Titles and abstracts

Ref: R1 (Plenary)
“Wailings from the Ivory Tower: What Role, Our Researchers?”
A/P Peter Ng
Director, Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Department of Biological Sciences, NUS.

What should biodiversity researchers in Singapore be working on? Local issues and problems relevant to Singapore's challenges that will help strengthen biodiversity conservation? Applied aspects that will help local agencies balance and manage environmental concerns and conservation needs? Perhaps focus on impact assessments and specific faunaistic or floristic conflicts? Or go regional, considering Singapore is so small and so much has already been lost. Or challenge the big boys in the west and participate in "international cutting edge biodiversity work", focusing on big theoretical questions, biogeography, phylogeny, etc. With the pervasive effects of researchers needing to publish in top journals with high "impact factors" so as to ensure funding and survival - is there really a choice? And what about very competent "amateurs", whose research knowledge of specific habitats and organisms often outstrips that of professionals? What is their role in the research picture?