Saturday July 19, 2008


Proud of our science - and of our scientists

by Eduardo A. Padlan, Editor

There is a book titled "Quotations From Rizal's Writings", published by the National Historical Institute in 1992, from which one can find statements made by our national hero that are worth repeating. Here's one from a letter to Mariano Ponce, Paris, March 1889: "Try to mention in every issue (of La Solidaridad) some old or modern Filipino (authors), citing his works." (Epistolario Rizalino, II. No. 247, p. 154).

We should follow Jose Rizal's advice. At every opportunity, we should mention in our presentations the names of Filipinos who have made significant contributions to science. There are quite a few. This is to instill in our countrymen pride in Filipino scientists and in the science done by Filipinos. We can not yet claim that our science in general is at par with that of the more developed countries in the world - not even with the science of some of our neighbors - but our best scientists can compare with their best.

For this purpose, Gisela P. Padilla-Concepcion and I have launched Philippine Science Letters (PSL). The primary aim of PSL is to showcase science done in the Philippines and science done by Filipinos elsewhere. The science that PSL will publish shall meet the usual standards of good scholarship. PSL will also feature Filipino scientists who have distinguished themselves in their field and who can serve as example and inspiration to our youth. To ensure that PSL will be accessible to as many of our countrymen as possible, we have decided that PSL should be an online journal and that it should be free to readers as well as to contributors. PSL will also include brief summaries of newsworthy science articles from other publications for the benefit of readers who do not have access to those publications, as well as proceedings of local scientific meetings for the benefit of readers who are unable to attend those meetings.

Those of us who have had the chance to listen to our scientists, or read about their work, have reason to be proud. Through PSL, we hope that we can share that pride with our countrymen.