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Technology does not bring benefits it can also cause harm to society: Raza Haroon

Karachi, October 18, 2012 (PPI-OT): “Technology does not bring benefits, it can also cause harm to society” says Mr. Muhammad Raza Haroon, Minister for Information, Government of Sindh. Mr. Haroon was addressing the concluding ceremony of the Fourth ICLS-KIBGE Conference on “Science, Technology and Engineering: Innovative, Yet Responsible!” held at Dr. A. Q. Khan Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (KIBGE), University of Karachi on October 18, 2012 in collaboration with International Council for the Life Sciences (ICLS).

The chief guest further expressed that he is delighted to see so many young researchers taking keen interest in ethics and code of conduct of various disciplines of science in his speech. He also appreciated the efforts of ICLS and KIBGE in making the science, technology and engineering rather safer for the mankind and society.

Prof. Muhammad Qaiser, Vice Chancellor, University of Karachi, presided over the ceremony. The Vice Chancellor praised the anchored role of KIBGE in collaboration with ICLS, to train the young scientists to behave responsibly while doing science. He wished and hoped that ICLS and KIBGE to do more events of this series in collaboration in recent future

ICLS-Pakistan Chapter and KIBGE have joined hands in this important endeavour to help ensure global public health, safety and security by safeguarding the opportunities offered by advances in the science and technology.

The speed of the advances in science and technology has led to the breaking down of the traditional boundaries between the various disciplines. This means that maintaining the highest standards of safety, security and ethics is ever more challenging.

The conference focused on Engineering and different key issues concerning safety, security, ethical considerations and effective commercialization of engineering. This conference was a direct follow on from meetings for Social and Natural Scientists, Media Persons and Civil Societies at Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi, over the past eighteen months. Many issues that possibly needed to be answered were discussed during the sessions. These included:

• How to conceptualize the responsible conduct in science, technology and engineering?

• How to ensure that engineering is harmless to humanity?

• How to optimize the contribution of engineers to the wider interest of society?

• How to improvise the safe, secure and ethical conduct of science and technology?

The participants included Postgraduate and Undergraduate students from various science and engineering disciplines, researchers and teachers from the academic community as well as engineering professionals from the government and private sectors.

The conference comprises of three sessions. Key speakers included Dr. Athar Osama; a UK-based aeronautical engineer and founder of Pakistan Innovation Foundation talked about Science for Public Benefits focusing on Pakistan. He introduced the audience with many innovative projects that his foundation is undertaken. He urged the junior scientists to go for these kind small scale projects in collaboration of private sector.

Mr. Farhan Anwar who is an urban planning and management consultant discussed the Planning Context for Making Karachi a More Sustainable City. He shared his broad scale research on climate change with reference to the mega city. He informed the audience that the climate change is being done significantly in urban areas and mega cities. He further elaborated the need of your researchers and scientists in this field of research.

Dr. Naeem uz Zafar from IBA, Karachi reviewed the Renewable Energy Options for Pakistan. He compared the conventional energy with the renewable sources in Pakistan perspective. He discussed in details about the potentials of solar, coal as well as water energy sources, yet to be exploited to get rid of energy crisis in the country.

Prof. Ali Raza Jafferi and Prof. M. A. Haleem, who are the Chairpersons of Biomedical Engineering Departments, NED University of Engineering and Technology and Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology respectively, underscored the importance of Bio-Medical Engineering as how to make it safe and secure for the progress and benefit of mankind. They further informed the young researchers regarding the recent advances as well as the historical perspectives of biomedical engineering with references to life sciences.

Other eminent speakers included Prof. Khurshid Hasanain from Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, who delivered a detailed account on the scientific and research deficiencies of the country, particularly in engineering sciences.

He also compared the technologically advanced countries with developing countries with respect to engineering sciences research. He also emphasized on the need of safe transfer of technology, even nuclear technology of civil purpose, so that the developing countries can become self reliant in this context with the help of entrepreneurship.

Syed Abbas Ali from NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi, give the basic understanding and philosophy of engineering sciences. He also explained the practical applications of engineering philosophy. He further emphasized the need of ethical concerns and code of conduct in research areas in engineering sciences.

In Other distinguished guests of the ceremony included Mr. Terence Taylor, President, ICLS; Dr. Anwar Nasim, President, ICLS-Pakistan Chapter discussed the aims and objectives of ICLS as well as its Pakistan chapter. They also informed the audience regarding the progress of ICLS in making the scientific conduct responsible and ethical in the region.

Prof. Nusrat Jamil, Dean, Faculty of Science, University of Karachi showed her satisfaction on the performance of KIBGE in providing the opportunity to young researchers from various scientific disciplines of the country and abroad to meet and learn from the experiences of experts of the field.

In the end, Prof. Abid Azhar, Director General, KIBGE and Organizing Secretary, thanked the participants, guests, resource persons and organizers.

For more information, contact:
University of Karachi
Qamar Rizvi
Public Relations Officer
Tel: +0333-2130883
Fax: +922199261330
Email: pro@uok.edu.pk

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