IMP 2021 Bootcamp: Road to be a Young Papuan Scientist

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The French anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss once said, “The scientist is not a person who gives the right answers; he is one who asks the right questions.” Based on the quote, we can conclude that what is meant by ‘scientists’ is somebody who always asks questions. Because, by asking, we will be compelled to seek answers to what we need. Hence, formulating questions is a fundamental step in the research process. The right questions can only be asked if we have sufficient knowledge and understanding of the context of what we try to answer. So, as scientists, how do we ask the right questions, so that we can answer them correctly? It will be answered in the boot camp of Ilmuwan Muda Papua (IMP) 2021.

IMP is a program initiated by the EcoNusa Foundation with the Regional Research and Development Agency (Balitbangda) of West Papua Province in 2020. This program is a form of EcoNusa and West Papua’s Balitbangda efforts to produce a generation of young researchers who are reliable, qualified, and capable to answer various social and environmental challenges in the Land of Papua. After being successfully held in 2020, IMP is back in 2021 with no less enthusiastic welcome, both from academics and local government.

During the registration period in June-August 2021, no less than 104 aspiring young scientists enrolled in this program. After going through a rigorous selection process, EcoNusa and Balitbangda West Papua managed to screen 25 young scientists with the best research proposals from various corners of Papua. With the guidance of experts in their fields, the youth took part in intensive boot camp activities on September 14-17, 2021 to further strengthen their spirit and capacities in future research.

The IMP 2021 Bootcamp activity took place on September 14-17, 2021 at the Mansinam Beach Hotel, Manokwari, West Papua Province. The program presented experts from various fields of science, both those directly related to research processes such as research methods, writing techniques, and research ethics, as well as deepening the role of young scientists in sustainable development in Papua. The participants also had the opportunity to go on a field trip to the Gunung Meja Nature Park in Manokwari.

One of the experts who provided useful insights to the participants was Prof. Jatna Supriatna, M.Sc., Ph.D. Prof. Jatna is the Chair of the Climate Change Research Center at the University of Indonesia (RCCC UI), as well as the Chair of the Indonesia Sustainable Earth & Resources (I-SER). Also there were Dr. Henderita L. Ohee, Lecturer of the Biology Study Program, Cenderawasih University, West Papua; and Rina Kusuma, Public & Youth Mobilization Program Manager of the EcoNusa Foundation.

After the bootcamp, the twenty-five young Papuan scientists will receive research funds of Rp15 million each. In the future, the results of their research will be published together by the EcoNusa Foundation and the Balitbangda West Papua to make a positive contribution to environmental sustainability and the welfare of the people in the Land of Papua.


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