Nigel Goh

Religion is...


I guess I am a curious person… another perspective might be that I am too easily bored and distracted! So far, I have pursued five distinct careers to some depth in my life. I started out working towards a PhD in coral reef ecology as part of my first career as an academic research scientist, moving on after a few years to the pharmaceutical industry with a focus on discovery of novel human medicines from natural sources. My third career shift was into what is known as technology transfer – bringing university-created inventions and other intellectual property into the marketplace. From there, I pursued an opportunity to apply my original marine ecology foundations in a public service environment, where I have since had diverse work exposures, spanning policy, corporate development, operations, and my current role in urban greenery research. For four years just before this most recent posting, I was seconded to an international organisation to work with developing country partners in an international development programme office.

In 2016, I had the privilege to be one of the organisers of an interfaith event in Singapore to commemorate World Interfaith Harmony Week 2016. This brought together a Jewish rabbi, a Christian pastor and a Muslim ustaz to share insights on being a good neighbour from their common Abrahamic heritage. This, together with my own intellectual and professional curiosity illustrated above, probably contributed significantly to my signing up - with no regrets - for the Religion is course at the Woolf Institute in 2020. On hindsight, my exposure and ability to understand a diversity of 'industries' in my own career journey probably helps me to appreciate different religions better. But the work of understanding and walking together has only started. Where the new foundations built in this Religion is course brings me to in the future remains to be seen!

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