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Science, engineering and medicine should be brought closer: IISc chief

IN PUBLIC INTEREST: S. S. Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Sankara Nethralaya, releasing a handbook on uveitis by handing over first copy to P. Balaram, Director, Indian Institute of Science, at the annual conference of the Uveitis Society of India in Chennai on Friday. H. N. Madhavan, president of the Vision Research Foundation at Sankara Nethralaya is in the picture.

IN PUBLIC INTEREST: S. S. Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Sankara Nethralaya, releasing a handbook on uveitis by handing over first copy to P. Balaram, Director, Indian Institute of Science, at the annual conference of the Uveitis Society of India in Chennai on Friday. H. N. Madhavan, president of the Vision Research Foundation at Sankara Nethralaya is in the picture.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: K. Pichumani

Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: There is a need to push frontiers of scientific research into the realm of modern medicine by bringing the disciplines of science, engineering and medicine closer together, P. Balaram, Director, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), said on Friday.

Inaugurating the ninth annual meeting of the Uveitis Society of India (USI) hosted by the Medical Research Foundation of Sankara Nethralaya, Dr. Balaram advocated building institutions that provided a platform for clinicians, scientists and engineers to collaborate on common problems.

Pointing out that medical education and education in science and engineering research in India had never been together, Dr. Balaram said it was important to realise that they had grown apart over the years.

Citing C. P. Snow’s reference to “two cultures” for describing the disparate progress of science and the humanities at Cambridge University in England, Dr. Balaram said the analogy also applied to the disciplines of science and medicine in the contemporary era.

One of his wishes was that the IISc, one of the oldest institutions for science and engineering research, start a bio-medical research department where clinicians would rub shoulders with engineers and scientists, Dr. Balaram said. Noting that Sankara Nethralaya had now become the stuff of legends, Dr. Balaram said what was remarkable was that the institution had demonstrated what could be achieved in difficult Indian conditions and that clinical care and research could flourish under one roof.

The IISc director released an abstract of the conference journal.

S. S. Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus, Sankara Nethralaya, released an information book on uveitis, the inflammation of the middle coat of the eye that is a major cause of visual impairment, even blindness. Narsing Rao, chief patron of USI, released a manual of ocular pathology.

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