Mrs. Maureen Manchouck - Science Popularisation Pioneer
At this year's national awards ceremony, NIHERST President, Maureen
Manchouck, was honoured with the Public Service Medal of Merit (Gold) for
her outstanding contribution in education. In October 2012, at UWI St.
Augustine's graduation ceremony, she will receive the Honorary Degree of
Doctor of Laws (LLD).
Both awards are an acknowledgement of her groundbreaking contribution to
building our country's scientific and technological capability and the
important role that science popularisation plays in developing a national
culture of science, technology and innovation.
NIHERST's venture into this area, which began in 1987, was Mrs. Manchouck's
brainchild. It sprang from a small travelling exhibition of a few hands-on
exhibits and blossomed over the decades into myriad programmes, bringing
science alive for adults and students of all ages and promoting scientific
and technological literacy. It was the start of a long journey of igniting
curiosity, illuminating minds, and empowering our people to transform their
lives and our society using science, technology and their innate creativity.
Mrs. Manchouck was undeterred by the lack of buy-in for science
popularisation nationally, at a time when there was increasing investment in
it around the world, particularly in the establishment of science centres.
Through her vision, leadership, resourcefulness and single-minded
persistence, the fledging programme survived and expanded to become the
benchmark for science popularisation both locally and regionally, to the
benefit of over one million children and adults.
In all other areas of NIHERST's pioneering work, Mrs. Manchouck also left a
significant mark, especially in tertiary education, foreign language
education, accreditation, policy research on science and technology, and
The NIHERST Board and staff join the people of this country in
congratulating Mrs. Manchouck on her well-deserved honours. We thank her for
her inspiring example, tireless championing of the cause of non-formal
science education, outstanding public service, and her undefeated commitment
to our progress in science and technology.