Jamaica

Published:Wednesday | July 11, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Louis Moyston

The editorial 'Let marijuana kick-start R&D' (Gleaner, June 29, 2018) provides useful and useable information. It reveals the ownership of the Jamaica Cannabis Collective and the Jamaica Medical Marijuana Holdings.

The important statement here is, "The beneficial owners of these vehicles, it seems, are Canadians."

Second, the editorial call for the taking of the research and development in science to the wider society, beyond the boundaries of cannabis, is a most important declaration. It is significant in reminding the public of Jamaica's only brush with revolution in science in a real way was the study and work of the illustrious Dr T.P. Lecky in botany and zoology.

At the same time, it notes the declining application of science in everyday experience in this country. I question the awarding of the US$2-million research grant to a largely foreign enterprise: Why wasn't this money given to our universities and/or the Scientific Research Council?

 

DEVELOPING SOCIETY

 

It is my thinking that there is the need to use science and research and development and impact the wider Jamaican society, especially in the area of agriculture. There is the need for a science-based curriculum offering science to all students.

Science is not only for bright people. Accompanying this approach must be a scientific literacy campaign to unleash new thinking about science and also to interpret science in everyday experience.

No country has ever developed without the application of science, especially in the area of agriculture. Why didn't the chemistry and physics used in sugar, rum and molasses production not spread to the wider Jamaican society in terms of curriculum and application? It was the application of science to the sugar cane plant, albeit under slavery, that made Jamaica the wealthiest entity on earth during the sugar era.

Now we must apply science to the wider agricultural activities. We must seize this opportunity to unleash upon this country a revolution, revolution in science for national development, a revolution in science to promote and advance an intelligent citizenry, a revolution in education to produce concrete products to satisfy demand locally.

- Louis Moyston, PhD, is a university lecturer. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and thearchives01@yahoo.com.