IMCB honours the memory of the late Dr. Goh Keng Swee, who passed away on Friday 14 May, 2010. Dr. Goh Keng Swee was the second Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore between 1973 and 1984 and is fondly referred to as the "economic architect" of Singapore.
The Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology owes a great debt to Dr. Goh, who was one of the driving forces behind making the proposed Institute a reality when the idea was first put forward to the ministry in the early 1980s. A well-known businessman, K. C. Tan, first approached Dr. Goh on behalf of his nephew, Dr. Chris Tan from the University of Calgary when the idea for the Institute was first conceived. Following consultation with his friend, Sir Evelyn Rothschild from the UK, Dr. Goh was introduced to Prof. Sydney Brenner for advice on the set-up, and later appointed Dr. Chris Tan the Director of the newly-created IMCB.
"I am very glad there was one person who saw that this was the right approach for Singapore. He was Dr Goh, Dr Goh Keng Swee. He was the architect for what we now see here. He saw this as the way to the future and he took a gamble on this crazy man from England who said, “Singapore you have got to do research here,” even though most people thought it not appropriate. IMCB was conceived in 1984, born soon after and grew very quickly."
– as quoted by Prof. Sydney Brenner during his award speech for the Singapore National Science & Techonology Medal in 2006.
“At that time, Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, Dr. Goh Keng Swee, the architect of the Singapore economic miracle, asked whether Singapore could build an equivalent of the Weizmann Institute, a state-funded center for scientific excellence. To address this question, the Singapore IMCB was set up in 1987, and it began recruiting young scientists from Europe, the US, and Canada.”
– as written by Prof. Chris Tan, Tan CYH (2005) Science Star over Asia. PLoS Biol 3(9): e322. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0030322. Published September 13, 2005
In addition to IMCB, Dr. Goh was instrumental in the development of two other Research Institutes – Institute of South East Asian Studies (ISEAS) and Institute of East Asian Philosophies/ Institute of East Asian Political Economy – as well over 24 other companies, institutions and organisations. Dr Goh was also responsible for the development of the Singapore zoo, Jurong Bird Park, Sentosa and the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.
For more information and photos, please see the links below.
For Prof. Sydney Brenner’s full acceptance speech, please click here http://tkmaia.multiply.com/journal/item/253/Sydney_Brenner_Science_Catalyst_of_the_New_World
For Prof. Chris Tan’s article in PLOSBiology, please click here