Monday, 9 August 2010

Tonga Science Network

In a collaboration between the University of Canterbury and the Tongan Ministry of Education, a new website has been launched: the Tonga Science Network. This website aims to promote and help disseminate science that is relevant to Tonga's environment and economy. Researchers are invited to register on the website and contribute content to smooth the flow of knowledge back to those who need to use it. Another cool feature is the "connections" that shows who has worked with who, and encourages the formation of new collaborations.

All in all, it's a neat initiative and hopefully will resolve one of the major issues I see with science in the Pacific, namely that most research is done by foreigners. This in turn means that relatively little of the results (despite the best intentions of most researchers) is returned to interested parties within the country, other than by laborious and ongoing literature searches. As with all community-type initiatives, it will only be as good as those who use it. It's made a good start though, and here's hoping that will continue.

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