Panel Discussion: Singapore-Relevant Research or International Impact: A False Dilemma?

20 April, 2017

There has been a growing debate among some FASS colleagues about whether a decision to focus on Singapore-specific research (that might impact public policymaking) comes at the cost of publishing internationally for wider recognition. This dilemma stems from the increasing pressure to publish one’s work in internationally-recognised journals. Discussions about this dilemma (including whether this is a false dilemma) are especially timely given the recent boost in support from the Ministry of Education, where a $305 million grant was set aside for humanities and social sciences research for the next five years. 
 
This discussion will therefore provide a forum for addressing this (false?) dilemma that some colleagues might perceive while doing research. Given the university’s increasing emphasis on creating positive societal impact through research, such an issue is even more pertinent today.
[Please note that there was a change in panelists for this discussion as Professor Brenda Yeoh is unable to attend. As a result, Professor Philip Holden from the Department of English Language and Literature has kindly agreed to fill in for her.]
Panellist Profiles:
 
Associate Professor Ho Kong Chong
Trained as an urban sociologist at the University of Chicago, Kong Chong’s research interests are in the political economy of cities and higher education. Current projects include a research monograph on the HDB with UNHabitat Housing Practices Series (with Tan, Ng and Glass) and the National Youth Council’s State of Youth in Singapore (with Ho and Ng). Recent publications include “International Student Mobility and After-Study Lives”, Population, Space and Place (2016, with Collins, Ishikawa and Ma); Rethinking Spatial Planning for Urban Conviviality and Social Diversity: A Study of Nightlife in a Singapore Public Housing Estate Neighbourhood”, Town Planning Review (2016, with Yeo and Heng).
 
Associate Professor Irene Ng
Irene Y.H. Ng is an Associate Professor of Social Work and Director of the Social Service Research Centre in the National University of Singapore. She holds a joint Ph.D. in Social Work and Economics from the University of Michigan. Her research areas include poverty and inequality, intergenerational mobility, youth crime, and social welfare policy. Her research projects include an evaluation of a national Work Support program; National Youth Surveys 2010, 2013 and 2016; a study of low-income households with debt; and an evaluation of Social Service Offices. She is active in the community, serving or having served in committees in the Ministry of Social and Family Development, National Council of Social Service, Ministry of Manpower, and various voluntary welfare organizations. Her teaching areas include poverty, policy, welfare economics, youth work, and program planning.
Professor Philip Holden
Philip Holden is Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature. His work in auto/biography studies includes the book Autobiography and Decolonization: Modernity, Masculinity and the Nation-State, and a number of scholarly articles in major scholarly journals such as biography, Life Writing, a/b: Auto/biography Studies, and Postcolonial Studies. He has also written widely on Singapore and Southeast Asian literatures, is the co-author of The Routledge Concise History of Southeast Asian Writing in English, and one of the editors of Writing Singapore, the most comprehensive historical anthology of Singapore literature in English. His short story collection Heaven Has Eyes was published in 2016.
Please note that this discussion is only open to academics and researchers. 

Registration can be done here.

See you there!