General News of Wednesday, 21 November 2018
The Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (STEPRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has called on students to take the study of science seriously, as a tool for development worldwide.
“We are in an exciting moment where science is making everything possible in the world. Choose science, study science and transform the world,” Professor Victor Kwame Agyeman, the Director General of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, told students during an open day organised by STEPRI in Accra on Tuesday.
The open day, which was held to sensitise students and the general public on the activities and operations of STEPRI, was also aimed at educating the public on the need to embrace science and technology as a tool for personal and national development.
The CSIR-STEPRI is the 12th Institute out of the 13 of the CSIR to hold its open day as part of activities for the celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Council.
The Anniversary is on the theme: “CSIR-60 Years of Research with Impact for Sustainable Development; the Role of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy Research”.
Prof. Agyeman said no country had developed without the contribution of STI, hence the need to build the interest of the public in science to properly understand the impact of CSIR- STEPRI’s contribution towards national growth and development.
He said the Institute had been mandated to carry out research in STI for the formulation and implementation of policies for national development.
He, therefore, encouraged continuous interactions between research institutes and the public to enable the researchers to find solutions to emerging challenges for socio-economic development.
Prof. Agyeman urged participants at the ceremony to discuss thought provoking issues like the relevance of science and technology research and innovations being carried out, and whether government policies are well grounded on evidential research.
Dr Wilhemina Quaye, the Director of STEPRI, said the Institute had existed for over 31 years, contributing to research and knowledge-based information on the basis of science, technology and innovation.
She said the mandate of STEPRI include monitoring and assessment of STI related policies in the economy; popularisation of STI; commercialisation; facilitating transfer and diffusion of local technology and innovation and management of STI human resource among other things.
“Over the years, CSIR-STEPRI has been involved in the formulation of policies such as the Biotechnology Draft Policy, the Science and Technology Policy 2000, the Science and Technology Policy 2010, the STI Draft Policy 2017, which is under consideration in Cabinet.
Others include the National Climate-Smart Agriculture and Food Security Action Plan developed in 2015, Dr Quaye said.
Dr Isaac Mensah Bonsu, a Director of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), and a Council Member of CSIR, advised the Institute to set a period to do self-introspection on the STI to achieve economic growth.
He said the NDPC relied on research to influence plans, policy, and programmes as well as design the “Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policy Framework” of the country, which was a constitutionally mandated document.
The open day was attended by some industry players, students from the St Thomas Aquinas and Labone Senior High schools and some members of the public.