It is with great privilege and honor that I accept the position to serve the Malaysian Society of Parasitology and Tropical Medicine as president. Our society is now almost fifty-five years old and it has come a long way in its mission to facilitate communication and promote wider dissemination of advances in the field of parasitology and tropical medicine in the region. Today our society has emerged to become among the most established scientific organizations in the country and recognized internationally for its commitment to scientific rigor and professionalism.
An important indicator of our success is the intellectual reputation established by our flagship publication, Tropical Biomedicine, which is now published four times a year and indexed by both PubMed and Web of Science (ISI) with an impact factor of 0.719 (2016). This journal was started thirty-four years ago in 1984 primarily to encourage local young researchers to publish in the fields of parasitology, entomology, tropical medicine and other aspects of biomedical research. Today this journal has taken an international character and features the works of more senior and established researchers.
My goal now is to deepen the scientific base of our society and to broaden its public engagement. I am glad to see that our membership of more than 300 members is not confined to academia but includes also veterinarians, research institutions and medical profession. We would like to see both the number of members and the diversity to grow even more. One area to focus will be to develop stronger linkages between our scientific work and policy making. To achieve this we will need to create platforms to engage with policy makers and to develop strategies to effectively communicate scientific findings to the public sphere.
Finally, we will also be working on strengthening our relationships with our neighbors in ASEAN to develop a strong regional network of scientists. In a world confronted by the threat of global warming and experiencing high levels of movement of people and labor, old issues will become more complex and new issues will begin to emerge that require contributions from our community of practice. These issues do not respect international boundaries and our efforts will necessarily have to include collaboration and support from our colleagues in the region. With greater sharing, collaboration and partnerships between our members and institutions we will be able to grow the society to become a more effective organization in serving our community and our profession.