Science in India is in interesting times. We have some of the best scientists producing world-class research working in a host of institutions within India that are largely public funded. A large scientific workforce complimented by a promising younger generation – that is often dubbed to be our demographic dividend. A learned and competent scientific administration fighting tooth and nail for increased budgetary allocations to invest in science.
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It was years ago that India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had said, “It is science alone that can solve the problems of hunger and poverty, of insanitation and illiteracy, of superstition and deadening custom and tradition, of vast resources running to waste, or a rich country inhabited by starving people... Who indeed could afford to ignore science?”
Nehru was one of the first people to use the term scientific temper and advocate the promotion of scientific temper:
Born on 26th November, 1926, in Jhang, in undivided Punjab, Dr. Yash Pal was an Indian scientist, educator, science communicator and educationist. After completing his M.Sc. degree in Physics from Panjab University, he moved to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for his PhD. His areas of specialisation included cosmic rays.
Science education opens up a new world of opportunities today across industry and academia. A career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine (STEM) is rewarding for those minds that is inquisitive and wants to give back to the society in many different ways. In a recent conversation, the Research Matters team spoke to Prof. Brian Schmidt, a renowned cosmologist, winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics and the Vice Chancellor at the Australian National University on what he thinks about a career in science. Here is a summary of what Prof. Schmidt thinks of science education in today’s world