The Philippines Adventist Scientist Association (PASA) has officially been established after a group of 42 people, including 37 scientists, met for the first National Adventist Scientists Conference in Palawan, Philippines. The purpose of PASA is to motivate and empower Adventist scientists to use their profession for the church’s mission.
Besides electing the PASA officers, the meeting’s objective, which took place from May 20 to May 21, was to promote the goals of creation science, recognize the contribution of Adventist scientists to the church and community and remind members of their mission in their respective fields.
Initiated by Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD) Vice-President Bienvenido D. Mergal, the idea of PASA came from observing the Geoscience Research Institute Committee’s (GRICOM) goal to establish a database of scientists in every division.
“Because of that [GRICOM’ goal], I thought of organizing a Philippine-wide Adventist scientists association,” said Mergal. “Being a husband of to a scientist, I feel that scientists here in the Philippines are the most neglected group of people. I believe that if we organize and equip these people then they can be a good instrument and part of the mission.”
The first meeting was attended by Dr. Jim Gibson, director of Geoscience Research Institute (GRI) of the General Conference. Though most attendees were scientists, there were also some administrators present, like SSD President Saw Samuel. Guest speakers presented on the topics of creation science and the ethics of human cloning.
For the future, some of PASA’s projects include the publishing of a yearly scientific journal as well the organization of yearly scientific conferences.
“We will make PASA as a premier scientist portals for Adventist Scientists in the division territory if not worldwide.” said PASA President Jose Oclarit. “We will have a yearly scientific conference. We will publish an Adventist science journal. This journal should be peer reviewed and circulation should be worldwide.”
Additionally, PASA officials and members wanted to welcome more scientists in the future.
“What makes me happy is the vision that they have, which is to use this group for evangelism.” Mergal said. “This is about reaching out through science and becoming an active instrument in God's work.”