12 Dec 2022
Dr Juliana Chan’s scientific career has been one marked by a variety of accolades and achievements. She was named to MIT Technology Review's 10 Innovators Under 35 (Asia) in 2014 and is also the inventor of four US patents – one of which is being used by Pfizer.
In 2018, Juliana closed her biomedical research lab and left her tenure-track career at Nanyang Technological University to start Wildtype Media Group and pursue her true calling of delivering social impact through scientific communications. Today, she sits at the helm of Asia's leading STEM and healthcare media company, with award-winning brands such as the Asian Scientist Magazine and Supercomputing Asia.
Driven by her passion to help Asian science go global, Juliana’s departure from academia to media entrepreneurship reminds us of ‘Vorspung 2030’ and the Audi spirit to constantly push boundaries for change. She looks back on her journey and shares her vision for the Asian science scene.
For me, science is much more than a job.
I was an academic for 15 years and there were many paths in the industry that I could have gone into. But I knew I wanted a career that was mission-driven. Back in 2011, I founded the Asian Scientist Magazine as a passion project and realised I really enjoyed what I was doing with it. I saw that it was helping to fill a gap in Asia’s scientific community that, I felt, no one was serving.
There’s so many great science stories and innovations coming out of Asia, but they are usually unheard of due to geographical and language barriers. I felt strongly that I could do more for the scientific community as a science communicator, to uplift Asian scientists globally and make them household names through Wildtype Media.
I’m excited about the developments in clean technology. In particular, I’m keeping a close eye on plant-based and lab-based meats as it is, in my opinion, the only sustainable way to feed billions of people. Of course, EVs are also another big area, and I’m especially interested in the potential of lithium batteries – and ways we can reuse or recycle them to make them last longer and reduce wastage.
In 2018, we launched Asian Scientist Junior, a series of children's books illustrating the lives of 6 accomplished Asian scientists. The launch even saw a book reading by DPM Heng Swee Keat. I felt that this book series really embodies the values of Wildtype Media, which is to make science more accessible and to inspire the next generation of Asian scientists.
Watch the video below to learn more about Juliana’s journey to put Asian scientists on the global stage:
Check out the other videos in the Igniting Conversations with Futurists of Singapore series. Hosted by Markus Schuster, Managing Director of Audi Singapore, the series celebrates the inspiring stories and aspirations of six local changemakers, and how they are creating a better future in their own ways.