Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Inculcating the Tenets of Great Scientists in Grand Launch

Very successful was the formal launch and public presentation of the book: Inculcating the Tenets of Great Scientists, authored by Chigozie Ubani, a young Nigerian scientist championing a cause in science popularization and education. The book-launch which held in Chelsea Hotel, Wuse II Abuja, on Wednesday 31 October, 2012 had in attendance men of science and technology and that of education. This event which was chaired by Engr. (Dr.) Solomon Nyagba, President Abuja Chamber of Commerce, began at exactly 11am in the morning with the opening prayers from students of FCT –Secondary Education Board.

Dignitaries that graced the occasion include: the Honourable Minister of Education, Professor (Mrs) Ruqayyatu Rufa’i (ably represented by the Deputy Director, Technology and Science Popularization); the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (represented by one of her staff); the Director-General, National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Eng. (Dr.) Umar Bindir; the Director-General, Energy Commission of Nigeria, Professor Abubarkar Sambo (represented by Engr. Jude Asogwa); the Director-General, National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), represented by the Deputy Director, Science Infrastructure, Mrs. G.I. Adams; the National Project Coordinator, STEP-B, Professor Michael U. Adikwu (represented by Barr. Cyril Adikwu); Director, FCT –Secondary Education Board, Mrs. Yelwa F. Baba-Ari (ably represented by the Deputy Director, Science and Tech. Unit, Mr. Kemnele); the Director, FCT Agency for Science and Technology (represented by Mrs. Angela Nwachukwu); the Chairman, FCT Universal Basic Education Board (represented by Usman M. Yahayi); the Ambassador, Embassy of Angola (represented by Mr. Sergio Antonio), as well as the media crew from African Science and Tech Digest led by Mr. Bonny Alams.

The chairman, Engr. (Dr.) S. Nyagba, in his address stressed the need to encourage activities such as that of the author. He also harped on the need to develop our science, technology and innovation (STI) capacity as that is the only way through which we can develop our economy. This, he said, while drawing from the experiences of countries like Japan and China, who before long, were in the downside of STI development but now, major players in science, technology and innovation.

In another eloquent speech, Engr. (Dr.) Umar Bindir, the Director-General of National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), in his usual passionate and charismatic manner stressed the need to translate knowledge of science into tangible things. In his words, “Science does not give you pipe borne water, but the knowledge of science can be translated to give this”. This he said while establishing the critical linkage between science, technology and innovation. Engr. Bindir also furthered by telling the audience (mainly the students) that he never chose to become an engineer, but his only motivation in becoming one was to make life easier for his mother, whom he loved so much.

A highpoint in the event was the speech by the celebrant – the author. In his speech, Mr. Chigozie Ubani, gave the genesis of the book – from his activities as President, Joint Association of Science Students (then as an undergraduate in Abia State University, Uturu in 2006) – to his activities as an NYSC member in Wukari, Taraba State (2008), and even to this time. The author stated that the book tries to establish the missing link in science education. In his view, knowledge alone is not enough to ensure striking accomplishment in science. Teaching a student chemistry, he said, does not guarantee that that student will use the knowledge of chemistry to change his life or that of others. But knowledge mixed with inspiration is what does it. When a child is taught and at the same time inspired or motivated, that child is bound to make great impact. This aspect of providing the much-needed inspiration is one our educational system has for long ignored. The present book, he said, bridges that gap.

It was also another special moment, as the chairman, Engr. (Dr.) S. Nyagba, indulged the audience in giving the author, Chigozie Ubani, a standing ovation. This much-deserved ovation is as a result of the author’s contributions in science popularization and in the motivation of young people pursuing careers in sciences. The event ended at about 1.30pm, with a vote of thanks from Mr. Sunday C. Ubani, an elder brother to the author.