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According to the editor of the Scientific American, seventeen of 20 of the fastest growing jobs for the next decade will be in STEM-related fields. This is one of the reasons why I am forming a new WhatsApp group called
'Scientific Sierra Leonean', to bring together scientists, medics, engineers, technologists, mathematicians etc. at home and abroad to discuss, decide on and implement practical steps to advance scientific development in our homeland. This very much builds on the work @Sengbe has been doing stimulating debate but with the added benefit, hopefully, of some implementation on the ground. The group is currently only 24 hours old but already has some scientists and engineers in Sierra Leone, some in the great US of A and some here in the UK where I am based. There is so much to discuss including the current state of scientific training, the state of research and options for joint research projects on topics ranging from Ebola to sustainable energy, from diabetes to sickle cell research, offering training opportunities in our institutions to young scientists back home and much more.
I appreciate that this is an anonymous forum and many members here will prefer to keep their true identities secret. I respect that. If however you would like to join us I give you my word I will never divulge your handle under any circumstances. The best way to contact me initially is through the email system provided on the forum. If that is impractical I will publish an email address here that can be used.
Brief background about myself, My PhD is in cancer studies from King's College Medical School. I am currently the Director of the Clinical Transplantation Laboratory at one of the leading teaching hospitals here in the UK. My team undertakes all laboratory aspects of donor patient testing for kidney, heart and lung transplantation as well as stem cell transplantation in cancer patients and patients with non malignant conditions such as sickle cell. My primary research interests are therefore related to these topics.
Practical things I am keen to do include setting up a Sierra Leonean stem cell registry so in the future we do not die needlessly from treatable cancers and setting up an online Sierra Leonean Scientific Journal to help fund home based researchers. If you are a scientist, medic, engineer etc. and are of like mind please consider joining us. Thanks DMK
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DMK, please count me in. These are my research interests:
PHOTOCHEMISTRY, MOLECULAR DYNAMICS and SPECTROSCOPY APPLICATION OF LASERS TO CHEMICAL REACTION DYNAMICS ENERGY REDISTRIBUTION IN UNIMOLECULAR REACTIONS USING LIF STATE-TO-STATE CHEMISTRY MULTIPHOTON EXCITATION MOLECULAR BEAMS and METAL CLUSTER CHEMISTRY PHOTODISSOCIATION LASER SPECTROSCOPY LASER-INDUCED POLYMERIZATION ENERGY TRANSFER RATES IN SOLID-STATE LASER MATERIALS PHOTOSTABILITY OF DRUGS and DNA Photochemistry DEVELOPMENT and APPLICATION OF ANALYTICAL TECHNIQUES IN A QUALITY CONTROL ENVIRONMENT Hopefully, I can fit in somewhere.
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@Sengbe it would be an honour to have you in the group. Please contact me on
email@example.com and we can discuss offline.
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Thank you, DMK.
I will contact you soon over the weekend.
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Honorable DMK, great idea. I will contact you
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@Specky that would be great.
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Thank you DMK
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Great idea, DMK, I wish you and the rest of your group members the best. Thank you, Sir !
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Brother KL thank you. The group is taking shape much faster than I had dared hope. Perhaps unsurprisingly the idea that has gained traction very quickly is what we can do together to help improve scientific and clinical education. Every interesting.
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Although I'm not a doctor, I think you should look also into using natural medicine as well such as moringa which grows in Salone. I was watching a documentary on YouTube where a white pharmacist was in Sierra Leone learning more about the plant.
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@MT, I couldn't agree with you more. A number of our traditional medicines do indeed have active ingredients which if identified and purified could serve as the basis of locally developed pharmaceuticals.
Beyond that, I see many cosmetic products and food stuff advertised on TV and elsewhere which are based on plants and fruit extracts. The recent story doing the rounds on social media about the Karma Cola company is a good case study in turning our natural products into jobs and cash: http://allgoodorganics.co.nz/newsread/the-karma-cola-story/
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@ DMK, Scientific Saloneca is a great idea. Please tell me, would the grouping welcome Social/Development scientist among its fold?
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Korti, good question. Do you mean developmental science as in child development? That would certainly be a good fit. So far we have medical doctors, physical, biological and agricultural scientists, engineers, data scientists and m athematicians. The social sciences are such a broad area I don't know if direct membership would be a good fit but there is no doubt we will need persons with social/developmental science skills to help us with some of our objectives at some point down the line. I should probably give some feedback on where we are at the moment. We have debated various ways in which we as scientists can contribute not only to improving scientific education and research back home but also what contribution we can potentially make to national development wherever we believe a scientist background may be off some use. We have come up with a list of ideas and have boiled that down to three initial objectives, an online education initiative, a schools laboratory initiate and a water initiative. We have resolved to form a new charity to be registered in the UK called the Sierra Leone Association for Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine (SLA-STEM). We have drawn up a draft constitution and will register the charity once the final draft is agreed. We will then use that same constitution to register an NGO back home. I don't know how it will all turn out but I am grateful for all the really enthusiastic and very, very knowledgeable people who have joined me on this journey.