RSIS Seminar by Dr Cung Vu, RSIS Visiting Senior Fellow; and Former Associate Director, Office of Naval Research Global (Singapore), United States Department of the Navy
The Role of Science and Technology in Contemporary Society
Science and Technology or S&T is one of the key pillars of national power and security. But oftentimes, the role of S&T in society is misunderstood and as a result of which, related priorities are overlooked. The fact that the academic community is called upon to articulate S&T’s role to the general public hints at the lack of appreciation for this crucial field. In this talk, I will first retrace the role of S&T since ancient times. Drawing on specific examples of groundbreaking inventions, discoveries and technology developments from China, India and the Islamic world, I will highlight their relevance and applications in contemporary society. Next, I will unpack recent inventions, discoveries and technologies critical to national security today. Lastly, I will assess Singapore’s apparent S&T strategy and propose key recommendations on how the country might leverage on S&T for national development and security.
About the Speaker:
Dr Cung Vu is a chemical engineer with 35 years of experience in industries, academia and government, was listed in Who’s Who in Science and Engineering and has thirty eight world‐wide patents. Has extensive personal networks across the Department of Defense (DOD), National Academies, National Laboratories, Industries, US Government and Allies. Former Leader of a Community of Interest (COI) on Emerging and Disruptive Technologies (EDT) under the charter of the Global Futures Forum.
Dr Vu is currently an independent consultant, following his retirement from the US government, focusing in Science and Technology (S&T) in National Security, S&T in Maritime Security, Cyber Security, Emerging Technologies, Renewable Energy for Rural Community, Waste to Energy, Water and Energy Nexus, and Renewable Energy in the Asia-Pacific region. He is also a Visiting Senior Fellow, Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Dr Vu served as Associate Director at the Office of Naval Research Global in Singapore. He acted as a technical broker linking the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the Naval Research Enterprise with international scientific community. He identified EDT in order to avoid naval technical surprise. He provided ONR forward presence with global innovators and technologists.
Previously, Dr Vu served as Chief Science and Technology Advisor at the National Maritime Intelligence-Integration Office (NMIO) where he advised the Director of NMIO on the implications of emerging technologies in the maritime domain. He fostered engagement and information sharing amongst the NMIO stakeholders (Federal, State, Local Government, Academia, Private sector, and Foreign Partners) focusing on S&T. He also led a COI on EDT under the charter of the Global Futures Forum, coordinated by the Department of State with members from over 50 countries to provide cultural/social context and allow the anticipate responses to EDT issues from different parts of the world. He was Branch Chief, Advanced Technologies of the Defense Warning Office DOD overseeing strategic assessments on emerging technologies with the intent of precluding technological surprise. Prior to this he was Senior Program Officer; Board of Manufacturing and Engineering Design and National Materials Advisory Board of the National Academies. He conducted studies, defined technical issues, proposed solutions and identified research opportunities over a wide range of manufacturing, engineering design, materials, and processing topics for government, industries, and academia. Dr Vu spent more than 20 years in private sector working in chemical and material industries. He received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Monash University, Australia and his B.S. in Chemical Engineering with Honors from University of Sydney, Australia.