Editor's Note

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HELLO world! It’s my great pleasure to welcome readers to the inaugural issue of Simply Speaking—a dedicated blog for communicating information and cumulative contemporary knowledge in science and art to the stakeholders that matter—the society and the public at large.

Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this year with a theme, '50 Years of Leading Knowledge for Change'. Indeed, even before the conferment of research university status by the Ministry of Education, USM has always been at the forefront of research for knowledge creation. Various research programmes ranging from Life Sciences to Language and Arts have been going on very strongly and consistently, supported by good research ecosystem and dedicated researchers.

Over a period of 50 years, a voluminous amount of knowledge has been generated and published in local and international indexed journals. The cumulative number of publication and citation is highly commendable and respectable. However, much of the valuable information from research publications are confined within a small circle of research community but hardly reach the wider audience that really matters—the society and the public at large.

While scientists and researchers are well trained in research methodologies, analytical skills, and the ability to communicate with their peers, they usually receive no proper training in communication of scientific or technical concepts to a layperson audience.

There is an urgent need to establish an appropriate communication channel as a conduit to bridge the gap between the research community and the public as well as to encourage public discourse on technical subject matters. Publication in technical journals are seldom available and accessible to the public. Even when availability and accessibility are not an issue, the technical jargons may not easily be comprehensible by the non-technical readers.

To address the need to communicate and disseminate the information about our research in USM to the public, we decided to leverage the power of online platform in the form of a blog. The blog is aptly named, Simply Speaking. As the name implies, the whole idea is to communicate the essence of technical research findings in a more comprehensible, palatable layman-friendly language.

We hold strongly to the African idiom: “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together”. On this spirit, we are happy to collaborate with The Petri Dish, a newspaper with the same mission with Simply Speaking—to communicate science or research findings in a non-technical language, easily understood and appreciated. Thanks to the Chief Editor, Dr Mahaletchumy, for your enthusiasm and kind support.

I hope you will enjoy reading the articles in this inaugural issue. Feel free to share the article and spread the words about this blog to your friends and colleagues. The editorial will strive to improve the quality of the blog and expand the pool of writers. If you are interested to contribute, just drop us a line.