Singapore: A Nation of Technicians

Source: Asia1.com, Sep 2015

Brenner came to a meeting in Singapore in 1984. He later discovered that this invitation had come from Dr Goh Keng Swee, then Deputy Prime Minister.

During this visit, Brenner met Mr Lee Kuan Yew, then Prime Minister of Singapore, and wrote a short proposal to set up a research institute in molecular and cell biology to train Singaporeans at the PhD level, who could then provide the country with the necessary biotechnology infrastructure.

When Mr Lee remarked that Singapore was a nation of technicians and not scientists, Brenner candidly replied: “Prime Minister, if you don’t do something like this, you will remain a nation of technicians.” A decision was made in 1985 to create the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology – a name Brenner had suggested…

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