New Delhi: Nine Nobel Laureates have attended the first Nobel Prize Series in India held in Ahmedabad in conjunction with the biennial summit of Vibrant Gujarat. They have expressed optimism views on the scientific and technological potential of the country. They opined that India has a great potential to be a scientific power in the globe and should invest more in basic and fundamental researches. The themes of the dialogue were captured by artists as they were speaking to a huge gathering of scientists, students and general public at the event.
The programme christened as Nobel Dialogue saw active participation of Nine Nobel Laureates: Dr. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry; Dr. Richard Roberts, Nobel Prize Laureate in Physiology or Medicine; Dr. Harold Varmus, Nobel Prize Laureate in Physiology or Medicine; Dr. Randy Schekman, Nobel Prize Laureate in Physiology or Medicine; David Gross, Nobel Prize Laureate in Physics; Dr. Ada Yonath, Nobel Prize Laureate in Chemistry; Dr. Serge Haroche, Nobel Prize Laureate in Physics; and Dr. William E Moerner Nobel Prize Laureate in Chemistry. The dialogue was held in two sessions: Basic or Applied Research? Fostering an Innovative Environment and Local Research, Global Impact: Addressing Global Challenges.
Interesting discussions spanning from getting rid of mosquitoes to tackle malaria, research for finding out new vaccines, genetic modification of food crops and the need for strengthening education particularly science education were discussed at these two knowledge-packed sessions. The first dialogue was introduced and moderated by the Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Government of India Prof. K. Vijay Raghavan and the second by the Deputy Chairman, Nobel Foundation Dr Goran K Hansson.
Several students and scientists posed interesting questions to Nobel Laureates. Dr Venkatraman Ramkrishnan pointed out that there is a lot of scope for research on vaccines in India. Dr. Richards Roberts pointed out that 125 Nobel Laureates have signed in favor of Genetically modified food crops and that opposition against them is unjustifiable as about 800 million people world over go without food every night.
Reminding the history of Nalanda University, Dr. Randy Schekman said that India had Nalanda University over 1000 years before the first university in other parts of the world should think of having a high quality affordable education system. The Laureates said that they shared their ideas with the Prime Minister at a dinner meeting that they had with Mr Narendra Modi on Monday evening.
The dialogue is part of the Nobel Prize Series, India 2017, formally inaugurated by the Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi, on 09 January 2017. The Nobel Prize Series Science Exhibition, also inaugurated by the Prime Minister at the Science City in Ahmedabad. The five week long Science Exhibition being set up by the Nobel Foundation, with exhibits from the Nobel Museum, Stockholm, Sweden.
As a part of the Nobel Prize Series, India 2017 lectures are also scheduled to be held in Delhi and Bengaluru on 12 and 13 January 2017.