President of the Sri Lankan National Academy of Sciences Prof Nadira Karunaweera on Monday asked the academics to take research results further forward to contribute to the socio-economic development of a country, rather than stopping the process after its publication in any journal.
“We all want to promote impactful research. But most academics consider publications as the final output of research and thus in our system the knowledge is not taking forward from there,” she said while speaking at a ‘brain storming’ event at Dhaka Club on Monday.
The programme was organised at the initiative of Prof Mamun Al Mahtab Shwapnil, head of the interventional hepatology division, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University.
Dr Sheikh Mohammad Fazle Akbar, an expatriate Bangladeshi hepatologist working as a Faculty at Proteo Science Center of Ehime University, Japan, presented the keynote paper.
Together Prof Shwapnil, and Dr. Akbar made the ground-breaking success of discovery and development of NASVAC, a new drug against hepatitis B.
Dr. Jamal Uddin Chowdhury, President of the Swadhinata Chikitsak Parishad, the doctors’ wing of ruling Awami League, also spoke at the event, among others.
Prof Nadira Karunaweera is a senior professor and chair, department of parasitology, faculty of medicine, University of Colombo and visiting scientist Harvard School of Public Health.
She emphasised on collaboration between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to fight off infectious diseases. Inputs from researchers are “critical” for the socio-economic development of both of our countries, she said.
Sri Lanka has had a lot of success in controlling and eliminating infectious disease. The country has earned WHO certificate for malaria elimination. Prof Nadira’s research mostly focuses on infectious diseases.
“To make ideas impactful at some point, we should work towards the benefit of the society,” she said, suggesting collaboration with the industries to close the knowledge gap.
Dr Jamal Uddin suggested policy support to encourage research.
“Our doctors are more interested in earning money. They are very busy and once they are busy, they become busier,” he said as patients rush to the busy doctors, considering them as good physicians.
Another group of doctors, he said, “they are concerned about their future.”
“They also don’t get interested in research. They don’t get proper support from the policymakers and the relevant ministry. We need to think about how to solve this problem.”