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18 May 2013

Notable Filipinos Series: Dr. Caesar Saloma, Galileo Galilei Awardee

Image: Public domain
While many of us cheers at the accomplishments of Filipino-Mexican American singer Jessica Sanchez and the worldwide popularity of boxer Manny Pacquia, I think only a handful of people know who Caesar Saloma is.  Most Filipino filmmakers dream of winning an Oscar, and Filipino writers dream of bagging the Nobel Prize, the Filipino scientific community has already got one of its prime laurels.  Caesar Saloma is a Filipino scientist who has made many noteworthy contributions in the field of optics.  Optics, yes, Galileo Galilei’s expertise. 

Unknown to many, Caesar Saloma is the only scientist from the ASEAN region that has been awarded the prestigious Galileo Galilei Award.  The award is given annually by the International Commission for Optics and the award recognizes “significant contributions in the field of optics that were accomplished under comparatively unfavorable conditions.” [1]

Top: Galileo Galilei,
Bottom: Galileo Galilei
medal b
y the Società Italiana
di Ottica e Fotonica

The exact nature of his scientific contributions is too complicated for most of us Facebook-educated and twitter-literate individuals. I think most of us would just like to know is if we can “like” Doctor Saloma’s scientific work.  The answer is “yes.” The man won what can be considered “the Nobel Prize for Optics” and that is something every Filipinos should be proud.

Filipinos can be scientific.  The Filipino Einstein and Marie Curie are just around the corner, diligently doing their homework.  We just collectively need to inspire young children to try other endeavors beside singing, dancing and boxing (three noble professions I might add) and give science a chance.  We should be equally excited about Higgs boson as much as we are excited about Iron Man 3.

For more information regarding International Commission for Optics and the Galileo Galilei Award, click this.

[This is part of our Notable Filipinos series]

[1] "Caesar Saloma," 05/18/2013

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