The curtains will go up on the 24th Kerala Science Congress at the Rubber Research Institute of India, Kottayam on January 29 with a technical presentation on the special theme- Climate change: Plantation crops and Spices of Kerala.

The Science Congress will be a forum for productive exchange of state-of-the-art scientific research across different disciplines leading to wider understanding of new concepts and collaborations, said Prof. V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai, Executive Vice President, Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE) and President, 24th Kerala Science Congress.

The presentations on the special theme will be held during the forenoon session on the opening day. Experts will lead discussions on host of issues related to how spices and plantation crops can be adapted to the projected changes in weather patterns, temperature and rainfall driven by climate change.

Technical sessions have been scheduled across the three-day event, organised by KSCSTE in association with the Rubber Board.

Researchers, policymakers, industry leaders, teachers and students from across the state are expected to hold deliberations on cutting edge areas in science and technology.

K.M. Chandrasekhar, Vice Chairman, State Planning Board, Dr. Shailesh Nayak, Secretary, Union Ministry of Earth Sciences, and Prof. S. Sivadas are scheduled to deliver memorial lectures at the Congress.

Renowned agriculture scientist Prof. M.S. Swaminathan will be among a host of eminent scientists who will address the delegates.

The Kerala Science Congress (KSC) is co-sponsored by the Science and Technology Department, Government of Kerala, the Department of Science and Technology and Department of Biotechnology, Government of India.

While climate change forms a special theme at the KSC, there will be a wide range of subjects discussed at the various technical sessions. Researchers will present scientific papers on a dozen different subject areas, including agriculture, biotechnology, chemical, physical and life sciences, environment, engineering, geo-informatics and information technology.

A Science Expo, organised as part of the Science Congress, began on Saturday afternoon at the Mammen Mappillai Hall. The Expo features presentations and exhibits from leading Science and Technology institutions and R&D organisations as well as student science exhibitors.

Leading figures from the media and the scientific community will join a panel discussion on Science Communication and Journalism on the opening day of the KSC. A special session will be held on “Cutting edge research areas in science and technology and their implications for Kerala’s development” on Monday.

The KSC will also provide a platform for young, budding researchers to interact with experienced scientists. State-level winners of the National Children’s Science Congress will be felicitated and given a forum to present their scientific papers.

The organisers have also instituted Young Scientist Awards for the best papers in various subject areas presented at the KSC.