The 5th RDE Congress’ keynote speaker, Dr. Catherine Roween C. Almaden, who is also a president of Northern Mindanao State College (NMSC), emboldens the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to help the research community innovate and explore the possibilities of carrying out research and extension activities amidst the pandemic.
“These challenges compel and require us to be agile and flexible in our approaches to carry out our research and extension activities,” she said. “There is a need for high-quality research that will serve as a reliable source of information, innovation, and know-how. It can also offer opportunities to implement policies and practices that will lay the groundwork for implementing flexible research and extension,” Dr. Almaden added.
In her presentation, the keynote speaker highlighted that the global pandemic had prescribed an opportunity for researchers to re-conceptualize the means to continue data collection in line with research goals.
“Despite the myriad challenges associated with ramping down onsite activities … our research team developed protocols, principles, and guidelines for resuming onsite research activities based on outputs from public health experts, government officials, faculty, and staff,” Dr. Almaden asserted.
She further shared her hopes for the field researchers to continue doing research even during a pandemic because they can become potential sources of quality information and innovative ideas. “The global pandemic does not mean that we have to pause our research [undertakings], but rather it presents an opportunity for us researchers to align our ongoing work with the changing and pressing realities,” she noted.
The keynote speaker emphasized the need to focus on research on the social and economic impacts of COVID 19 to help policymakers in understanding the impact of the current intervention and the planning of future policies that may mitigate unintended consequences of pandemic responses.
“More research is needed on a broad range of social science perspectives including but not limited to sociology, anthropology, economics, social policy, political finance, and human geography to understand the social, cultural, and economic impacts of COVID-19,” she highlighted.
Dr. Almaden also pinpointed the importance of science communication in today’s research endeavors because of the rise in conspiracy theories, fake news, and misinformation. “More research is needed on the different forms of misinformation during the pandemic as well as the strategies for engaging in effective science communication and persuasion around public health,” she added.
“Another step that we have to take is to engage more collaborations and partnerships with different researchers and organizations,” the keynote speaker said as she emphasized the vital role of collaborative research as a way for scientists to contribute their skills and expertise without duplicating efforts. “Research collaboration can contribute to this process by providing opportunities both to create new knowledge and to increase the impact of research by diffusing existing knowledge quickly at all levels. It is now crucial that scientific responses are based on scientific collaborations that bring together the best minds and available data from different places for the benefit of all,” she added.
Dr. Almaden further said that conferences like this provide a valuable opportunity for research scientists, industry specialists, and decision-makers to share experiences.
In today’s 5th RDE Congress, 24 completed researches, three development projects, and seven theses/dissertations for both the Agriculture, Fisheries and Natural Resources (AFNR) and Non-AFNRs categories were presented by the faculty and staff in the university.
Winners will represent CMU in the upcoming Northern Mindanao Consortium for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources, Research, and Development’s (NOMCAARRD) Regional Symposium on Research and Development Highlights (RSRDH) on December 2-3, 2020 (RGPadoginog).