By XiaoZhi Lim
Chemical & Engineering News

Goh Suat Hong remembers the first time Nanyang University, a predecessor of today’s National University of Singapore (NUS), obtained a nuclear magnetic resonance machine. It was 1974, and the 60-MHz machine had just moved in to the university’s department of chemistry together with a differential scanning calorimeter. The two pieces of equipment helped kick-start Goh’s academic research in polymer characterization and synthesis.

Acquisition of these instruments was a sign that Singapore was digging itself out of a hole. After the country gained independence from Malaysia just nine years earlier, in 1965, it had to grapple with high unemployment and economic uncertainty nationwide. With limited natural resources and a shortage of clean drinking water, scientific research was hardly a priority.

During the past 50 years, though, Singapore has invested in infrastructure and developed its workforce. And its chemical industry and research community have benefited, becoming robust pillars of the nation.

 

Continue reading at C&EN. Originally published on Sep 21, 2015.

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