Science and society take center stage at Davos panel

The WEF 2019 is held at Davos in Switzerland. (File/AFP)
Updated 25 January 2019

Science and society take center stage at Davos panel

  • UAE Minister of State for Advanced Sciences Sarah bint Yousif Al-Amiri was one of the speakers
  • The panelists addressed the relationship of science and society

DUBAI: Panelists at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland took the stage Friday to talk about science and society, including issues such as vaccine skepticism and digital health among others.

Among the speakers was UAE Minister of State for Advanced Sciences Sarah bint Yousif Al-Amiri. She was joined by Martina Hirayama, Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Education and Research and Innovation; Andrew Thompson, co-founder and CEO of Proteus Digital Health Inc.; Shellice Sairras, a medical researcher at Academic Hospital Paramaribo; and Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, president at European Research Council.

The panelists addressed the relationship of science and society, including topics such as how the public consumes scientific information in their daily lives; digitalization of health; and the impact of technology in public health.

One of the issues the panelists discussed was vaccine skepticism, which the they agreed was a common debate in a lot of countries.

“We as scientists have the obligation to communicate science in layman’s language to our communities,” medical researcher Sairras said, highlighting the importance of public understanding in addressing health issues.

UAE Minister Al-Amiri said the research process should be “humanized,” instead of just focusing on presenting the results in numbers.

“We established a team in my office to create science content for the public, translating scientific information to become more understandable,” she said.

The panel also underscored the importance of including the youth in these public discussions about health, with some panelists mentioning the role of social media in the discourse.

“Communication on social media is much more impactful than anywhere else,” Al-Amiri added.

 


Oman said to mull new regional airline

Updated 22 October 2019

Oman said to mull new regional airline

DUBAI: Oman is considering setting up a new regional airline that could take over domestic operations from state carrier Oman Air, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

A request for proposal was issued this month by state entity Oman Aviation Group for a feasibility study into operating the new airline, “Oman Link,” the sources said.

Setting up a new airline for domestic flights would allow Oman Air to focus on its international network where it competes with large Gulf carriers Emirates, Qatar Airways, and Etihad Airways.

The new airline could partner with Oman Air with both carriers connecting passengers to each other but would have its own independent management, the sources said on the condition of anonymity because the details are private.

Proposals are to be submitted by Nov. 11, one of the sources said.

The new airline would use regional jets for domestic flights and potentially later to other cities in the region where there is not enough demand to fill the larger single aisle jets used by other airlines in Oman.

FASTFACT

Oman Air operates flights to four airports in the country, including the main Muscat International.

Oman Aviation Group and its unit Oman Air did not respond to separate emailed requests for comment.

Oman Air operates flights to four airports in the country, including the main Muscat International, according to its website.

The airline uses 166-seat Boeing 737 jets and 71-seat Embraer E175 aircraft on domestic and regional flights.

Both aircraft types are too costly to consistently operate domestic routes at a profit, according to industry sources.

Oman has been restructuring its aviation sector in recent years. Oman Aviation Group was formed in 2018 and includes Oman Air, Oman Airports and Oman Aviation Services.

A budget, second airline, Salam Air, was launched in 2017. It is owned by Omani government pension funds and the Muscat municipality.

Last week, Eithad and Air Arabia said they were jointly setting up a low cost carrier in Abu Dhabi.