Senior Fellows Q&A: Dr Sudirman Nasir

Dr Sudirman Nasir is a senior lecturer and researcher at the Faculty of Public Health, Universitas Hasanuddin in Makassar, and vice president of the Indonesian Young Academy of Sciences (ALMI).


He recently shared with us a bit about his background and his influences as a researcher.

Describe how/why you first became interested in your research field.

I became interested in research when I was an undergraduate student at UNHAS School of Medicine. Some lecturers just returned from overseas such as Australia and Japan finishing their PhD. The ways these lecturers taught us and interacted with us are different and more enlightening. They introduced their research in their lectures.

Are there other researchers in your family? Do you remember when you first encountered the idea of scientific investigation?

No. My first idea of scientific investigation was on people living with HIV/AIDS. How HIV impacted their daily lives and how did they cope.

What do you like about your university? Name a past colleague or teacher there who inspired you in your work, and explain how.

UnHas provides both personal friendships with many colleagues and intellectual exercise. I am always grateful to meet great lecturers and mentors such as Professor Irawan Yusuf and Dr. Cahyono Kaelan. They now become my colleagues and friends.

Where are you from? What is it like there? If you could export one aspect of life from there to the world, what would it be?

I come from Soppeng, a district in the central part of South Sulawesi, 4-5 hours driving from Makassar, to the north. It is a rural and an agricultural region. I like the beauty and tranquility of villages in Soppeng.

If you could implement one new policy there, guaranteed to succeed, what would it be?
Smart, eco and sustainable farming.

PAIR looks at the impact of new transport infrastructure. Can you recall the arrival of any major new infrastructure in your life or community? Do you recall its impact?

I always remember my excitement when I first traveled outside Sulawesi with aeroplane as well as my first experience traveling by train in Java many years ago.

Where do you go and what do you do for a relaxing weekend?

I like to visit my parents in Soppeng.

Do you have a party trick or super power or signature dish?

My favorite cooking is fried rice, fish head soup as well as Makassar crispy noodles with seafood.

Could you recommend a book that everyone should read, and why?

Bumi Manusia (The Earth of Mankind), a novel by Indonesia’s great novelist, Pramoedya Ananta Toer. You can have a better understanding of the complexity of Indonesia by reading this book.