Dinner Talk 2021 - 2nd Gap Filling for Thai Physics and Electrical/Communication Engineering

By Keattisak Sripimanwat - Chair of the IEEE ComSoc Thailand Chapter

In 2017, IEEE ComSoc Thailand launched the first dinner talk tracking back on a hundred years of Thai physics history and its brother, electrical engineering. From that successful beginning, a consequent event to promote human resource development and the policy & strategy alignment was then organized (online) on November 19, 2021. It was another time to fill local wide gap between physics and electrical engineering society. This event was also a part of 40th anniversary of IEEE Thailand section.

A representative for this second dinner talk from physics community is Assoc.Prof. Boonrucksar Soonthornthum, an advisor and former director of the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT). While from electrical engineering, Prof. Monai Krairiksh, a former acting president of KMITL and former director of ECTI association (a sister society of IEEE Thailand section) is invited.

Warming up session with question & answer, both speakers shared their opinions responding to national highlight & hot news i.e. 1) national Lunar satellite project 2) wide gap of local vs international S&T on education, R&D, industry, and related policies 3) widespread pseudoscience without sustainable solution or host 4) poor science communications, and others.

Following with opened discussion, both experts presented many ideas on how two societies should do for the sustainable collaboration. For instance, Prof. Krairiksh raised on “joint syllabus, courses, or degree through multidisclipinary,” and “R&D topic should be started from the mutual interest and real social need.” While, Assoc.Prof. Soonthornthum agreed and offered joint seminars and conferences.

Over that one hour of discussion (a recorded video at www.quantum-thai.org/dinner-talk), there are many important keywords and ideas such as; “soft skill,” environmental friendly techs, “fact-checking” instead of “anti-fake news,”“science’s halve & halve (for a good policy image 50% : for society 50%), and science communication center.

Both speakers also gave us impressive opinions on how science and technology could help us to move on from recent trouble of COVID19 pandemic, including with various suggestions for new generation of physicists and engineers. They also expected that the next round of dinner talk (EP3), there should be a success story of gap filling showing on stage.

Finally, a former question should be left to the people of both societies another time. From 2017 to 2021, is the development gap between Thai physics & electrical/ communication engineering getting wider or narrower?