Inaugural multidisciplinary conference on science and humanities

UTAR Faculty of Science's (FSc) Centre for Biodiversity Research hosted the International Conference on Recent Trends in Humanities and Science (ICRTHS) 2018 for the first time at its Kampar Campus on 26 October 2018, enabling education ties between Malaysian and Indian institutions of higher learning to be strengthened.

From left: Dr Wong, Sinouvassane, Dr Lim, Prof Mahadeva, Dr Sivachithappa, researchers, academics and participants at Kampar Campus

The one-day conference was jointly organised with Haldia Institute of Technology and Arunai International Research Foundation from India. It saw the presence of over 150 participants from 27 Indian higher learning institutions and nine Malaysian universities.

Held for the first time in UTAR, the conference served as a strategic platform, enabling participants to share experiences and insights in the areas of university-university collaboration.

Invited to officiate the conference was FSc's Dean Assoc Prof Dr Lim Tuck Meng, Professor from the Faculty of Medicine of Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, Terengganu Prof Dr U. S. Mahadeva Rao, Conference Chairman of the University of Mysore, India Dr K. Sivachithappa, Former Vice-Chancellor of Tamil Nadu Phy. Edu. Sports University Prof Dr R. Thirumalaisamy, FSc’s Centre for Biodiversity Research Chairperson Dr Wong Wey Lim, Organising Chairperson of ICRTHS 2018 D. Sinouvassane, participants, UTAR staff and students.

Dr Lim expressing keen interests for potential research collaborations between UTAR and Indian universities

Representing the Malaysian Organising Committee to deliver the welcome address was Dr Lim, who expressed his warm welcome to all the local and international participants at the conference. “The rapid development of knowledge and technology has precluded the model of ancient sages who claimed to know everything under the sun. Human beings have learnt that collaboration, communication and sharing of knowledge are the essence of sustainable future development. Hence, we see more and more congregations of minds to look into the human challenges from concerted efforts involving diverse disciplines,” he said, and hoped that ICRTHS 2018 will generate strategic networking between Malaysian and Indian academics.

Sinouvassane explaining the key objectives of the conference

The Organising Chairperson of ICRTHS 2018, Sinouvassane said, “On behalf of the organising committee, it is our prodigious honour to invite and welcome you to the International Conference on Recent Trends in Humanities and Science 2018. This conference aimed at providing a platform for academicians, experts, scientists and research scholars from various disciplines of science and humanities to exchange the knowledge and ideas at most diverse and contemporary levels to buttress the academics and industry for the benefit of society. As the chairperson of the organising committee, I would like to thank the distinguished invited speakers for sharing their treasured knowledge and all the presenters for sharing their scientific novel as well as innovative findings. I am also indebted to all the members of the organising committee for their obligation and meticulousness to make this event memorable and successful.”

Dr Sivachithappa emphasising on the importance of humanistic knowledge

Conference Chairman from the University of Mysore, India, Dr Sivachithappa said, “Multidisciplinary research at present context is very much significant. Many of us have to constantly prove that research in education, literature, philosophy, history or sociology is just as important as anything else. Today, humanistic knowledge continues to provide the ideal foundation for exploring and understanding the human experience. In this context, the present conference will be very much useful to research scholars, academicians and policy makers.”

Prof Mahadeva emphasising on the importance of interdisciplinary research

Speaking on behalf of the Malaysian public university, Prof Mahadeva said, “Undeniably, it is becoming more and more obvious that major research funding agencies are progressively focused on concrete interdisciplinary association. As science gets more complex, interdisciplinary and socially potent, it gradually bears on areas traditionally occupied by the humanities; but it also with time, needs the reflective understanding that philosophy can provide. Within the themes of biology, medicine, psychology and philosophy, researchers can address questions regarding fact and value, knowledge and expertise, and individual and society as they arise at the intersection of the humanities and the life sciences.”

Prof Thirumalaisamy looking forward to various research collaborations with Malaysian universities

In his felicitation, Prof Thirumalaisamy enthused, “It is great to organise an appropriate international conference with the collaboration of UTAR. Indian youths are welcomed all over the world for their deep knowledge in their subject and sharp acumen, but we also need young generation with nerves of steel and muscles of iron to meet the international challenges and bring laurels and wards to India. I am sure that this conference will help to prepare the great achievers and awardees of tomorrow to meet the challenges in the global arena and to spot out and nurture the talents in youth and make them great achievers.”

The ceremony ensued with a souvenir presentation and group photograph session, followed by keynote addresses by two keynote speakers, namely Assoc Prof Dr Siah Poh Chuah from UTAR’s Faculty of Arts and Social Science and Assist Prof Dr Lee Poh Foong from UTAR’s Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science. They delivered significant keynote addresses titled “The Psychosocial Impact of Cultural Preference for Sons” and “A Quantitative Study on the Physiological Changes and Effects of Different Deep Breathing Durations on Cognitive Control” respectively. 

Attentive participants during the opening ceremony of ICRTHS 2018

Aimed to promote research and development activities in all branches of humanities and science, and to promote scientific information interchange between researchers, developers, students and practitioners working in India and Malaysia, the conference hosted two plenary lectures and nearly 120 oral and poster presentations presented by the researchers from India and Malaysia. The conference saw the participation of around 150 local and international participants.

Some oral presentations by local and international presenters

Among the sub-themes presented throughout the conference were Medical, Health and Life Sciences, Mathematics and Information Technology, Education, Business and Social Sciences.   

The selected abstracts of ICRTHS 2018 will be published in the American Journal of Biopharmacology Biochemistry and Life Sciences (online ISSN:2166-126X) in the following edition.


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