Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: Scientometrics the science of "measuring and assessing" science and its use has emerged as a new field of expertise that can help place academic sciences and applied sciences in perspective, P. Balaram, Director, Indian Institute of Science, said here on Tuesday.

Delivering the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Lecture to mark "Institute Day" of the Central Power Research Institute, Prof. Balaram said the success in the laboratory does not always translate into success at the marketplace.

"Science as we know it today, is only about 70 years old, and it was in the post-Second World War years that it became a high budget activity. Till mid-20th century, science was a hobby that people spent their own money on," he said. He quoted Vannevar Bush, an American engineer and science administrator, as saying in a collection of his papers called Endless Horizons in 1946, "Science is a way of understanding the world; technology is a way of controlling the world." To this Prof. Balaram added the question "Where does engineering figure in today's techno-driven world?"

Scientometrics is about 50 years old, and to begin with the Scientific Citation Index that listed the publication and papers that scientists wrote was a measure of scientific success. Santosh Kumar, member, Central Electricity Authority, presided.