Janaka Wijetunga: Asian tsunami alert systems ‘pass major test’
Academics / Researchers / SciDev.Net / Scientists

Janaka Wijetunga: Asian tsunami alert systems ‘pass major test’

[ACEH/COLOMBO/NEW DELHI] Tsunami warning systems appear to have worked effectively during last week’s (11 April) earthquake and aftershocks off the Indonesian coast of Sumatra, but experts say improvements are still needed. The 8.6 magnitude undersea quake triggered a tsunami warning in several countries. It was the first real-time test of three tsunami warning systems — in Australia, India and … Continue reading

Janaka Wijetunga: Tsunami study stresses preparedness
Academics / Researchers / SciDev.Net / Scientists

Janaka Wijetunga: Tsunami study stresses preparedness

[COLOMBO] New computer modelling studies of possible earthquakes in the Indian Ocean, and the tsunamis they could trigger, suggest that the December 2004 tsunami that devastated parts of Sri Lanka’s coastline was about the worst the country could face. Scientists from the University of Peradeniya modelled worst-case scenarios of earthquakes in each of the quake-prone zones in … Continue reading

Chitra Weddikkara: Breaking Through the Glass Ceiling
Academics / Architects / The Sunday Times

Chitra Weddikkara: Breaking Through the Glass Ceiling

Prof. Chitra Weddikkara met her husband-to-be and discovered her future profession roughly around the same time. It was 1968 and she was a young student of the biosciences. Her parents, who couldn’t bear the thought of sending her to far away Peradeniya were more willing to consent to a course in architecture at Moratuwa. Taken … Continue reading

Udan Fernando: The Unscripted Beach
Academics / Activists / Researchers / The Sunday Times / Writers

Udan Fernando: The Unscripted Beach

Udan Fernando considers Mount Lavinia beach an extension of his backyard – albeit a very crowded one. ‘It’s my place to walk, exercise, eat, drink, relax, host friends and ‘just be’!’ writes Udan, noting that he is not the only one. The generosity with which the beach welcomes hundreds of people every day is what … Continue reading

Karen Lee: Making Museums Come Alive
Academics / Anthropologists / Collectors / Curators / The Sunday Times

Karen Lee: Making Museums Come Alive

There was nothing about Karen Lee’s early life that destined her for the job she has now, that of a curator with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Numismatic Collection in Washington D.C. “We’re Czechoslovak immigrants and my family didn’t feel comfortable in museums,” she says, “We were a lower middle class family. I was not taken … Continue reading

The SLINTEC Team: Making History
Academics / Engineers / Entreprenuers / Innovators / Researchers / The Sunday Times

The SLINTEC Team: Making History

At the Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology (SLINTEC), today is someone’s birthday – the riot of pink and yellow post-it notes decorating Prof. K.M Nalin de Silva’s door single him out. For the Science Team Leader it’s a fine day to meditate on the world of his ancestors and to imagine the one his children will … Continue reading

Dr. Neelika Jayawardane: Inescapably Indian
Academics / Researchers / The Sunday Times / Writers

Dr. Neelika Jayawardane: Inescapably Indian

Though she was born in Sri Lanka, raised in Zambia and is currently resident in America, Dr. Neelika Jayawardane has long since resigned herself to being Indian. “In Africa, if you’re South Asian, you’re Indian,” she says. “They see us as one monolithic Indian, just as we see Africans the same way. Instead of being … Continue reading