Nigeria Symposium Supports the Future of Up and Coming Scientists
By Nnanake-Abasi O. Offiong, John B. Edet, Abiodun A. Ajibola, Damian C. Egbom, and Joshua A. Obaleye
Scientific research is a driving force behind successful economic achievements of any society, making it very interesting and exciting for early researchers. What, then, have been the impediments to scientific research? What factors truncate early career researchers in Nigeria? How can we mitigate such challenges? These concerns were explored at the Future Scientist Symposium, organized jointly by ACS international student chapters at the University of Ilorin and University of Uyo in Nigeria along with the University of Agriculture, Makurdi. The symposium was held May 29-31 at the Ladoke Akintola University of Science and Technology, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Nigeria.
Experienced scholars described rubrics they used to identify research that would enhance economic development in Nigeria. Discussions on research collaboration within the scientific sphere to promote multi-disciplinary research with novel achievements were highlighted. In addition, promoting creativity and novelty among young researchers was emphasized and tips on Global Chemists’ Code of Ethics were also presented to emphasize the need to adopt globally recognized standards for safety and security of chemicals.
If young researchers adequately network and use recent technological approaches to tackle trending issues in Nigeria, their efforts could resuscitate Nigeria’s economy. Most importantly, in the bid to advance research in the country, young Nigerian researchers were cautioned on the falsification of scientific data as well as plagiarism. While it can be tempting to “fudge” data for publication, such actions damage the credibility of the researchers and do nothing to add to the body of scientific knowledge or advance the cause of science.
More than 150 young chemists from different research fields were elated to participate in the symposium as they begin their careers in science. Incorporating all the parameters of scientific research presented will hopefully create a paradigm shift necessary to initiate and, subsequently, actualize innovative research geared towards solving practical problems in the society.
"This is the best symposium I have ever attended! I had the opportunity to present my undergraduate research project, titled 'Purification of Used Vegetable Oil using Maize Cob.' I want to say thank you to ACS and ACS Nigeria International Chemical Sciences Chapter for providing this platform for learning and career development. I was inspired, and it was a privilege to meet colleagues from different universities in Nigeria. I am proud to be a chemistMy future research gaols will focus on chemical properties and applications of polymer materials.
—Sandra O. OHENHENLEN, Undergraduate Student, Department of Pure & Applied Chemistry, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Nigeria
“The Future Scientist Conference 2017 was unique and distinct, educating and impactful. My presentation, 'University Research and Local Economic Development: A Case Study of AUST and Its Host Community, aimed to justify the necessity for the commercialization of research results as a bridge-builder between the potential and actual impact of scientific research on the local community. My research is in chemical engineering, minerals, and materials chemistry. The symposium is a morale-booster towards the development of Africa’s content and national economic emancipation.”
—Afolayan Oluwasegun, MSc Student, Material Science and Engineering, Nelson Mandela Institution, African University of Science and Technology, Abuja, Nigeria
“I gave a poster presentation on Tetraaza maccrocyclic Ligand: Synthesis, elucidation and Anti-bacterial and Anti fungal Screening. It was totally amazing to meet and communicate with colleagues of like mind and of the same research interests (such as Bioinorganic Chemistry and Biomimic Chemistry) from across the nation.
—Emmanuel OHAEKENYEM, Ph.D. Student, Department of Chemistry, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria
The sessions at the Future Scientist Symposium were colourful, interesting, and educative as it enabled participants to explore different areas of research and collaborate with researchers from different institutions around Nigeria. It was good platform to share insights about my research, titled 'Coordinative Interaction of Chitosan-azo Dyes Towards Selected First Row Transition Metals.' Aspects of my ongoing research work on the development of nanostructured chitosan-metal nanocomposite spray for preservation of perishable food crop were highlighted.
—Ejeromedoghene ONOME, MSc Student, Chemistry (Inorganic Chemistry/Materials Science), Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria