Staff Reporter

Lay stress on developing scientific temper, says Cusat Vice-Chancellor

‘New technologies being evolved’

‘Nation’s pool of scientists limited’

KOCHI: Developments in biotechnology are making rapid progress and would soon help evolve new forms of life by mixing and matching various components, said Achuth Shankar S. Nair, director of Centre for Bio Informatics, University of Kerala.

He was delivering the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Memorial Oration organised by the Centre for Science Communication, Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat), here on Monday.

Delivering a lecture on the topic ‘Future of Science and Technology: Predictions and Fantasies,’ Dr. Nair said science was evolving fast to accommodate the increasing demands of mankind. New technologies were being sought to handle the data deluge. Experiments such as teleporting using Internet2, the next generation of Internet, or wireless, thought-activated and natural interfaces for computers were already being carried out in different parts of the world.

The scientific world was now seeking to learn the functioning of the human brain thoroughly and use this information to improve computing skills, Dr. Nair said. He wound up the lecture with a quote by renowned columnist Syndey J. Harris which warned the world to be afraid of men starting to think like computers and not computers starting to think like men.

In his presidential address, Gangan Prathap, Vice-Chancellor of Cusat, said the nation’s pool of scientists was limited, as we had only one-tenth the number of scientists working in the U.S. even though we are geographically much bigger than the U.S.

Our scientific community could not predict phenomena like warming up of oceans around the sub-continent leading to a mini monsoon in South India or the outbreak of chikungunya.

Stress should be given on developing scientific temper, as we did in the early Fifties, Dr. Prathap said. A. Ramachandran, Registrar, Cusat, made the commemorative speech on Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar.

Dr. Prathap also distributed prizes to the winners of the All Kerala Essay competition organised by the University.

Aparna R. of Puliyaparamabu HSS, Palakkad, won the first prize; Teena Johny of VHSS, Karalam and Krishna Anilkumar of Bethany Central School, Kottayam, won the second prize; M.A. Rahman Kavanoor of Islamia College, Thalikkulam, Thrissur and Kiran S.R., of Arya Central School, Pattom, Thiruvananthapuram, won the third prize and Sini T. Achankunju of Cardinal HSS, Thrikakkara, and Minta Thomas, M.G. Public School, Ernakulam, won the fourth prize in the competition.