National Scientist Bienvenido O. Juliano, known Filipino expert on Organic Chemistry, joined our Creator on February 21, 2018.
The National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST, PHL), joins the science community in mourning the demise of National Scientist (NS) Juliano. NS Juliano was known for his outstanding contributions to the chemistry and technology of rice and rice food products, which rationalizes breeding strategies for rice grain quality all throughout the world; his extensive and primary research works on rice starch and its constituents; and for his enviable capacity to train many scientists from the national rice programs of many countries and other segments of the academe. His important research activities in collaboration with scientists in related disciplines had produced socio-economic impact amongst the rice-eating countries of the world.
Spanning 32 years working as a chemist, NS Juliano worked for the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), an independent, nonprofit rice research and training organization and Asia's largest nonprofit agricultural research center from 1961 to 1993 as in charge of grain quality research, where he contributed much to the basic knowledge in differences between varieties of grain quality of rice. He demonstrated that the amylose (a linear polymer made up of D-glucose units) content of starch determines the quality of milled rice in Asia. In addition, he also delved into the nutritional quality of rice and formulated an innovative and improved methods for grain quality evaluation.
He was author and co-author of more than 370 scientific papers on rice chemistry and quality and technology and rice in human nutrition and compiled essential data on world rice. He edited and contributed to several chapters of the 2nd edition of the American Association of Cereal Chemists (AACC) monograph "Rice Chemistry and Technology" in 1985, wrote "Rice in Human Nutrition" for FAO in 1993, and "Rice Chemistry and Quality" for PhilRice in 2003. He was an M.S. and Ph.D. theses adviser to several scholars, fellows and research assistants, a number of postdoctoral fellows and visiting scientists who did research in his laboratory. He also produced competent IRRI laboratory trained chemists from national rice breeding programs of many countries.
The NAST Philippines, the government’s highest recognition and advisory body on science and technology joins the scientific community in mourning the demise of Academician Ramon F. Abarque Jr. He passed away on January 9, 2018. He was 89.
Acd. Abarquez is recognized by NAST in 1993 for his significant contributions in the field of cardiovascular diseases and to exercise ECG methodology. His career has yielded many of the seminal papers in cardiology over the years – pioneering works that are no less than groundbreaking. Among his important pioneering works include: ECG testing during exercise using an electrode he designed which is universally accepted for its superior prognostic implications; the ECG diagnosis of hypokalemia (low levels of potassium in the blood); and the use of digitalis as prophylactic and protectant against heart failure. He, with other scientists, was also involved in the study on thrombolysis (clot) dissolution, now a standard therapy for typical heart attack cases first studied in 1964 inexperimentally occluded coronary vessels in dogs.
He obtained his AB (1948) and MD (1953) from the University of the Philippines. He undertook post graduate training in internal medicine, cardiology and physiology at Memorial Bellevue Division of Cornell Medical School, New York City on a Rockefeller Fellowship and New York Heart Association Research Grant. From instructor, he worked his way to Professor at the College of Medicine, UP Manila and held various positions at UP. He also held positions in private sector and hospitals.
Among his many awards are the Cultural Heritage Award for outstanding contribution to science and technology (1963), Achievement Award in Medical Sciences, Philippine National Science Society (National Research Council of the Philippines) (1989), and Distinguished Scientist Award, Philippine Heart Association (1986).
NAST PHL held a necrological service, in coordination with the Philippine College of Physicians and Philippine Society of Hypertension, at 7:00PM at Heritage Memorial Park, Taguig City.
The world’s academies of science release a ‘Statement on Climate Change and Education’.
For the remainder of the 21st century and beyond, climate change poses an existential threat to humanity.
Under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, the world’s nations agreed to keep global temperature rises to within 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels. One degree of that rise has already occurred. However, in the recent COP23 meeting held in Bonn, Germany, we are still heading towards 3 degrees rise, and possibly more. The Paris Agreement also states “Parties should take measures ... to enhance climate change education” (Paris Agreement, Art.12).
“Decisions on how to tackle the effects of climate change need to be based on sound science and rational judgement,” says Krishan Lal (India), co-chair of IAP for Science. “They will also need to be made through the coming years – so it is the younger generation, currently in schools and learning about science, who will need to make those decisions.”
Unfortunately, in many countries, science education is often poor and does not develop the rational thinking or provide the inter-disciplinary study required to learn about climate change.