by V.V. Krishna and Sohan Prasad Sha
Science Technology and Society, 2015, 20(3): 389-413.
In Special Issue: Return from Migration and Circulation of Highly Educated People: The Never Ending Brain Drain [Guest editors: J. Gaillard, A-M. Gaillard and V.V. Krishna]
Abstract: Small developing countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa are still struggling with the institutionalisation and professionalisation of science. Many countries in these regions are yet to establish science communities. Singapore case becomes all the more interesting and exemplary as this small country was able to build a small but vibrant science community in relatively a short span of time. As will be shown through the case study on 'Biopolis' (cluster of modern biology laboratories and national university), there is indeed a unique Singaporean approach in building science community by attracting global talents. The process of attracting global talents or what may be seen as a case of brain gain was part of Singapore's national science, technology and innovation (STI) strategy since the 1980s and particularly the 1990s. After exploring the most salient features of STI policies, the essay will focus on two major institutional developments, which were crucial for building Biopolis, based science community. First is on building of world class university and research ecosystem; and second is a empirical research on the structure and composition of scientists in eight major biological labs.