Sunday, December 27, 2015

Prof. Venki Ramakrishnan on Nobels and Nationalism


In The Telegraph today, Prof. Venki Ramakrishnan (who will visit India soon for a vacation and a lecture tour) says a lot of sensible things:

As for India sharing in the glory of his Nobel Prize (and that of Amartya Sen), he wonders why Indians are relatively unexcited about Ashoke Sen, the theoretical physicist known for his work on string theory and who shared in the $22m Breakthrough Prize in fundamental physics set up by the Russian Yuri Milner.

In Indians not giving as much importance to Sen as they do to Nobel Prize winners, "there is something a little wrong," he remarks. [...]

A question not to ask Venki is: "How should India win more Nobel Prizes?"

"That's actually completely the wrong question because there are so many discoveries that never get a Nobel Prize. It's not a good reason to go into anything," he responds.

"First of all countries don't win them, it's people who win them," he points out. "If a person from a country wins a Nobel Prize it doesn't necessarily mean that that county is doing well overall. It could be just a fluke. It is more important for a country to just nurture scientists and provide them good environments, a decent living and help them to lead a productive life."

1 Comments:

  1. Indian Scientist said...

    Excellent statement. I remember Venki getting his email and voicemail choked by tons of Indians trying to congratulate him. He made an open statement to let him survive! We hardly acknowledge home-grown talent.