Science sheds light on Myths and Mysteries: a Case Study of Edible Bird's Nest
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Swiftlets of genus Aerodramus fuchiphagus, native to the Indo-Pacific region, build edible bird’s nest (EBN) with a saliva-like secretion. The cleaned EBN is believed to have exceptional nutritional and medicinal properties. It has been consumed, particularly by the Chinese, for more than a thousand years. It is one of the most expensive Asian delicacies, and has been called the “Caviar of the East”. The trade in EBN is worth billions of dollars annually, with the production of raw EBN localized in South-East Asia, particularly in Indonesia and Malaysia, but with the consumers largely in China. Many myths and mysteries surround the demand for EBN as food and medicine, and science is shedding light on them. In this talk, Prof Lee will share some of these findings and discuss his research around EBN.
Prof Lee Soo Ying is a Professor in the School of Physical & Mathematical Sciences and the Director of the Institute of Advanced Studies, Nanyang Technological University (NTU). His field of research is nonlinear molecular spectroscopy and molecular reaction dynamics. In 2003, he and Donghui Zhang won the National Science Award for “First Principles Study of Elementary Chemical Reaction Dynamics.”
MEET THE SPEAKER
Professor, School of Physical & Mathematical Sciences and Director of the Institute of Advanced Studies, Nanyang Technological University (NTU)
Prof Lee Soo Ying received his B.Sc.(Hons, I) degree in Chemistry from the University of Malaya, Malaysia, in 1972. He then went on to receive his PhD in 1976 in Chemistry from the University of Chicago, USA. After completing his post-doctoral work at The University of California, Los Angeles, he joined the faculty at the Department of Chemistry, National University of Singapore (NUS), as a Lecturer. He rose through the ranks and became a Professor in 1996. He was active in academic administration, becoming Head of Chemistry at NUS in 1996, Dean of Science in 1997, Director of Research in 2000 and Vice Provost in 2001. He spent a sabbatical at University of California, Berkeley, in 2003. In 2004, he joined the Nanyang Technological University as the Founding Dean of the School of Physical & Mathematical Sciences. He then became the Dean of the College of Science in 2006. He is currently the Director of the Institute of Advanced Studies. His field of research is nonlinear molecular spectroscopy and molecular reaction dynamics.
This event is presented by The HEAD Foundation, a Singapore-based think tank devoted to research and policy influence in education and leadership, for development in Asia.
Admission is free.
Disclaimer: The views expressed by the speaker in this talk are their own and do not represent the opinions of The HEAD Foundation.