“Try to be curious by your natural world”, Dr. Arvin C. Diesmos, Scientist III of the National Museum, as he urged the student participants to the Congress as he encouraged them to be aware of our biodiversity and conservation efforts.

This was the surprising revelation of Dr. Diesmos, during the recently held “First Science Congress of Caloocan” in partnership with the Young Christian Physical Society of the Philippines, Scientific Center System and Philippines Association of Career Scientists, Inc.

He explained that scientists’ estimates of the number of species on earth vary from 5 million to 100 million—with a very wide margin of error. Likewise, many of our scientific endeavors are focused on taxonomy, which pertains to naming and classification of species, while our knowledge of how these organisms live are very limited.

He also explained that the Philippines has a rich biodiversity because of our country’s complex geological history. Some parts of our archipelago were previously part of another land mass. This explains why some animals in Palawan cannot be found in other areas of Luzon; and other animals can be found exclusively in the Visayas, but not in Mindanao, he told.

He also discussed the threats to biodiversity namely habitat loss, and climate change.

In the same activity, Ms. Geraldine Ducusin, Supervising Science Research Specialist of the Science and Technology Information Institute- Department of Science and Technology (DOST-STII,) promoted the website for Philippine Men and Women of Science.

The Philippine Men and Women of Science, which can be accessed at www.pmws.dost.gov.ph, is a semi-annual online publication of the DOST-STII. It is a good resource material for researchers who need information about scientists’ academic and professional contributions and affiliations.

According to Ducusin, the publication started as a printed publication in 1964 with the title Philippine Men of Science. In 2012, the June issue for that year was uploaded to make the data available to the public.

One new feature of the website is “Heart of a Beautiful Mind” section which tells the stories of the lives of scientists.

“We like to tell the public about the human side of the scientists. We hope that these stories will be able to inspire kids”, Ducusin said.

Other topics discussed in the Science Congress were Radiation Processing Application by Dr. Lucille V. Abad of DOST – Philippine Nuclear Research Institute; Agathis and Canarium Species as Source of Resins by Forester Arsenio B. Ella of the DOST-Forest Product Research and Development Institute; Breeding Rice Varieties in the Philippines by Dr. Norvie Manigbas; and Climate Change Adaptatio, Mitigation, and Footprints by Dr. Florencia B. Pulhin of Forestry Development  Center of the University of the Philippines Los Banos Laguna. (PSciJourn MegaManila)