Executive Director’s Message - November 2021
Understanding the Past, Tackling the Present, and Shaping the Future
The evolution of communities over millennia and how these communities interacted with each other has shaped the world we live in today. Studying how our ancestors lived, what their routines and dietary habits were, analyzing their migration patterns and their rituals contain important lessons for us and can help us better understand our societies and the challenges faced by them. The Arabian Peninsula has a rich history and a lot of it is yet to be discovered.
A team at Qatar Museums has recently made a startling discovery in the West of Qatar of one of the oldest settlements in the region. This discovery was made possible through a project funded by the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) and we learn more about this excavation in this month’s Research Matters. Since our inception, we have placed an important focus on understanding our past and preserving the rich heritage, history, and traditions of Qatar.
While we have a focus on the past, the rapidly evolving present requires that we are prepared to meet unexpected and intricate challenges head-on in an agile, responsive, and constructive manner. As an important player in Qatar’s RDI ecosystem, we realize the responsibility we have to help the people of Qatar respond to their challenges and achieve their aims. Our Rapid Response Call (RRC) is a testament to our readiness to help our researchers, scientists, and innovators respond to any unforeseen challenges and emergencies. We recently announced the awardees for the second cycle of RRC and feature some of them in our newsletter to learn more about it.
Along with an eye on the past and our efforts in the present, we are invested in shaping the future too. The rapid development of a thriving RDI ecosystem in Qatar in a relatively short time paints a very promising picture of its future. Qatar continues to build its infrastructure, including state-of the-art laboratories, academic institutions, and research centers and for them to reach their full operational potential, we need a steady supply of talented and ambitious minds that will form the country’s scientific and research leadership.
Hence we need to act now, to introduce our school students to the world of science and research and encourage them to pursue advanced scientific education and serve their country. Over the fifteen years of QNRF’s operations, we have laid down the groundwork to achieve this and our students have our support from as early as K-12 levels all the way to the PhD level and even when they are well-established scientists, researchers, and professionals. Every year, we organize the National Scientific Research and Innovation Week, which helps us lay a solid foundation of science and research among our school students. To learn more about the week’s festivities and its impact, I invite you to read an interview with a member of our capacity-building team.
From the past, to the present and the future, we have it all covered when it comes to research. I invite you to browse through our website to learn more about our programs and how you can participate in them.