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DMK
Reply with quote  #1 
Dear Friends,
 
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
 
 
Sengbe
Reply with quote  #2 
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.

DMK
Reply with quote  #3 
@Sengbe it would be an honour to have you in the group. Please contact me on salonescientist@yahoo.com and we can discuss offline.

Thanks
DMK
Sengbe
Reply with quote  #4 
Thank you, DMK.

I will contact you soon over the weekend.
Spectator 007
Reply with quote  #5 
Honorable DMK, great idea. I will contact you
DMK
Reply with quote  #6 
@Specky that would be great.
Spectator 007
Reply with quote  #7 
Thank you DMK
KL
Reply with quote  #8 
Great idea, DMK, I wish you and the rest of your group members the best. Thank you, Sir !
DMK
Reply with quote  #9 
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.
MT
Reply with quote  #10 
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.
DMK
Reply with quote  #11 
@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/
Korti
Reply with quote  #12 
@ DMK, Scientific Saloneca is a great idea.  Please tell me, would the grouping welcome  Social/Development scientist among its fold?   
DMK
Reply with quote  #13 
@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 mathematicians. 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.



MT
Reply with quote  #14 
How would people go about joining this group do you have a number for this group? If you do please send it to my email and I'll share it with people I know. Plus it would be great if you guys could advocate for the government to focus on stem subjects in the Uni's like fourah bay etc or even creating an new institue that is focused on stem. I've heard of the karma cola it's good but it would have been an even better story if a Sierra Leonean had created it. Have you heard of the student Sandra musujusu she's working on a cure for breast cancer.
MT
Reply with quote  #15 
How would people go about joining this group do you have a number for this group? If you do please send it to my email and I'll share it with people I know. Plus it would be great if you guys could advocate for the government to focus on stem subjects in the Uni's like fourah bay etc or even creating an new institue that is focused on stem. I've heard of the karma cola it's good but it would have been an even better story if a Sierra Leonean had created it. Have you heard of the student Sandra musujusu she's working on a cure for breast cancer.
MT
Reply with quote  #16 
Also have you heard of http://www.stemwomensl.wordpress.com it is run my an engineer/scientist called kumba musa you should deffo get in touch with her and collaborate with her. Her instagram page is kumba.lilianna.musa.
DMK
Reply with quote  #17 
@MT, thank you for your continued support of what we are trying to do. Sorry I have been away from the forum recently. At the moment I am focused on the flooding but will update here soon. Thanks again, DMK.
MT
Reply with quote  #18 
okay then.
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