Science pioneers honoured

28 August 2015 | EducationResearch
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Eighteen of Singapore's trailblazing scientists, as named by Asian Scientist, are current and former NUS faculty members

Eighteen former and current NUS faculty members have been profiled in Singapore's Scientific Pioneers, a commemorative book about the country's science and technology efforts. The 120-page book, published by the Asian Scientist with grants from the SG50 Celebration Fund and the Nanyang Technological University, lists a total of 25 scientists aged 50 and above who have made exceptional contributions to Singapore's scientific, engineering, medical and education sectors over the last five decades.

One of the professors, NUS Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research Professor Ariff Bongso, was recognised for his pioneering work in the area of stem cell biology.

"I am honoured at the recognition given to my work and to have been featured in this book. It has been very satisfying to have helped childless couples and to have helped put Singapore on the biotechnology map through my research, said Prof Bongso.

Former NUS Science Dean Dr Gloria Lim was recognised for the role she played in grooming generations of botanists ' some of whom work at the Singapore Botanic Gardens, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many of her former students have also gone on to serve the nation as science educators.

"It was a whole wide field for me. No one did research in fungi then, said Dr Lim, who is well-known regionally for her expertise in mycology and the related area of plant pathology, which is widely used in agriculture.

Internet Hall of Fame inductee, NUS Biochemistry's Associate Professor Tan Tin Wee, started out in biological research but has now progressed to global-scale technological challenges. He has been credited with developing the groundbreaking multilingual Internet domain name system that has been instrumental to the Internet's internationalisation, among other innovations.

"It is a tremendous honour for me to be featured in this book as one of the youngest in this cohort of Pioneer Generation of scientists… I feel an even bigger burden to live up to the high standards my fellow colleagues have achieved, and to continue my abiding commitment to bring Singapore science to exceptional peaks of excellence, said Assoc Prof Tan.

The 18 Singapore Scientific Pioneers from NUS are:

  • Research Professor Ariff Bongso, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Emeritus Professor Louis Chen, Department of Mathematics
  • Adjunct Research Professor Chou Loke Ming, Department of Biological Sciences
  • Professor Hang Chang Chieh, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Emeritus Professor Huang Hsing Hua, Department of Chemistry
  • Dr Gloria Lim, Department of Botany
  • University Professor Lim Pin, Department of Medicine
  • Professor Lui Pao Chuen, Special Advisor
  • Adjunct Professor Phua Kok Khoo, Department of Physics
  • Professor Low Teck Seng, Department of Electrical and Electronic Computing
  • Emeritus Professor Kanagaratnam Shanmugaratnam, Department of Pathology
  • Emeritus Professor Sit (Wong) Kim Ping, Department of Biochemistry
  • Professor Bernard Tan, Department of Physics
  • Professor Tan Chorh Chuan, NUS President
  • Professor Leo Tan, Department of Biological Sciences
  • Associate Professor Tan Tin Wee, Department of Biochemistry
  • Professor John Eu-Li Wong, Department of Medicine
  • Dr Wong Poh Poh, Department of Geography

A limited run of 200 hardcover and 2,000 softcover copies of the book will be distributed to schools, libraries and scientific institutions. In addition, the profiles will be available at A free PDF copy will be made available online following the official book launch on 29 August.

Read the media articles.