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Welcome Message

Welcome to the NTU Institute of Science and Technology for Humanity (NISTH), an Interdisciplinary Centre of Excellence at NTU, Singapore.  NISTH is a platform to spearhead research, connect all stakeholders in sustained dialogue and focus public attention on the impact of technology on society.  The brainchild of President Subra Suresh, NISTH seeks to champion interdisciplinary research in science and technology studies (STS), by leveraging NTU’s strengths in technological innovation and STS, to address the challenges of new technology adoption in society. 

Innovations in Technology have overpowered and reshaped the human landscape of the 21st century.  This technological revolution has profoundly altered human relationships, lifestyle and work cultures.  This new digital revolution is termed the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ or ‘Industry 4.0’.

While the first used basic utilities like water and steam to automate production lines, the second moved to electricity to generate mass production and the third depended largely on information technology and electronics to mechanise production.  The fourth is primarily characterised as one that is building on the third through fusion of various technologies.  The speed of change in Industry 4.0 is unprecedented and exponential.  It is incomparable to any other in its depth and scale as it infiltrates every industry conceivable. 

Although Industry 4.0, promises of opportunities with better quality of life and higher income levels, the profitable are only those consumers who have the affordability and access to various digital platforms.  With projected long-term gains in competence and yield, one can say that effective supply chains and affordable transport and communications, will lead to strong economies and open avenues to new markets. 

Some economists have been quick to point out that this revolution may create greater inequality as machines and technology replace labour across economies.  However, they are unable to predict whether it will cause a wide gap in the returns between capital and labour, leading to social tensions or create numerous satisfying and secure jobs.   The impact will be on businesses, governments and people all over the world, which will in turn shape the future.

This advancement in Technology and the disruption that will follow is still within our control.  By being responsible citizens, investors and consumers, we can in turn shape Industry 4.0 to be one that is reflective of our values, cultures and goals.  We may indeed be headed into a ‘robotic’ and ‘mechanised’ world but with creativity, compassion, empathy and appropriate supervision we can uplift humanity into new realms of moral consciousness.

It is against this background that NISTH is born. NISTH will initially pay special attention to the ethics of innovation, governance and leadership in the age of the 4th industrial revolution, and how technology is reshaping the urban landscape and transforming the lives of people in Asia - the world's most populous continent. 

The NISTH community will thus encompass individuals from highly acclaimed research institutes collaborating and working closely with a digital humanities Lab, to find suitable and adaptable solutions.  The lab in turn will provide substantial and processed information collected from global engagements, research programs and projects, conferences, symposia and workshops as well as from education and public outreach activities.   The efficient relationship and interaction of both these will provide for enriching innovation and useful social adoption.

NISTH will earnestly work to establish NTU and Singapore as a centre of Excellence in the Science, Technology and Social Arena.​


NISTH Community

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