Foreign scientists named honorary UST professors

Japanese biomedical expert Takashi Okamoto was one of three foreign scientists named "honorary professors" in a ceremony led by Rector Fr. Herminio Dagohoy O.P. last Feb. 27. Photo by Roy Abrahm D.R. Narra

THE UNIVERSITY named three foreign scientists “honorary professors” for their contribution to the field of science last Feb. 27.

American chemist Geoffrey Cordell, Australian physicist John Holdsworth and Japanese biomedical expert Takashi Okamoto were given the title during conferment ceremonies led by Rector Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P.

Cordell has authored 600 research publications, book chapters, comprehensive reviews and professional publications, and has received 19,520 citations.

Cordell once contributed to Acta Manilana, the official journal of the UST Research Center for the Natural Sciences, and played a role in UST’s professional development program in the field of natural products chemistry from 1992 to 2010.

In his lecture on climate change, Cordell urged UST students to seek new information.

“To the students, don’t get stuck with what you know. Get stuck with what you don’t, so you can do something new! In this world, you need to change constantly, embrace what is there, then improve it,” he said.

Fact-based science

Holdsworth was a recipient of 28 research grants and authored and co-authored 28 articles published in various journals worldwide.

He is also one of the key figures in the development of UST’s BS Applied Physics major in Instrumentation program.

In his conferment speech, Holdsworth stressed the importance of empirical evidence in the field of science in the age of “alternative facts.”

“We should collectively insist in supporting factual-based science over opinions. If anti-vaccines win, hospitals and graveyards would be filled,” he said.

Okamoto has published over 200 scientific journals around the country with the Science Council of Japan. He is responsible for bringing Thomasian students and faculty to Japan for internships and research collaborations.

“The impressions are strong on how I observe the tranquility and the natural ease of the UST campus. To add to my observation was the diligent attitude of the faculty and the staff as well as the enthusiasm of the students,” Okamoto said in his conferment speech.

The conferment took place at the Medicine Auditorium. Attendees included Secretary General Fr. Jesus Miranda, O.P., Vice Rector for Academic Affairs Clarita Carillo, Vice Rector for Research and Innovation Maribel Nonato, College of Science Dean John Donnie Ramos, Science Assistant Dean Carlota Decena and Fr. Franklin Beltran, O.P.

UST has been granting honorary professorships to individuals with exceptional contributions to their fields of expertise.

Former recipients include Nobel Prize in Literature winner Mario Vargas Llosa, former Polish president Lech Walesa, former Malaysian prime minister Mahatir Mohamad, and Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences chancellor Msgr. Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo.


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