John W. Creswell states that, “Research is a process of steps used to collect and analyze information to increase our understanding of a topic or issue”. It consists of three steps: pose a question, collect data to answer the question, and present an answer to the question. The University of Kelaniya with a long tradition of research and innovation places a high regard on excellence in research and supports research of different disciplines. The University also works hard at pushing research boundaries, and takes pride in its achievements and in the application of research knowledge to beneficial outcomes. Accordingly, a Press Conference organised by the Communication & Media Unit of the University of Kelaniya to highlight three outstanding Research conducted by Researchers of Faculties and Institutes of the University of Kelaniaya was successfully held on the 21st of December 2017 at the Government Information Department.
At this conference, three Research conducted by the Researchers of the Faculty of Medicine, the Faculty of Science and the Postgraduate Institute of Archeology were highlighted. It was revealed at the press conference on the national level research carried out by Medical Faculty of the University of Kelaniya on the identification of snakebite risk zones in Sri Lanka. Vidyajothi Professor Janaka de Silva, Senior Professor of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya and Chairman of the National Research Council of Sri Lanka, said that more than 80,000 snakebites have been reported annually in Sri Lanka which is directly affected to the health and the economy of our Country. Within the next two years, it will be possible to produce a suitable antivenin drug for snakebite, the professor further added. Dr. Anuradhani Kasturiratne, Senior Lecturer and Head, Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya also commented on this research.
It was also highlighted the research on solar energy, which is jointly carried out by the Department of Physics of the University of Kelaniya and the Solar Energy Solutions Centre. In this research, not only a fan, a radio, a torch which can be recharged by means of a rechargeable solar cell are produced, but also a wheelchair with an emergency SMS service powered by rechargeable solar cell is created. This programme is funded by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Research. Under this project, it is planned to train the younger generation about productive use of free solar energy. Prof. Ruwan Wijesundara of the Department of Physics, Dr. C.A.N. Jayatissa, Dr. (Ms.) Sujeewa De Silva and Dr. Charith Jayathilaka also commented on the Research during this Press conference.
Prof. Raj Somadeva joined the Press Conference to explain about the research on the ‘Prehistoric hunter-gatherers in Transition’, which is conducted by Postgraduate Institute of Archeology, University of Kelaniya together with the National Science Foundation.
This project is carried out in the mountainous hinterland in Sri Lanka, which has revealed evidence showing a techno-cultural transformation of the traditional hunter-gatherers inhibited in that areas, which is, took place in mid Holocene. Intensification of wild plant exploitation and a leap towards symbolism make this transformative dynamism more explicit in the artifacts excavated in four distinct dry tropical cave habitations of the hunter-gatherers. Scientific dates suggest that this event was set in motion in the period between 8000 and 5500 cal. VP. The transformation has mainly occurred in terms of technology, cognition and economy, and the findings of this project will help us to discover the cultural identity of the citizens of this country, he added.
In addition to the above mentioned researchers of the University, Cadre Chair in Medical Micro Biology & Senior Professor N.P. Sunil-Chandra, Chairman of the Research Council of the University of Kelaniya and Prof. Rohana Lakshman Piyadasa, Director of the Communication & Media Unit of the University of Kelaniya also participated in this event.