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Dr Paramesh Banerjee Elected President of Asian Seismological Commission
“I feel privileged. It’s a big honour and also a big responsibility,” said Dr Paramesh Banerjee, regarding his recent appointment as President of the Asian Seismological Commission (ASC).
ASC is an organisation that aims to promote scientific cooperation and exchange among Asian countries in order to strengthen disaster research and mitigation efforts.
Dr Banerjee, Technical Director at the Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS), was elected President of ASC on 01 August 2017.
Dr Banerjee explained how disaster research cannot be confined to national boundaries. For this reason, he feels it is crucial to bring the policymakers of Asian countries together so that data and other resources can be shared for more successful disaster mitigation.
During his time as president, Dr Banerjee hopes to achieve two goals. Firstly, he hopes to set up a common facility for seismological data, where data from all Asian countries can be stored and freely accessed by scientists throughout the region.
Secondly, he hopes to develop a programme to analyse the existing earthquake hazard for each major Asian city.
In order to achieve his goals, Dr Banerjee plans to set up three different advisory bodies to support his work as President of ASC. The scientific advisory board will comprise leading scientists whose work focuses on seismology in Asia.
The policy advisory board will comprise top-level decision makers and policy experts, who can assist the president in creating a common facility for cross-national data sharing.
The technical committee will be able to be deployed whenever there is a major earthquake disaster in Asia, to offer expertise and advice to affected communities.
Dr Banerjee also spoke of the advantages of working from Singapore, explaining that his work at EOS enabled him to gain a wealth of experience in working with different countries, setting up networks, and liaising between different governmental agencies.
“It is the responsibility of the scientific community to educate governments and encourage them to begin sharing fundamental seismological data for a safer Asia for everyone.”