Sustainability

Social Contract

Make science as appealing as art and music

Science must be popularized among the youth by celebrating academic achievements and creating platforms to honor academicians, according to N.R. Narayana Murthy, Trustee of the Infosys Science Foundation and Chairman Emeritus, Infosys.

In a panel discussion on 'Resurrection: How Indian science and research can rise and shine' hosted by Mint and the Infosys Science Foundation (ISF), he made a case for strengthening academia-industry collaboration and execution excellence in projects. According to him, a scientific temper can help India develop solutions to agricultural productivity and healthcare.

Moderated by Samar Halarnkar, Editor at Large, Mint and Hindustan Times, the panel included Professor Kannan Soundararajan, Department of Mathematics, Stanford University, and winner of Infosys Prize 2011 for ‘Mathematical Sciences’; Dr. K. VijayRaghavan, Director, National Centre for ‘Biological Sciences’, and winner of Infosys Prize 2009 for ‘Life Sciences’; Professor Padmanabhan Balaram, Director, Indian Institute of Science; and Dr. Swami Manohar, Founder and Managing Director, LimberLink Technologies.

Edited excerpts of the panel discussion:

Prof. K. Soundararajan: We need more specialized courses in mathematics at the undergraduate level and more involvement from elite institutions to train undergraduate students.

Dr. K. VijayRaghavan: There has to be attention from within, that is to say, within our schools and educational and research institutions. We have to ask: What do we mean when we say the quality of education and research is not up to the mark? And what are we doing so that we can be part of the solution? There are examples of good quality work and institutions – we must build on that.

Prof. P. Balaram: We have to create a culture of scientific literature and foster science communication in both specialized and mass media. We need to train more science writers.

Dr. Swami Manohar: One important way (to capture the popular imagination) is to get scientists and experts to weigh in on important national issues.

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Published with the permission of HT Media

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