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In this session historian of science Jahnavi Phalkey will be in discussion with eminent scientist Raghunath Mashelkar about his journey in scientific-industrial research, his leadership style, the status of scientific-industrial research in India@75, and how might India think about bringing home a Nobel Prize in science after having waited for nearly a century!
Presented by JSW as part of the Anil Dharker Literature Live! Independence Lecture
Dr. R.A. Mashelkar is one of India’s most eminent scientists. He served for over 11 years as the Director General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, which had 38 laboratories and about 20,000 employees. He was also the President of the Indian National Science Academy and the Institution of Chemical Engineers, UK. He is well-known for his contributions to both institutions, multiple ‘Mashelkar Committees’, a successful campaign against foreign patents on Indian traditional knowledge, and his mantras of ‘Inclusive Innovation’, ‘More from Less for More’, and ‘Gandhian Engineering’.
His contributions to the nation and to science at large have been honoured by a plethora of awards, the most significant being the Padma Vibhushan, the Padma Bhushan, the Padma Shri, Business Week Star of Asia Award, and the Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology. He is the third Indian engineer to be inducted as a Fellow of the Royal Society, UK and the first Indian to be elected as a fellow of National Academy of Inventors, US. Deeply connected with the global innovation movement, he served as President of the Global Research Alliance, which is the world’s largest network of publicly funded R&D institutes that work together to achieve millennium development goals. He is an ambassador and evangelist for innovation and R&D across the world and serves on the boards of many leading companies.
Jahnavi Phalkey was appointed Founding Director of Science Gallery Bengaluru in November 2018. Previously Jahnavi held a tenured faculty position at King’s College London. She started her academic career at the University of Heidelberg, following which she was based at Georgia Tech-Lorraine, France, and Imperial College London. Jahnavi was Fellow, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (the Institute of Advanced Study, Berlin). She was also external curator to the Science Museum London, and has been a Scholar-in-Residence at the Deutsches Museum, Munich.
Jahnavi is the author of Atomic State: Big Science in Twentieth Century India and has co-edited Science of Giants: China and India in the Twentieth Century. She is the producer-director of the documentary film Cyclotron.
Jahnavi read civics and politics at the University of Bombay and the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. She holds a doctoral degree in history of science and technology from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta.