Indian Science Congress and the state of Indian Science: Prof M S Swaminathan
The postponement of the 105th Science Congress originally scheduled to be held at the Osmania University, Hyderabad from Jan 3-7, 2018 is a sad reflection of the attitude towards science among the younger generation. The reason for the postponement/ cancellation is potential student unrest. Scientific meetings like the Indian Science Congress are welcomed by young scholars in developed countries due to the opportunity they provide for getting updated on the latest position in different areas of science.
In 1976, when I was General President of the Indian Science Congress, I introduced the practice of adopting a focal theme for each Congress so that Inter-disciplinary Science can be promoted along with disciplinary sciences. It is important to analyse why young students will rather agitate than listen to the latest developments in science and technology from speakers who include Nobel Laureates. It is time that we create more love of science communication in the country and generate interest among the young scholars and students in meetings like the Science Congress. This aspect requires detailed attention since the Science Congress had remained in the past a very important vehicle for science communication and assessment of scientific progress. Young scientists also need opportunities for the work being peer reviewed. Hence, we should strengthen the Science Congress.
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.