Columnists

The power of darkness

Views - 5370 Thursday, 13 February 2014 00:00

Comprehending darkness without power is not difficult and any news of an impending energy crisis always sends jitters across the community. Edison’s invention of the light-bulb literally transformed our lives, making nights like day and human activ


Put ‘wow’ into STEM

Views - 3096 Thursday, 30 January 2014 00:00

Three buses pulled up near the Colombo National Museum and school students from an outstation school got down in a hurry. Guided by their teachers, the student group walked to the museum in a long queue. The expressions on their faces indicated that


O tempora! Oh graphite!!

Views - 1762 Thursday, 16 January 2014 00:00

It was Cicero from times gone by who is credited with this sentence, from his oration against Catiline. Cicero’s frustration was about nothing being done against Catiline despite all the evidence. He was of course seeking Catiline’s execution. Th


Let us think and act please!

Views - 3149 Thursday, 2 January 2014 00:00

Happy New Year Sri Lanka! Another year has dawned and it is also brings in a milestone for me. I started with Daily FT as a guest columnist with my first article on ‘Let Us Think and Act,’ which appeared on 1 January 2010. With four years of wri


Drumming up our mindset!

Views - 2851 Thursday, 19 December 2013 00:00

Common sense  on imbalance Today we have lots of discussion on imbalances as various types of imbalances exist and as the word suggests, it is not a welcome development wherever the situation is applied. An aspect that merits discussion is the


Catch them young: A place of inspiration

Views - 3324 Thursday, 5 December 2013 00:00

      In the 2014 Budget speech, one paragraph stands out from a scientific perspective. To quote the President: “Honourable Speaker, it has been recognised that the establishment of a National Science Centre is ess


Space to dream and a place to deliver

Views - 9209 Thursday, 21 November 2013 00:00

It is a view that brings out a question to the mind – a tall structure reaching to the sky from quite a green surrounding, when you come down to Mahenwatta, Pitipana at Homagama. When President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared open the Nanotechnology an


When Alice is not in Wonderland…

Views - 2317 Thursday, 7 November 2013 00:00

    It is always exciting to be in a wonderland and that is the principle and the unique selling point of Disneyland. There is excitement, perhaps varied, but excitement for sure, from whatever and wherever the location may be as


Data behind data: A call for more insights!

Views - 9376 Thursday, 24 October 2013 00:00

We are in the era of big data – datasets so massive and complex that they defy simple analysis. However, the benefits of even small data appear to elude us still. Though we spend considerable time and energy collecting data even using taxpayers an


My ‘Future Earth’: Coming soon

Views - 2329 Thursday, 10 October 2013 00:00

The visit of Prof. Yuan-Tseh Lee Nobel Laureate in Chemistry (1986) last month to Sri Lanka was quite important for some of us. It is indeed a pity that such a visit was not important to most of us! There were some who were visibly upset that they we


Exposing the young: Noble ideas from Nobel winners

Views - 1957 Thursday, 26 September 2013 00:00

Mark Twain, who is a famous humorist and writer, said that a person who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them. Twain’s era has changed radically since he passed away in 1910. While the basic truth of his quote


The day after tomorrow: Synthetic existence!

Views - 1810 Thursday, 12 September 2013 00:00

The world is fast changing and in both directions of bad and good. We may be entering into unfamiliar terrain through our own activities. Some are in the driving seats of this change while we wait without even knowing some of these changes and thinki


From Stanford to SLINTEC: Endowments to progress!

Views - 4133 Thursday, 29 August 2013 00:00

The front page picture of the Daily FT of 16 August reporting on a donation by an individual to a Sri Lankan scientific establishment was exciting in many ways. It was on Ricky Mendis becoming the first Platinum sponsor of the Sri Lanka Institute of


A postcard from a student: A lesson for our industry

Views - 2559 Thursday, 15 August 2013 00:00

A simple input can trigger a chain of thought. It is also said that at times only a thought matters to change yourself and perhaps the world too. Even though this is not a groundbreaking thought that I had, a postcard from Australia from a former stu


Tapping the untapped!

Views - 2190 Thursday, 1 August 2013 01:17

Connecting to untapped resources The recently-concluded Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2013 had a session titled ‘Connecting to Untapped Resources’. Inclusion of this session to the summit was an initiative of the Human Resources and Education S


A COSTI is born!

Views - 2466 Thursday, 18 July 2013 00:00

COSTI may be found in Western pharmacopeia but the acronym embedded in the title stands for the Coordination Secretariat for Science Technology and Innovation. As the name implies, the primary purpose of the establishment is to nurture science techno


Igniting innovation

Views - 6415 Thursday, 4 July 2013 00:27

Ideation to action by our human capital It was a warm and dry yet pleasant evening at Anuradhapura. A tour guide sounds pretty excited and full of pride when he explained about the marvels of what our forefathers have done to a group of tourist


Innovation imperative: The only way forward!

Views - 3007 Thursday, 20 June 2013 00:00

Prof. Epasinghe, who is the Presidential Advisor on Science, addressing Ananda College students requested them to invent and make the country rich and united. He was addressing the school’s inventor society gathering. However, we know that a stude


400 PPM: More action and less talk please!

Views - 2537 Thursday, 6 June 2013 01:14

We are in a week in which Global Environment Day will be celebrated and for sure the day would provide room for many to make quite profound statements and make promises to herald change and with eloquence too. Audiences world over will clap and


A tale of two systems

Views - 1531 Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:00

With the same inputs but with different systems of management, you will derive different answers as it should be. ‘Garbage in is garbage out’ as well known to information process system designers and software architects, but this is not s


Slave Island, upcountry or another country!

Views - 3876 Thursday, 9 May 2013 00:00

Changes are at times quite slow to show immediate effects. Time will inexorably move forward taking people along with it. Babies will grow into adults and help in shaping the character and the future of the society in which they live and work with th


Economics of incompetency

Views - 3024 Thursday, 25 April 2013 00:44

An economy can suffer and growth affected in two ways when analysed from a non-economist’s point of view. One aspect is gross inefficiencies of all what one does. Inefficiencies in that context were addressed in my earlier column comparing with


Economics of inefficiency: Growth with learning

Views - 1384 Thursday, 11 April 2013 00:37

We live the day thinking about growth and additional action to stimulate more growth. We appear to be in no hurry to analyse what we are doing or what we have done with a view of learning and bringing in more efficient and effective ways of doing thi


Green Hat CEOs for geo responsibility!

Views - 1559 Thursday, 28 March 2013 00:00

Waste is a necessary evil with our existence and needs to be managed to ensure us a civilised living. The process of waste management is not straight forward and today the way we do it may in fact define our economic system as with recycling economy,


In a world full of standards, why are we sub-standard?

Views - 3160 Thursday, 14 March 2013 00:29

As we have moved on with varying degrees of societal development models, from conquering each other to democracies with different practicing models, the observable qualities of processes and systems differ widely. Economists simplify by allocat


Our sons must know: Knowing precedes care!

Views - 1180 Thursday, 28 February 2013 00:00

In 1971, the American Society for Advancement of Science asked this question: How can we live a quality life in a finite world? John Ruskin, who was admired by Mahatma Gandhi for his economic thoughts, stated there is no wealth but life. Our own phil


In land we trust: The next gold rush

Views - 1715 Thursday, 14 February 2013 00:00

We have witnessed a few recent events of going after gems on gravel placed on stretches of road down south or of immersing oneself into the Kelani River desperately in search of pure gold. After a few days, it is no longer news for the media and f


Regulating the unseen!

Views - 1967 Thursday, 31 January 2013 00:00

The issues that one faces with regulating the known are quite well-known and have been well-experienced. With multiple systems and complexities, regulating has never been an easy task and all are never satisfied. The world has seen executive or


Let boldness be our guide!

Views - 2187 Thursday, 17 January 2013 00:00

As we come into 2013, we will be looking at what has happened as well as what we would like to do – that is of course if we are serious about results and progress. Such people will reflect on the past and would be imaginative about the future.


Waking up to reality

Views - 1187 Friday, 28 December 2012 00:01

The year 2012 had been an eventful year, but aren’t all years more or less like that? It is just that this year and all its events are fresher in our minds. This human aspect of forgetfulness has been a factor in our existence and may be mor


Today's Columnists

Our Cricket Board simply cannot deliver – why not they all quit honourably?

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

“It is necessary, therefore, for the Government to pay serious attention to the doings of Sri Lanka Cricket [board] and take immediate action to lift their game for the progress of our glorious game.” Question for Sri Lanka Cricket (board) Sri La


Yesterday Tamils, today Muslims and tomorrow who?

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

From the time of S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike’s election victory in 1956, one and only one issue had dominated political party campaigns in this country; and that was communalism. The Tamil community was the main focus of these campaigns for over 50 years


Those who go by social proof are easy prey to crafty schemers

Monday, 17 June 2019

Going after social proof Swiss writer and novelist, Rolf Dobelli, in one of the essays in his 2013 book ‘The Art of Thinking Clearly’, has given a fine warning to his readers. He has warned against going by ‘social proof’ or ‘majority view


Poson ponderings on positional power: ‘Authority vested’ vs. ‘authority wasted’

Monday, 17 June 2019

We witnessed a serene Poson Poya, in a far more improved security setting in Sri Lanka. Whilst the Sri Lankan life slowly returning to normal, political fronts do not appear to show the same. Has the political power become the people ‘pava’ (sin)


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