Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Can a scientist be wasted?

My brother-in-law works for the Tokyo-based NSK Ltd. He went to Tokyo Institute of Technology and got his PhD in "impact energy absorption technology" -- I have no idea what that is. Having earned his degree, he went home, trying to find a job. He couldn't find any that matched with his qualification. He even visited ITB (Bandung Institute of Technology) only to find that the Institute doesn't have a course of his specialization. He did pursue academic career further, but he likes "to apply it in a real life".

So he went back to Japan. Now he's busy with NSK's R&D Dept, researching "crashworthiness" -- again I don't know what that thing is. Despite his constant urge to come back home and work in Indonesia, he lives a happy life with his family in Tokyo. As I can tell from my sister's stories.

Why am I telling this? Kompas today runs this headline, saying that Indonesian scientists' talent and skill are wasted. The article blames the country's lack of "grand strategy" to develop science and technology and of good long-run program of human resource development.

I know what it means. But I don't think scientists can be a waste. If you can't "use" them, somebody else would.

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