Gangs turn to social media for recruitment

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

TODAY Online

A new study conducted by Associate Professor Lim Sun Sun, who is from the Department of Communications and New Media at the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, showed that social media is proving to be a ripe breeding ground for gang recruitment among high-risk youths.

This is the first study of the impact of social media on high-risk youths, and covered 36 juvenile delinquents aged between 15 and 18 whose criminal records span the gamut of theft, robbery, drugs and even rioting. The research showed that through platforms like Facebook, these youths socialised with peers connected to gangs and were drawn into their criminal activities.

Click here to read the full article.

Let’s Welcome Prof Lionel Wee to the Deanery!

Let us warmly welcome Prof Lionel Wee who joins the FASS Dean’s Office as Vice Dean of Research this year!

We caught up with him to find out more about him.

Please tell us a bit about yourself.
 I enjoy travelling, but mainly to cities. The countryside is fine for about half an hour, then I get bored and restless.

I work mainly in cafes, a habit I picked up as a graduate student doing my PhD in Berkeley, California. My problem is that when I sit down to work, I am quite focused about what specific idea or argument I am trying to develop. Once that has been done, I need to walk around before I can move on to a new idea or a different part of the argument. This means that I tend to drink too much coffee because I have to buy a new cup each time I sit down again.

I am not a particularly sentimental person. But the one thing that I feel very strongly about is animal welfare. There is still insufficient respect in society for non-human life.

What is your area of research?
I work on language policy, World Englishes, sociolinguistics and applied linguistics. I also have a strong interest in general sociology. I am currently working on two projects: emotions and cities, and the biopolitics of language.

As a linguist in the Department of English Language & Literature, what are your thoughts on Singlish? Is it an abomination or a national treasure?
This is one of those false dichotomies that plague public discussions about Singlish. The more important question and one that remains under-discussed is: What do we really mean or understand by the label ‘Singlish’?

There are subtly different understandings of what we mean by ‘Singlish’, and there can be little progress in public debates/discussions as long as we fail to confront this more fundamental question about the nature of Singlish.

Can you share your thoughts about joining Dean’s Office as Vice-Dean for Research?
It is a childhood dream come true.



Volunteers managed mosque for a day

Friday, 18 July 2014

Berita Harian

This was a feature on Ms Seri Ariyani Zulkafli, an undergraduate from the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and recent NUS graduate Ms Ainul Hikmah Aminul Rashid, who have been volunteering at APEX (Ace PSLE Exam) Mentors, a youth volunteer group that helps mentor madrasah students towards PSLE excellence, for over two years. The group had recently taken up the task of preparing and managing a break fast event for the Al-Muttaqin Mosque as part of its Ramadan to Remember (R2R) Programme. They had also raised more than $8,000, which went into purchasing grocery hampers that were distributed to over 150 needy families in Ang Mo Kio.

Charles Darwin’s evolutionary reading: HMS Beagle’s library goes online

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

The Guardian

This was a report on the Darwin Online Beagle Library project led by historian of science Dr John van Wyhe, a Senior Lecturer from the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at NUS. The lost collection of books that kept Charles Darwin company aboard HMS Beagle and provided inspiration for his later works on evolution has been made publicly available for the first time. Hundreds of titles that filled the shelves of the ship’s library on Darwin’s five-year circumnavigation of the globe in the 1830s have been brought together and made freely available through the project.

Click here to read the full article.

‘Cot bumper approach’ to raising kids won’t work

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

The Straits Times

In today’s edition of The Straits Times, there was a commentary by Associate Professor Lim Sun Sun from the Department of Communications and New Media at the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Assoc Prof Lim cautioned against the “cot bumper approach” to parental mediation of children’s media use, and suggested that parents can interpret, moderate and mediate for their child the media content that he is confronted with. She noted that parental mediation is an ongoing journey of trust, sharing, discussion, and debate, and opined that parents embrace each alternative view as an opportunity to rationalise with their child why they disagree with it.

Click here to read the full article.

Anonymous donor gives $500,000 to start book prize

Saturday, 12 July 2014

The Straits Times

It was reported that an anonymous donor is giving half a million dollars to writers who can tell Singapore’s story best. From 2018, and every three years after that, the best history book on the nation will get a $50,000 prize. The idea to do this came from Professor Kishore Mahbubani, Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at NUS, who had appealed for a donor in an earlier article which he wrote in the paper’s By Invitation column. Prof Mahbubani said that the $500,000 will be placed in an endowment fund, and the interest would be used to support the book prize every three years, and he hopes that this will inspire others to donate to other kinds of prizes which celebrate Singapore’s 50th anniversary. The competition will be organised by the Department of History at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

$5 meals, $500 holidays and $50k homes for SG50

Saturday, 12 July 2014

The Straits Times

This was an article contribution by Professor Kishore Mahbubani, Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at NUS, in which he suggested that Singaporeans be happy for one year – from 10 August to next 9 August, when it will be Singapore’s 50th anniversary. . He noted that we have had, by any standards, an extraordinarily successful first 50 years, and the chances of us being equally successful over the next 50 years are practically zero, and shared three areas in which we will have to deal with tougher competition. Prof Mahbubani highlighted that we should therefore celebrate this very special moment as a nation and also at the individual level. Since Singapore will be celebrating its 50th birthday next year, he used the number five in his three suggestions on simple pleasures that all Singaporeans, rich and poor, can enjoy together – $5 meals, $500 holidays and $50,000 homes.

Click here to read the full article.

Enter Picture Singapore, SRN’s first photo contest!

Picture Singapore

Singapore Research Nexus Photography Contest 1 July to 15 August 2014

Summer greetings from the Singapore Research Nexus (SRN)! We are pleased to announce the launch of Picture Singapore, a photography contest which is accepting entries from 1 July to 15 August, 2014.

Open to current FASS students, faculty, and staff, as well as FASS alumni, Picture Singapore seeks to encourage the FASS community to capture Singapore and ‘Singaporeanness’ through photographs – its culture, environment, heritage, diversity, society, community, everyday life and more.

All submitted photographs will form the foundation of an SRN Photo Bank, a public archive of Singapore-related photographs that can be tapped by researchers, students, writers, and artists.

If you would like to learn how to enter this photo contest, please click here to access the online entry form and here to access the submission guidelines.

You may also click here to download the submission guidelines and PDF entry form.

Picture Singapore Poster