Kudos to UWI's Mona GeoInformatics Institute


Dear Editor,

The University of the West Indies normally gets bad press in Jamaican newspapers. In many cases the negative press is justified. Nevertheless, it might be pointed out that too often the good things that the university does is lost. As William Shakespeare had Mark Anthony declare in his oration at the death of Julius Caesar, "The evil that men do lives after them, The good is oft interred with their bones."

In the case of the university the bad news is often repeated ad nauseam while the good news is frequently neglected. No one denies that the university does not promote itself as well as it should. Nevertheless, the university should not be expected to be blowing its horn all the time. Good newspapers with discerning editors should find and propagate the good news with the same enthusiasm, or even more enthusiasm, than the bad news.

So it is gratifying to read about the work of the Mona GeoInformatics Institute of the University of the West Indies. Recently the institute disclosed at a conference on road safety the results of research that it had done on traffic accidents across Jamaica since 2000. Mapping crash sites across the island, the research pinpointed the most dangerous road sections. This is invaluable information for everyone and should allow the government and the people to improve road safety.

There are many other institutes at the university that produce similarly useful information on a wide range of topics. If the newspapers did a better job of highlighting the work of these hardworking researchers, it might eventually lead to a more pragmatic applicability of the results of science to local society. Even better, it will spread the idea that Caribbean scholars are as good as scholars in the rest of the world and therefore far more capable of proposing solutions to local problems.

Frederick C Lane


Original: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Kudos-to-UWI-s-Mona-GeoInformatics-Institute_8820589#ixzz273Un5BjC