Asian Scientist is an English language science and technology magazine published in Singapore.

History and profile

Asian Scientist was launched as an MIT alumni start-up in March 2011 by Asian Scientist Publishing Pte Ltd.[2][3]

Based in Singapore, Asian Scientist is maintained by a team of professional science journalists, medical doctors, and scientists contributing to it.[4]

The magazine's launch reflects the growing demographic of scientists, engineers, and doctors from Asia, and caters to this community with news stories that are both timely and of interest to them. According to the 2010 U.S. National Science Foundation Key Science and Engineering Indicators report,[5] one-quarter of the world’s publications are from Asia and one-third of all scientific researchers worldwide are Asian. This shifting face of science reflects the strides made by the Asia-8 and other emerging nations in recognizing research & development as a valuable industry.

According to the Science and Engineering Indicators 2012 released by the U.S. National Science Board,[6] the largest global science and technology gains in recent years occurred in the “Asia-10″ – China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand. Between 1999 and 2009, for example, the U.S. share of global R&D dropped from 38 to 31 percent, whereas Asia’s share grew from 24 to 35 percent during that period.

On April 16, 2013, Asian Scientist Publishing accepted seed funding from international science publisher World Scientific Publishing Company to expand operations at its Singapore headquarters.[7]

On January 2014, it launched its flagship print magazine[8] targeted at scientists, healthcare professionals and students. The magazine's inaugural issue focused on the biomedical sciences and was featured by media outlets in Singapore and Malaysia as Asia's first science magazine.[9][10]

The company also publishes books under the Asian Scientist imprint. In August 2015, it published a book called Singapore's Scientific Pioneers,[2] with the goal of highlighting the contributions of 25 pioneering scientists. The book was made possible by a Singapore50 Celebration Fund grant from the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports to Dr. Juliana Chan and Dr. Rebecca Tan, who are both editors of the magazine.[2]

On April 2, 2015, it launched the inaugural Asian Scientist Writing Prize,[2] co-organized with Science Centre Singapore and with prizes sponsored by World Scientific Publishing Company. The competition received close to 400 entries and gave out SGD$21,000 in cash and prizes. The competition will return for its second installment in 2017.

In February 2016, the book Bugs & Quarks: Stories from the Asian Scientist Writing Prize 2015 was published.[2] The book is a compilation of 25 essays submitted to the Asian Scientist Writing Prize by individuals representing a cross-section of science and technology practitioners in Asia.


The magazine covers science, medical and technology news updates from the Asia and Australasia regions. It devotes categories to research and development, health, medicine, new media and education. The site has been indexed by Google News since July 22, 2011.

In June 2016, it launched a Facebook video channel to feature the latest science and technology news from Asia in a visually appealing format.[2]

Notable coverage

The magazine regularly features peer-reviewed clinical and basic research from Asia, and carries out one-on-one interviews with notable Asian scientists.[2] Prominent interviewees include:

  • Dr. Kosuke Morita of the RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-Based Science, who discovered element 113 (Ununtrium), the first ever element discovered in Asia to be added to the periodic table. Dr. Morita discussed the process and challenges that led up to this scientific achievement, and shared advice to young scientists in Asia.[2]
  • Dr. Yongyuth Yuthavong, the deputy prime minister of Thailand. Dr. Yuthavong, who has a PhD in organic chemistry, shared his vision for science in Thailand and the ASEAN region, and the need for scientists to get involved in politics.[2]
  • Ms. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, who is one of Forbes magazine’s 100 most powerful women in the world, and chairman and managing director of Biocon Limited, a billion-dollar Indian biotech company. Ms. Mazumdar-Shaw discussed the challenges to innovation and entrepreneurship that Asia faces.[2]
  • 2012 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, who candidly discussed his early career, what inspires him, and the challenges he faced leading up to the 2012 Nobel Prize.[2]
  • Former Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI) Executive Director Dr. Wang Jun, who explained why the kung fu panda best describes the Chinese world leader in human, plant, and animal genetics research.[3]
  • MIT Media Lab Director Joi Ito, who discussed his vision for the MIT Media Lab, and how he likes the word “learning” better than the word “education”.[3]
  • Dr. Sania Nishtar, founder of Pakistan NGO and think-tank, Heartfile, and also Pakistan’s first female cardiologist.[3][3]

The magazine’s May 15, 2011 Ultimate List of 15 Asian Scientists To Watch[3] included Caesar Saloma, Yi So-yeon, Zia Mian, Robin Li, Siddharth Ashvin Shah, and Pranav Mistry. The list was subsequently mentioned by the University of Philippines,[3] the MIT Media Lab,[3] and the A*STAR Institute of Biotechnology and Nanotechnology, Singapore.[3]

On March 30, 2016, Asian Scientist released the inaugural Asian Scientist 100 list.[4] The Asian Scientist 100 list is a handpicked selection of 100 prize-winning Asian researchers, academicians, innovators and business leaders from across the Asia-Pacific region. This list of accomplished personalities included Tu Youyou, Kazutoshi Mori, K. Radhakrishnan and Nancy Ip. The list was subsequently mentioned by the Manila Bulletin,[4] Philippine Daily Inquirer,[4] GMA News Online,[4] The Nation (Thailand),[4] and VietNamNet Bridge.[4]