The country coordinator of the Open Forum of Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB), Nigeria chapter, Dr Rose Gidado, has said science and research offer unparalleled opportunity for adolescents to quench their thirst for answers and explore their intellectual strengths and abilities.
In her keynote address titled ‘Science for the young’ at the first national life science awards held virtually, she noted that children are naturally very curious and love to experiment, pointing out that the years of early childhood provide the perfect opportunity to help kids develop love for learning and especially love for science.
Saying making science and research attractive to young people has sparked many debates about the future of research and related technologies, she stressed the need for young people to understand the problems and challenges facing the advancement of science in Nigeria, one of which is the myths and fallacies of scientific innovations such as genetic modification technology.
“The intense and continuous debates surrounding the adoption and acceptance of genetic modification technology in Nigeria and the world
at large have placed focus on other variables beyond science itself. Public opinion about science, more especially, agricultural biotechnology, has continued to be affected by the polarization of stakeholders which is normally caused by divergent information sources and conflicting mixed messages,” she said.
She further said with the nation’s determination to encourage and increase the youth’s curiosity, everything they encounter would soon become an important science investigation, thus providing plenty opportunities for young people in the field of science.
“The competition for peer-reviewed research funding and the gold standard of excellence in the research communities makes it fierce on young investigators at the very outset of their careers, during their early years as an independent researcher thereby making period the make-or-break years,” she added.