Lack of interest in research career not limited to India alone: Nobel laureate

Lack of interest in research career not limited to India alone: Nobel laureate

 Scientists should be more responsible in spending the taxpayer’s money as resources are limited in India, Nobel laureate physicist Serge Haroche has advised the Indian research community.

 “Since they receive taxpayer's money, the scientists can’t live in an ivory tower. They must go to the society to explain their science and spend the research (funds) in a responsible way,” Haroche told Kalyan Ray of DH in an interview.

Citing an example of the link between basic and applied research, the winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize in physics said, “Technology in astrophysics is useful in medicine. The researchers need to have right balance as there would be societal pressure on scientists (to deliver) since they use government money.” Haroche is one of the Nobel laureates currently visiting India, thanks to a partnership between the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Nobel Foundation.

He attended the 104th session of the Indian Science Congress at Tirupati and a special conclave before the Vibrant Gujarat summit in Gandhinagar. Asked why the best students are no longer interested in pursuing a career in research, the septuagenarian scientist felt it was a problem, not limited to India alone.

“The passion of doing science needs to be initiated among them and the best way to do that is by exposing them to science experiments. Also they need to be given a decent salary in their career to raise their family,” he observed.

Interestingly, Haroche, a professor at the Collège de France who holds the Chair of Quantum Physics, is a student of celebrated French physicist Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, who received the Nobel Prize in 1997.  He travelled to India first time three years ago with Tannoudji.

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