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An Evening With St. Anne’s

Renowned lecturers from St. Anne’s College, Oxford University were invited to speak at our first Dialogue Series. The event, held at the Majestic Hotel on 21 July 2015, marked the conclusion of a week-long summer school during which St. Anne’s lecturers conducted lessons for selected Government school students. Two thought-provoking talks were hosted: The Nuclear Future for Malaysia, by Professor Chris Grovenor, and Biodiversity Conservation in Southeast Asia, by Professor Martin Speight.

Session Highlights:

  1. The Nuclear Future for Malaysia
    • Countries should move away from coal, oil and gas as they cause severe pollution.
    • Nuclear energy is a good alternative due to lower carbon emission, a steady source of electricity, and high levels of safety.
    • However, nuclear energy plants require high maintenance and produce tons of waste. Accidents can be catastrophic e.g. the Bhopal and Chernobyl nuclear disasters.
    • Adequate knowledge of nuclear waste management is required to avoid possible health and environmental issues.
    • It is also crucial to have a mature and reliable Government to lead the way.
  2. Biodiversity Conservation in Southeast Asia  
    • Biodiversity helps clean our air and waters, retain soil and regulate weather patterns.
    • There needs to be an increase in ecosystem productivity as each species in the ecosystem has a specific role to play.
    • More protection is needed for larger plant species for more crop variety.
    • Protecting biodiversity is crucial as it is an integral component of Malaysia's future.
The event saw attendees from corporate foundations, educational institutions and non-government organisations, among other influential thought leaders. It was graced by the British High Commissioner to Malaysia, H.E Vicki Treadell CMG. MVO and Tan Sri Dato’ Seri (Dr) Yeoh Tiong Lay, Chairman of the Foundation and YTL Corporation Berhad.

About Our Speakers

Professor Chris Grovenor

Professor of Materials Science and Head of the Materials Science Department at Oxford University.

His work includes studying the effects of prolonged radiation exposure on steel in nuclear power plants. Born in Malaysia, he spent the first 6 years of his life here. He loves indulging in Nasi Lemak and speaks basic Malay. 

Professor Martin Speight

Fellow in Biological Science at St. Anne's College

Throughout his career, much of his research was based in Southeast Asia, focusing on coral reef ecology, tropical marine establishment and impacts, as well as tropical rainforest management and impacts on insect diversity. He visits Malaysia often and never misses an opportunity to explore the forests of Johor or the coral reefs of Sabah. 

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YTL Foundation was founded in 1997 on the belief that education is the basis on which every society progresses. By improving education, empowering future generations and building tomorrow’s leaders, YTL Foundation aims to empower individuals and communities to be catalysts of change.

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