Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley delivered the keynote address at the University of the West Indies’ (UWI) Faculty of Science and Technology’s annual awards ceremony held on Thursday, March 23 at the Assembly Hall, UWI.
The annual ceremony, held this year, under the theme ‘Honouring Outstanding Achievers’ recognizes and awards the year’s top Faculty achievers, including students and academic staff.
Students making the Dean’s Honour Roll and some 13 researchers were acknowledged and awarded.
Whilst recipients of the Special Awards and the Principal’s Research Awardees were from the academic staff, 39 students received first class honours, with 30 making the Dean’s Honour Roll.
Speaking to the 281 awardees, Minister Wheatley lauded their efforts and quoted Isaac Netwon, as he encouraged and reminded them to “discover the great ocean of truth (that) lay all undiscovered.”
The Minister acknowledged the work of contemporary and pioneer Jamaican scientists and held them up as role models for the current student scientists and budding researchers to emulate.
Dr. Wheatley reminded the group of the research areas, patents and other achievements of Drs. Henry Lowe, Manley West, Albert Lockhart, Lawrence Williams, Patricia Deleon and Professors Errol Morrison and Luis Grant.
Noting that the gathering “already knew the invigorating power of scientific research,” the Minister encouraged them to use the pioneer and contemporary trailblazing Jamaican scientists as reason to persevere.
“You, your research, your patents and productions are needed to further move Jamaica from its 2016 89th ranking among 128 countries on the Global Innovation Index. Although that is an improvement from the 2015 ranking of 96th we have to Step Up activities in our science sector, as this is critical for growth, development and yes, Prosperity,” the Minister concluded.