Infosys Science Foundation (ISF) announced the winners of the Infosys Prize 2023 which includes two from Bengaluru, on November 15.
The Infosys Prize is given in six categories – Engineering and Computer Science, Humanities, Life Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Social Sciences.
The two recipients from Bengaluru are Jahnavi Phalkey, founding director, Science Gallery Bengaluru, and Mukund Thattai, professor, Biochemistry, Biophysics and Bioinformatics at National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS).
The prize for each category comprises a gold medal, a citation, and a purse of $100,000 (or its equivalent in rupees). The awards will be presented on January 13, 2024.
The recepients of Infosys Prize 2023 were shortlisted from 224 nominations by an international panel of jurors comprising world-renowned scholars and experts.
Kris Gopalakrishnan, president, Infosys Science Foundation, said, “This year marks a landmark moment in Infosys Science Foundation’s journey. Over the course of 15 years, the Infosys Prize has recognized mid-career researchers who have done impactful, groundbreaking work across disciplines. The prize has helped drive conversations around their work and, on a larger scale, created meaningful engagement around science and society. I congratulate the winners of the Infosys Prize 2023.”
Winners of the Infosys Prize 2023
Engineering and Computer Science
The Infosys Prize 2023 in Engineering and Computer Science is awarded to Sachchida Nand Tripathi, Professor, Sustainable Energy Engineering (SEE), IIT-Kanpur, for the deployment of large-scale sensor-based air quality network and mobile laboratory for hyper local measurement of pollution, data generation and analysis using artificial intelligence and machine learning for effective air quality management and citizens awareness.
Prof. Tripathi’s work has shown that the important differences between observations of winter haze formation in Delhi and those in other places like Beijing (China) are that the nano-particle growth rate in Delhi is much higher and happens at night without photochemistry. This finding holds the key to mitigating air pollution in India.
The Infosys Prize 2023 in Humanities is awarded to Jahnavi Phalkey, founding director, Science Gallery Bengaluru, for her granular insights into the individual, institutional, and material histories of scientific research in modern India. Her book, The Atomic State, and many articles insightfully braid the global history of science, especially nuclear science, with the anthropology of the postcolonial state to illuminate rich and textured histories of the everyday lives of science in India. Dr. Phalkey’s work has emphasized the need to see the history of science as much as a history of scientific ideas, as one of power, practice, and the nation-state.
The Infosys Prize 2023 in Life Sciences is awarded to Arun Kumar Shukla, Professor, Biological Sciences and Bioengineering, IIT-Kanpur, for his outstanding and far-reaching contribution to the field of G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) biology. Prof. Shukla’s research has established a new understanding of GPCRs, which are one of the most important classes of drug targets. His work has opened up previously uncharted avenues for designing novel and effective therapeutics.
The Infosys Prize 2023 in Mathematical Sciences is awarded to Bhargav Bhatt, Fernholz Joint Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study and Princeton University, for his outstanding and fundamental contribution to arithmetic geometry and commutative algebra. Prof. Bhatt’s joint work in prismatic cohomology, with German mathematician Peter Scholze, introduces new ideas and powerful methods in this area at the heart of pure mathematics.
The Infosys Prize 2023 in Physical Sciences is awarded to Mukund Thattai, Professor, Biochemistry, Biophysics and Bioinformatics, National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bengaluru in recognition of his groundbreaking contribution to evolutionary cell biology.
Prof. Thattai is a physicist who researches how complex cellular organization emerged from microscopic disorder. His work could have profound implications in one of biology’s central mysteries of how complex cells emerged from primordial ones. He is among the pioneers of the physics of life.
The Infosys Prize 2023 in Social Sciences is awarded to Karuna Mantena, Professor, Political Science, Columbia University for her groundbreaking research on the theory of imperial rule, and the claim that this late imperial ideology became one of the important factors in the emergence of modern social theory.
Her book Alibis of Empire and related papers are landmark publications in political theory with implications for all social sciences. Her book helps us understand that the dramatic shift in imperial policy, following the 1857 rebellion in India, was not a straightforward reaction to this traumatic event, but legitimated by a new ideology of indirect imperial rule that was carefully crafted by the ingenious conceptual work of thinker-administrators, such as Henry Maine.