26 April 2012

Inspired by Prof Leo Tan!

It was most inspiring to hear Prof Leo Tan's personal stories of his decades working for nature at U@live last night.
A veteran of nature conservation, long before it was fashionable, Prof Leo shared unique insights into the changing attitudes of Singaporeans towards nature and the environment.

Prof Leo speaks passionately! I was particularly fascinated by his accounts of his early childhood on the original Labrador shore and how he worked relentlessly for decades to preserve as much of it as he could. Culminating in Labrador being designated one of the only two Nature Reserves set up after Singapore's independence.
I was also struck by Prof Leo's personal approach to conservation issues. He feels that it is better to avoid a confrontational approach to the issues. A stark black-and-white approach usually only resulted in a winner and a loser. He feels it is better to adopt an approach that results in two winners. Or better still, three winners!
A large audience had gathered for this fascinating event which provided lots of time for Q&A from the floor as well as from online participants.
On show this evening too, were some fascinating dinosaur fossils! Prof Leo played a key role in making it possible for the new natural history museum to have three awesome dinosaurs. The smallest one, Twinky, just landed in Singapore a few days ago. He explained more about why we should have dinosaurs in our new museum.
The fossils were a big hit after the discussion ended. Everyone lined up to have a closer look.
Dinosaurs are fascinating for people of all ages, but especially for kids! Dr Tan Swee Hee (at right) explains more about these dino 'toes'. Dr Tan and his team have worked tireless to make the new museum and the dinosaurs a reality.
This family certainly approve of dinosaurs!
After the talk and a quick break, a smaller group reassembled for a more intimate discussion with Prof Leo. For more details see live tweets especially by Ivan Kwan and N. Sivasothi during the event at #UaliveLeoTan. Ivan also has a post on storify where he gushes about the dinosaurs featured at the U@live session featuring Professor Leo Tan, and why dinosaurs are important to us. And Jocelyne did a very comprehensive post of his talk.
More photos and videos will probably be eventually posted on the U@live page on Prof Leo Tan's talk. Here's more about Prof Leo Tan and some previous media articles about him.

I hear that the organisers plan to have Louis Ng of ACRES at their next U@live event. I'm looking forward to that!

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