Interest in science dying?
Topic started by ks on Thu Oct 21 00:15:27 .
All times in EST +10:30 for IST.
- From: a mediocre maths PhD who is in IT now (@ isdn.pppmad.vsnl.net.in)
on: Fri Oct 22 08:04:19
ks: I read that article in refiff and the interview of Director of IISc.
Perhpas govt's policy and meagre budget allocation has a lot to do with the decline of science in India.
It is easy to blame govt. But what is the attitude of public towards science, or for that an academic pursuit say in archaeology or anthropology or Thamizh literature? The simpler reason is people want a career that gives more money. And nothing else.
Right from primary school the parents expect the kid to join IIT or take medicine because that is how you can make lot of money.
When at the age of 27-32 many of our professionally successful Indian men
would rather listen to their parents in finding a girl for them (read the matrimonial ads in Hindu) you can't blame them to have chosen engineering or medicine with the type of expectation the parents
had while he was in early teens. (And same for girls)
And what great challenging software a majority of the Indian software professionals in USA are creating?
Dr Vidyasagar of Centre of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (under DRDO in Bangalore) is upset that
good brains are wasted on writing routine dull software. (he has nice name for people who write code that carry a s/w of one platform to another-- white collared coolies)
With far less support for science India produced
50 years ago people like CV Raman, Ramanujan.
That is because society held in high esteem people
pursuing knowledge whether they made money or not.
Even in USA, mecca of capitalism, a person who wants to pursue science is left to her/his desires by parents.
There are quite a few white westerners in Madras
spending years in learning carnatic music or Indian dance. Imagine a 17-year old Indian telling her/his parents that she/he wants to
go to Amazonian rain forests (or Mohanjadaro) and wants to study the tribal life there?
I can give you 10-15 examples of Indian boys
who won medals in International Maths Olympiads
who were discouraged by parents from pursuing
a research career in Mathematics.(Most of them went to IIT. But one gold medallist who paid Rs 25,000 at IITMadras and three days later
got admission for a BSc maths programme forfeited his fees and joined it. (BTW Chennai Math Instt supported by ISRO and Dept of Atomic Energy gives
such a B Sc Maths programme that is comparable to the best in the world, and gives a scholarship
that makes it the cheapest undergraduate programme in India)
- From: ravi SUNdaram (@ 22.214.171.124)
on: Fri Oct 22 11:49:40
A quick followup: Ramanujan is an exception. India did not "produce" Ramanujan by respecting men of learning. There is nothing any one person or country can do to "produce" Ramanujan. Men like Ramanujan happen.
[I read the article and the followup cursorily and am thinking about it. will come back and post if I have something to add]
- From: Sathish (@ enuxsa.eas.asu.edu)
on: Fri Oct 22 15:59:44
I wrote something yesterday. But I dont remember if I pressed post. Anyway it is not here now.
I think good books will stimulate young people to pursue a field further for the sake of learning. Also as the first poster said parents/others should stop deciding what students should pursue.
Scientist or in general a researcher is good if he is driven the desire to seek things out. That can happen only if he does it for the sake of doing it.
- From: vanchi (@ isdn.pppmad.vsnl.net.in)
on: Sat Oct 23 01:24:21
I agree with ravi Sunadaram that Ramanujan happened, and cannot be produced by a system. But what I am worried in this milieu is that
it will discourage a person from seeking a different path normally chosen by bright people.
For example a person with a fraction of Ramanujan's talent and less
grit can definitely achieve a lot (even if it is much less compared to ramnujan) in a proper environment. We are destroying such people who can contribute. of course great talent will surface whatever be the hardship it has to encounter. It is those less than great having to give up the fight needs attention badly.
- From: MOVERS AND SHAKERS (@ )
on: Sat Mar 20 14:08:19
MOVERS AND SHAKERS
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