Eight public departments cooperated on the release of a report yesterday regarding their financial input into the popularization of science in Macau in 2013.
The figures showed that they have spent more than MOP52 million on science popularization, with 866,429 people participating in their activities. With a population of 607,500 in the fourth quarter last year, the departments spent MOP87 per Macau resident.
Samuel Chan Wan Hei, member of the Macau Science Technology Development Fund (FDCT)’s administrative committee, agreed that the Macau government could spend more in order to popularize science among the population.
“If we only look at the 87 patacas spent on the [each resident], I think the input can be increased,” he said.
However, he pointed out that the departments only include those expenses that are definitely spent on science popularization. As a result, some of the spending may have been omitted.
Moreover, Mr Chan suggested that a large proportion of the resources allocated to the popularization of science are actually spent on the younger population, namely students.
“Therefore, when we include primary and secondary students, [the expenses] are not small,” he said.
Chan Wan Hei used the projects submitted to FDCT as an example, saying that some of the popularization projects they approved might require spending up to MOP10,000 on each participating student.
“As a result, the [financial] input is in fact very high. Nevertheless, when [the expenses] are divided among the student population of 70,000, the input may not seem as high. If you include the whole population of six hundred thousand residents, then we will reach the MOP87.”
He said that rather than claiming that the eight departments have not spent much on science popularization, the figure actually suggested that the expenses were mostly benefiting the younger population, and that work must be done to promote science among other groups in the community.
The report released yesterday comprised data provided by FDCT, the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau, the Technology Committee, Macau Post, Marine and Water Bureau, the Macau Science Centre, as well as the Macau Productivity and Technology Transfer Centre (CPTTM).
Chan Wan Hei said there are in fact other government departments that have allocated resources for science popularization, but they did not participate in drafting the report.
He expressed the wish that they could continue to publish future reports regarding the science popularization expenses of government departments.
cpttm to promote 3d printing
CPTTM director general Shuen Ka Hung, who attended yesterday’s report presentation, revealed that his center will support students to build their own 3D printers in order to popularize science. “Three-dimension printing is a hot topic now. We are going to popularize it on a large scale,” Shuen said. He suggested that 3D printing is not expensive. Given the long printing times required, students may not be able to use a 3D printer if CPTTM only subsidizes each school by enough to purchase one or two printers. “Now we are teaching people how to assemble their own 3D printer. By buying components online, which may cost around MOP1,000, every student can build their own 3D printer and bring them home,” the director general said.