Wednesday, February 11, 2009

8 Nobel laureates to inspire youth at IIIT-Allahabad

In the week-long Science Conclave, at IIIT-A, from December 15 to 21, several Nobel Prize winners will spend time interacting with youngsters and inspire them with their passion in the areas of physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics.

CJ: Arindam Roy , 14 Dec 2008 Views:7430 Comments:5

ASIA’S FIRST ever Science Conclave with eight Nobel laureates is being organised at the Indian Institute of Information Technology-Allahabad (IIIT-A), at its Jhalwa premises, between December 15 and 21. It is being supported by the Human Resource Development (HRD) and Science and Technology ministries, GoI.

IIIT-A is all set to create a history in the field of promoting pure sciences by hosting Asia’s first ever Science Conclave with Nobel laureates.

Dr MD Tiwari, founding director IIIT-A, said "For the first time in Indian and Asian history, Nobel Laureates, leaders, policymakers, research scholars and students including the first batch of the ‘Inspire’ programme by the department of Science and Technology will participate in the Conclave to discuss the emerging trends in the scientific research and technological innovations in the world of science.

“This is a great opportunity for the Indian scientific community particularly young minds to interact with global veterans and stalwarts in the respective scientific disciplines. A few thousand scientists, post-graduate students and others are expected to converge and interact with the Nobel Laureates at IIIT-A for the event."

He added that since 1951, the Lindau Nobel Laureates' Meeting has inspired thousands of minds from across Germany to see light in the areas of science and research. India has now decided to borrow the same idea and expose its youth to intensive interactions with Nobel laureates who can share their passion and excitement in pure sciences.

Among those who will travel to India are Martin Lewis Perl, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1995 for the discovery of the tau, which was the first sign that a third family of fundamental building blocks existed; Jerome Isaac Friedman, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1990 for being a part of a team of researchers who found clear signs that there existed an inner structure in the protons and neutrons of the atomic nucleus, thus paving the way for further investigation of the innermost structures of matter.

Awarded with Nobel Prize in Physics in 1996, Robert C. Richardson and others discovered at the beginning of the 1970s, in the low-temperature laboratory at Cornell University, that the helium isotope helium-3 can be made superfluid at a temperature only about two thousandths of a degree above absolute zero.

Sir Harod (Harry) Walter Kroto got the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1996 discovered new forms of the element carbon called fullerenes_in which the atoms are arranged in closed. Fullerenes are formed when vaporised carbon condenses in an atmosphere of inert gas.

Other Nobel laureates slated to attend are Sir Tannuodji, Prof Slavnov, Prof Douguls D Osheroff, Prof Avram Harshko etc. The decisive theory explaining how the atoms interact and are ordered in the superfluid state was formulated in the 1970s by Anthony Leggett.

Two Nobel scholars will not be able to make it, thus in all eight Nobel laureates would participate in the week-long Science Conclave.

Close to 1,300 students pursuing a bachelor's or master's degree in science and young researchers from across the country, apart from 600 others who recently cleared their High School examination, will participate in the Conclave.

The Union HRD minister Arjun Singh will formally inaugurate the Science Conclave, on December 16, at 12 noon, in the huge pandal erected at the campus. RP Agarwal, secretary HRD will also grace the occasion that day. Famous cine artist and Rajya Sabha MP, Hema Malani alongwith her 40 member troupe will present a ballet performance in the evening from 6 pm.

Dr A R Kidwai, governor, Haryana and Dr Abid Husain, former Indian Ambassador to the US will be chief guest and guest of honour respectively, on the first day, December 15, at 11.30 am. Padamshri Dr Shobha Naidu will enthrall the audience with her Kuchipudi, while Padamsri Madhavi Mudgal will present an Odissi dance from 5 pm. Gazal singer Pinaz Masani will present her show on December 17 evening.

On December 18, Union minister for Science and Technology, Kapil Sibbal and deputy speaker Lok Sabha, Charanjit Singh Atwal will address the gathering at 11.30 am. That day’s cultural evening will feature Daksha Seth and group’s dance performance. Noted Bhajan singer Anoop Jalota will present his programme on December 19 evening.

Union Chemical and Fertilizers minister Ram Vilas Paswan and Justice PP Naolekar, Supreme Court judge, will take part in the Conclave on December 20, while in the evening Padamsri Dr Shovana Narayan will present Kathak, while famous Ghazal singer pair Bhupinder and Mitali will enthrall the audience with their performance from 5.30 pm.

Dr Tiwari echoed the views of several prominent Indian scientists, when he said, "During the 1960s and 1970s, brilliant students used to get into the science stream. But not anymore; most students go for professional streams.”

During the week-long Science Conclave from December 15 to 21, several Nobel Prize winners will spend time interacting with youngsters and inspiring them with their passion in the areas of physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics.

The week-long timetable, just like the annual Lindau summit, will see a series of lectures followed by interactions to encourage free flow of ‘thoughts and ideas’'. The special character of the Lindau Meetings is shaped by the fact that the Nobel laureates can freely choose the topics of their lectures. Here too, Nobel laureates will speak about topics they are passionate about.

“To document for posterity the invaluable knowledge imparted by Nobel Scientists across the world, the IIIT-A administration has permitted the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and the Consortium for Educational Communication (CEC) of the University Grants Commission to record the entire event. The proceedings will then be used for developing e-content to be broadcast by CEC through its 24-hour channel — Vyas — on higher education and by IGNOU through its educational web cast. This is done to present a repository of knowledge for generations to come,” Dr Tiwari informed.


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