COVID-19: Where science meets the headlines

Science Media Centre (SMC) Malaysia is an independent information resource centre aimed at promoting accurate and evidence-based reporting especially on complex or controversial science issues in the media.

As COVID-19 takes centre stage, we help you to better understand the pandemic by bringing you the latest research and expert reactions on the novel coronavirus.

Our Latest

[MEDIA RELEASE] Effective methane emission management in oil and gas industries is ‘low-hanging fruit’ for addressing climate change

Methane emissions account for roughly 25 percent of current global warming and contribute to climate-related threats including more intense and frequent heat waves and flooding, food insecurity, and poor air quality. According to Malaysia’s third biennial update report to the United Nations, methane emissions contributed 17 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in 2016, with its major source being fugitive emissions from the oil and gas industry.

[OPINION] Make Mental Health For All a Global Priority – Children and Adolescents

The World Health Organization (WHO) celebrates World Mental Health Day annually with a global campaign on the 10th of October. Each year, the gist of the message is clear: we need to raise awareness about mental health, and mobilise efforts to support people living with mental health difficulties. This is absolutely necessary as awareness is required to encourage help-seeking behaviours and consequently, increasing the likelihood of people to reach out for mental health services.

[MEDIA RELEASE] Scientists urged to engage more dynamically in the post-pandemic society

A recent international multi-stakeholder forum held at the Faculty of Science, Universiti Malaya, highlighted the need for scientists to engage more actively with society as the nation transitions into its post-pandemic reality. The forum, entitled “Translating Science into Public Knowledge: The Role of Science Communication in a Post-Pandemic Society” was organized by the Department of Science and Technology Studies, Faculty of Science, Universiti Malaya and gathered discussants from academia, industry and government.

[OPINION] Alzheimer’s disease: Hidden in Plain Sight 

September is World Alzheimer’s Month, an international campaign to raise dementia awareness and challenge stigma. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia among older adults. According to the World Health Organization, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia ranked as the seventh leading cause of death globally in 2020. Currently, Alzheimer’s Disease Foundation Malaysia estimated there are about 50,000 people in Malaysia with this disease.

[MEDIA RELEASE] British Council celebrates the legacy and achievements of FameLab Malaysia 

2021 marks the seventh and final year of the FameLab Malaysia competition delivered by the British Council in partnership with the Malaysian Industry-Government Group For High Technology (MIGHT). The British Council recently celebrated the partnership and achievements in April and May 2022 to draw this successful partnership to a close, handing over FameLab Malaysia to MIGHT.

[FEATURE ARTICLE] British Council celebrates the legacy and achievements of FameLab Malaysia

FameLab is the longest running science communication competition in the world with a global alumni of over 10,000 science communicators. To celebrate the partnership with the Malaysian Industry-Government Group For High Technology (MIGHT), British Council examines the legacy, impact and achievements of FameLab Malaysia towards the wider Malaysian science and research community.

[MEDIA RELEASE] Final opportunity to apply for the British Council Scholarships for Women in STEM 

Are you a Malaysian woman ready to pursue postgraduate study in science, technology, engineering or maths at a university in the UK? Apply now for the British Council Scholarships for Women in STEM – an exciting opportunity for women in eight South East Asian countries to obtain a Master’s degree or Early Academic Fellowship from a UK university to further develop their careers in STEM subjects.

[FEATURE ARTICLE] Mind the (Gender) Gap: Empowering Women in STEM

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day, #BreakTheBias could not have come at a better time. The state of gender equality across STEM industry, continues to be an area of serious concern as fewer than 30% of researchers worldwide are women, according to data from the UNESCO. As a typical STEM worker earns two thirds more than non-STEM workers, giving women equal opportunities to pursue STEM careers helps narrow the gender pay gap and would be a major contribution to the achievement of ‘Sustainable Development Goal 5: achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls’.

[MEDIA RELEASE] Visibility Matters for Women in STEM

From Marie Curie’s research in radioactivity and Rosalind Franklin’s work in discovering DNA, to Malaysia’s first astrophysicist, Emerita Professor Tan Sri Dr Mazlan Othman who pioneered the country’s participation in space exploration; history is full of women who made enormous contributions to the field of science. However, according to data from the UN Scientific Education and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), fewer than 30% of researchers worldwide are women and only 30% of female students select STEM-related fields in higher education.

[WEBINAR] Celebrate The Difference: Women in STEM Webinar 2022

The British Council Scholarships for Women in STEM to support women wishing to pursue postgraduate study in science, technology, engineering or maths at a university in the UK is now open for application. In conjunction with the scholarship launch and to celebrate the International Women’s Day 2022, Science Media Centre (SMC) Malaysia collaborates with the British Council in Malaysia and Malaysian Biotechnology Information Centre (MABIC) to host “Celebrate the Difference: Women in STEM Webinar 2022” happening 5 March 2022, 4:30pm MYT.

[OPINION] Eco-Heart Index: The science of loving our rivers

The Eco-Heart Index, as one would imagine, uses the shape of the heart to indicate the quality of the water, in which each shape indicates a different situation for that particular river. A full-plotted heart shape shows that the water is clean whereas broken-hearted shapes such as ‘thin heart’, ‘rabbit ear’, ‘finger’ and ‘diamond’ show the different degrees of water pollution – more ‘broken hearts’ indicate that these sites are developed and populated by humans.

[EXPERT REACTION] The Future of Industry 4.0 in Malaysia

From drones to robotics to biopharmacy, local technology solutions providers such as Biogenes, Poladrone, Techcare Innovation, Ethovent, Medika Natura and Bioapps Sdn Bhd are playing a crucial role in accelerating Industry 4.0 in Malaysia. Supported by the Malaysian Technology Development Corporation (MTDC) as part of its ecosystem and through its various programmes, these startups are charting the future of innovation.

Testimonials

The need and importance of effective science communication is clearly highlighted in this COVID-19 pandemic. Communicating science between scientists and the general public, policy makers and other stakeholders is an essential element of outbreak management plan. The public and policy makers must be able to understand the basics of science before they can make informed decisions. But scientists need a platform to share their knowledge, research data and information to the public and policy makers. And the Science Media Centre Malaysia provides a great platform for scientists to reach out.

Photo of Dr Chai Lay Ching, Chairperson Young Scientists Network-Academy of Sciences Malaysia

Dr Chai Lay Ching, Chairperson Young Scientists Network-Academy of Sciences Malaysia

In a fast-paced newsroom, journalists are always busy and rushing to meet deadlines. With the COVID-19 coverage, we are constantly seeking out information and expert insights to accurately explain about the global pandemic particularly on the aspects of infection and treatment. COVID-19 requires a greater understanding of science and the Science Media Centre Malaysia is a good place for journalists to source for experts’ quotes and we also get story ideas by reading about the latest scientific research.

Photo of Thasha Jayamanogaran, Chief-Reporter, Malay Mail

Thasha Jayamanogaran, Chief-Reporter, Malay Mail