First Commonwealth science meet since 1967 begins today

First Commonwealth science meet since 1967 begins today

Bengaluru first Indian city to host event; Indian space to be discussed

First Commonwealth science meet since 1967 begins today

Top scientists will meet here from November 25 to 28 for what is the first Commonwealth Science Conference (CSC), a historic event, since 1967. President Pranab Mukherjee will inaugurate the conference at the J N Tata Auditorium, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), on Tuesday.

Organised by the Royal Society, Britain, in association with the Union Ministry of Science and Technology and The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, this will be the first such conference since 1967 when a meet was held at Oxford under the aegis of the Royal Society. The second meet will be held in London.

 The local arrangements for the first meet are being made by the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR). The conference will be held over three days at the Lalit Ashok, Kumara Krupa Road.

The conference will also have sessions on Indian space, in particular the Mars mission, which has pitchforked India asa top space nation in the world. There may also be some presentation on Ebola.

The CSC aims to celebrate excellence in Commonwealth science to provide opportunities for co-operation among researchers in different Commonwealth countries, to inspire young people and to build scientific capacity in developing nations within the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth forms a significant part of the global scientific community. It is home to 12 per cent of the world’s researchers and accounts for around 10 per cent of global research and development expenditure.

It represents nearly a third of the world’s population, in 53 countries across the globe. Science is uniquely placed to contribute to the Commonwealth’s shared goals of democracy and development.

With an estimated 60 per cent of its population aged under 30, the Commonwealth is set to play an even more important role in the world’s future.

Keynote lectures

Keynote lectures will be delivered by Sir Paul Nurse, president of the Royal Society, and Prof CNR Rao, former chairman of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India.

The topics to be covered include physical sciences, life sciences, mathematics and engineering as well as science policy. The conference will be attended by more than 300 specially invited scientists and 70 PhD students from across the Commonwealth countries, along with local delegates from Bangalore.

From 30 countries

Representatives from over 30 countries are expected to attend. Sir Nurse said the meet would be a celebration of scientific excellence across the Commonwealth.

“We will hear from speakers in fields as diverse as dinosaur palaeontology and cosmology. We will debate the state of scientific advice across the Commonwealth with the chief scientific advisors of Malaysia, Australia and the UK. We will hear a series of regional perspectives relating to science across the Commonwealth.

The Royal Society is the science academy of the Commonwealth and our links with the Commonwealth are increasing. I am delighted to be in India on this auspicious occasion.”