Seen and heard this week


Seen and heard this week is a weekly column highlighting thought leadership from the NUS community


In a commentary in TODAY on 22 May, NUS Psychology PhD candidate Mr Mike Hou shared his views on Singapore’s national identity. He pointed out that Singaporeans are often being defined solely by the country’s commendable achievements — such as having a world-class airport, strong currency or clean and safe streets — and this is due to the nation’s longstanding emphasis on economic development as key to a successful Singapore. However, social psychology research indicates that belonging to a group which achieves a lot does not engender as much pride as being in a group which is very caring. As such, Mr Hou opined that redefining the modern Singaporean to include more indicators in the warmth domain is urgently required and will require deliberate effort at the national level.

Dr Konstantinos Glinos, Visiting EU Fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at NUS wrote in The Straits Times on 23 May about how countries should not adopt a wait-and-see approach regarding the regulation of codes of conduct for artificial intelligence. He shared that although regulation may stifle innovation, it could also stimulate it and cited the example of how strict environmental regulation in the 1970s and 80s cleared up the mess generated by the industrial revolution and also spurred the development of environmental technologies and renewable forms of energy.

A group of undergraduates led by Dr Tan Beng Kiang from NUS Architecture was featured in The Straits Times on 29 May for its efforts to rebuild a drink stall on Pulau Ubin. The initiative is part of a larger pilot project to revitalise the island’s rustic charm and will serve as a testbed for the construction and rebuilding of kampung (Malay for “village”) homes on Pulau Ubin in the future. The drink stall is believed to be the first kampung structure to be built on the island in 20 years. Dr Tan said that the initiative will see the islanders sharing their knowledge of kampung-style construction with a new generation of students.

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