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Past research. Did society benefit?

Past research. Did society benefit?

Science has been important in improving the quality and standard of life. As in other fields of science, the Life Sciences and Social Sciences can offer societal and economic benefits through the generation of knowledge and its translation into various applications.

Taking advantage of the scientific, human and other resources in Indonesia and the Netherlands, the ‘Scientific Programme Indonesia-Netherlands’ (SPIN) was initiated to reconfirm scientific cooperation between researchers from the two countries. Directed by their importance, infectious diseases and administrative reforms were chosen as main research topics for the Life Sciences and Social Sciences respectively, as part of the SPIN 1 and 2 programs.

This session presents three collaborative studies in the Life Sciences and two collaborative studies in the Social Sciences under SPIN 1-2 and discusses their impact on wider Indonesian society.

First, research on Tuberculosis and HIV in Indonesia reports the dynamic interactions between the biological components of the host-pathogen in the acquisition and persistence of an infectious disease (i.e. tuberculosis) in a defective immunity caused by HIV infection. This study, reported by two investigators, addressed not only the basic aspects of disease, but also the practical application of the lessons learned, and the academic capacity building attained.

Second, the study on Pathogen Resistance: Global threat and challenges investigated the resistance status and characteristics of the serious health issue of malarial parasites and vectors in different geographical regions and ethnic communities of Indonesia. The results of this study have instigated further basic and applied research, especially on the development of prevention and control strategies for malaria, which could also be applicable to other infectious diseases.

Third, coherent biotechnological projects under the Biotechnology Research Indonesia – The Netherlands (BIORIN) are presented to demonstrate how scientific research can be beneficial to society by using advanced technologies to solve serious problems in the cultivation of various crops.

Fourth, the socio-legal research on Securing Land Rights Through a Science-based Land Administration Reform examined the extent to which unclear regulations and lack of land administration have been major causes of the existence of land insecurity in East Kalimantan. Through collaboration between the researchers and state officials, the findings of the project have contributed to capacity building and the creation of awareness among government officials at the district, sub-district and village level about the importance of having clear regulations concerning the cultivation of land.

Fifth, the research project on Renegotiating Boundaries: Access, Agency and Identity in Post-Suharto Indonesia focused on the impact of political reformation, democratization and administrative decentralization in post-Suharto Indonesia. The findings of the project created public awareness and stimulated debate about the extent to which administrative decentralization in Indonesia resulted not only in good governance and a stronger civil society, but can also be captured by regional elites to increase their own power.