‘The View in Autumn’ Event Highlights: 6 October 2022

In this edition of Mind Science Centre’s (MSC) key event – Tow Tiang Seng Distinguished Lecture Series, we were pleased to be able to hold a hybrid event to share wisdom about resilience in the autumn years of our lives and also, to commemorate the launch of our new initiative ‘Dementia Asia’ E-Portal.

We were honored to have Professor Wang Gungwu and Mr Abdullah Tarmugi as our keynote speakers on the key topic of ‘Autumn’. The two prominent figures have lived an illustrious life and career. Their perspectives in life were indeed, insightful words that point us towards how we can live our lives embodying an ‘undefeated mind’.

Mind Science Centre have recognized that Mental health research is both science and humanities. Since the centre’s emergence, we have actively explored the frontiers in basic science, epidemiology and clinical practice, in search of what constitutes mental resilience. This would not have been possible without our collaborators – research scientists, community partners, donors and volunteers, who are present, and across zoom webinar. The collective effort has led to our discovery of new knowledge and solutions that allow us to better manage the rising rate of dementia and depression, improve quality of life and reduce disease burden on families and society.

The efforts have culminated in a milestone launch of a new e-portal, which will actively share information and research findings on dementia, not only in Singapore, but to Asia and beyond. We would like to thank Professor Hong Hai for his philanthropic support to moot the Dementia Asia e-portal project.

The signature event concluded with a great attendance of 102 onsite guests and a webinar audience of 153 on a Thursday afternoon.

We would like to express our gratitude to Mr Tow Heng Tan and his family, for establishing the Tow Tiang Seng Distinguish Lecture series, in memory of his Father, to advance the knowledge and science of mental wellness.

Watch the full recording to find out more!


Launch of ‘Dementia Asia’ E-Portal

Your one-stop portal for Asian-centric, evidence-based resources on dementia prevention, management, and self-help.

The day’s programme kicked off with a milestone launch of our new initiative ‘Dementia Asia e-portal’. 

Over the past decade, Mind Science Centre has led research on ageing, dementia prevention, and mental health. The research was headed by Professor Kua Ee Heok, Associate Professor Rathi Mahendran, and many other accomplished collaborators from National University of Singapore and National University Health System. Our research has been published in top-tier journals and presented at well-known symposium.

Dementia Asia is an initiative to bring our research from the academic community closer to the general public. While our research has been well-acknowledged in academia, it is unfortunate that not much has been publicised to the public at large. Hence, this new e-portal aims to bridge that gap, delivering evidence-based, Asian-centric information on active ageing and dementia prevention to further impact our community to build An Undefeated Mind.


“Dementia Asia e-portal will complement and strengthen the Singapore government’s Healthy Longevity program.  We hope it will also make an important contribution to the global fight against dementia.”

— Professor Hong Hai

Advisory Board, Mind Science Centre 

Chairman, Renhai Centre Ltd

The View in Autumn by Professor Wang Gungwu

Prof Wang took the stage with his keynote lecture, where he reflected about his life and recollected the various factors that formed the foundation of his mental resilience in the autumn years. 

  • Don’t focus on your age; Focus on living your life fully. 
  • Keep yourself mentally active in your daily life.
  • Look out for what you eat; taking note to keep it simple.
  • Take active steps to gain knowledge about ageing as it will be relevant and useful when the time comes.
  • Go for a walk regularly to appreciate the environment and enhance your own physical and mental health.

As he shared the writing process of his award-winning book, ‘Home is where we are’, he reminisced about his life with his late wife. He found happiness within the family and the mutual support between his late wife and him was vital to his longevity and mental resilience. 

View the lecture segment by using the respective time marks indicated in the YouTube video description.

Gratitude by Mr Abdullah Tarmugi

Mr Tarmugi shared on the topic of ‘Gratitude’ during his segment of the keynote lecture, which was the key value that shaped his life and continued to uplift his autumn years. 

  • Gratitude is the thankful appreciation of what we receive, be it tangible or intangible, which brings positive feelings to both the giver and the recipient. 
  • Gratitude provides us a way to appreciate what we have instead of always reaching for what we don’t. Practicing gratitude helps us to refocus on what we have, instead of what we lack.  
  • Gratitude is not about pretending that things are OK when they are not. Or ignoring our feelings when things are bad. It is practice of reevaluating what is important for us to focus on, to help us stay calm, centered and balanced. 
  • By practicing this in our daily lives, we can potentially improve psychological health and actively develop prosocial behavior, like empathy and compassion.
  • We should work towards managing our arrogance, feeling of entitlement and lack of humility. This are the obstacles to the development of gratitude.

View the lecture segment by using the respective time marks indicated in the YouTube video description.


To all on the journey of active ageing 

I am not sure I am qualified to give advice, but I found myself aged without thinking about ageing, that is, I was never conscious of an ageing process, of actually getting old. My own experience suggests living and eating simply, walking regularly, keeping busy – and my busy-ness meant working much more with my mind than with my body. Get together with old friends and young people, our view in autumn should be sunny and cool.

From Prof Wang


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The Tow Tiang Seng Distinguished Lecture Series brings internationally and nationally eminent and respected thought leaders to speak on issues of key importance to developing mental resilience across all ages. Established in 2019, the lecture supports Mind Science Centre’s mission to innovate mind health with biological and social science through translational research in the community to build an undefeated mind. From businessmen and scientists to political figures and celebrities, each event is unique and designed to inform, inspire new ideas and spark collaborative interest. The lecture series is made possible by the generous donation of Mr Tow Heng Tan, in honour of his father – the late Mr Tow Tiang Seng. It is held annually and open to anybody with an interest in mental health to attend.


Professor Wang Gungwu

University Professor, National University of Singapore
Emeritus Professor, Australian National University

Prof Wang Gungwu received his BA and MA from University of Malaya (UM) in Singapore and a PhD at the University of London. He taught at the UM History Department in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur and was appointed to the Chair of Far Eastern History at the Australian National University. He was also Vice-Chancellor of The University of Hong Kong and Director and Chairman of East Asian Institute in Singapore. Prof Wang is a Commander of the British Empire and Officer of the Order of Australia. He has been awarded the Tang Prize in Sinology, Distinguished Service Order and NUS Doctor of Letters.

Mr Abdullah Tarmugi

Former Speaker of Parliament
Advisory Board, Mind Science Centre 
Permanent Member, Presidential Council for Minority Rights

Mr Abdullah Tarmugi is a former Member of Parliament, Cabinet Minister and Speaker of Parliament. He now serves on various committees, including the Presidential Council for Minority Rights and the Mind Science Centre Board of Advisors. Mr Abdullah Tarmugi studied at Raffles Institution, University of Singapore and University of London. He was trained as an urban sociologist and had worked as a journalist with The Straits Times. He enjoys walking mindfully in the parks and playing the cello.

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