Seen and heard this week


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


A Channel NewsAsia report on 14 August featured a study co-authored by Associate Professors Elaine Ho and Shirlena Huang from NUS Geography which found that more elderly Singaporeans are ageing at home supported by home- and centre-based services, as compared to seniors cared for at nursing homes. Assoc Prof Huang said that as such, Singapore needs to beef up the regulatory environment of community-based eldercare as, being at home, the elderly are particularly vulnerable. As community-based care is more expensive than care at a nursing home, the authors recommended that public spending be increased to ease the cost burden and that financing options be broadened. The study also highlighted the need to establish accreditation, along with training and certification standards for providers and employees working in the sector.

In a commentary for The Straits Times on 16 August, Professor Vlatko Vedral from the Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT) at NUS wrote about finding a way to unify the laws of quantum physics — which govern small objects such as atoms — with the laws of gravity, which dictate the behaviour of large objects such as planets and galaxies. Together with Dr Chiara Marletto, Visiting Research Fellow at CQT, Prof Vedral considered using two quantum objects to investigate the nature of gravity — something that has not yet been attempted — as a possible first step in reconciling the two sets of laws. He also wrote about possible consequences of quantum gravity, such as the transmission of quantum gravity across distances through tiny particles known as gravitons, whose existence has been theorised but which have not been detected.

Practice Professor Kishore Mahbubani from NUS’ Office of the Vice-President (University and Global Relations) wrote in a commentary for The Straits Times on 16 August that Singapore and Southeast Asia should be thankful for Indonesia’s magnanimity in ASEAN. As the largest member of ASEAN, Indonesia has not sought to dominate the regional organisation, unlike large members in other regional groupings, leading to those groupings facing struggles. Prof Mahbubani said that Indonesia has also been big-hearted in acknowledging Singapore’s contributions to Indonesia, and that Singapore should in return be equally big-hearted in recognising Indonesia’s contributions to Singapore and Southeast Asia. He added that Singapore, being the smallest member in ASEAN, is the largest single beneficiary of the peace and prosperity which ASEAN had provided to this part of the world.

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