Institute Lecture : Reflections on Nobel Prizes 2017

Eminent speakers from IIT Delhi and other institutions reflected on the work behind the award of Nobel Prizes this year an Institute Lecture on Wednesday whose theme was – Reflections on Nobel Prizes 2017.

Dr. B. N. Mallick from the School of Life Sciences, JNU, New Delhi spoke on the work of Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young, the Nobel winners for medicine.

Referring to the work done by the Nobel Prize winners in Physics - Rainer Weiss, Barry C. Barish and Kip S. Thorne, Speaker Dr. V. Ravishankar from the Department of Physics, IIT Delhi spoke at length on Einsteinian Gravity, Einstein equation, physical properties of space and time, geometrical properties of matter, the hurdles and the triumphs and then moved on to the evidences.

Dr. Manidipa Banerjee, Kusuma School of Biological Sciences, IIT Delhi reflected on the work of the Nobel prize winners in Chemistry - Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson. Speaking on the cryoelectron microscopy, she briefed about the future of structural biology and the applications of transmission electron microscopy.

Dr. Manpreet Sethi, Centre for Air Power Studies, New Delhi, spoke about the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), which has got the Nobel Prize for Peace this year. While giving a brief about ICAN, she said it was an advocacy group of 468 NGOs which had a common commitment to disarmament by drawing attention to the catastrophic consequences. Referring to creation of public awareness she said it drew attention to the unmanageable global consequences of nuclear use on climate, health, environment and food security. She also highlighted the major achievements of ICAN and concluded by saying that for encashing its prize ICAN should use its large network to create a more consensual and inclusive atmosphere.

While talking about the work of Richard H Thaler, the Nobel Prize winner for Economics, Dr. Megha Patnaik from the Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi spoke on Limited Rationality and Limited Control and gave examples. “People tend to value what they have. There is always a friction between the planning cell and the doing cell that restricts the number of choices. This may be against the standard economics but is beneficial.”

Dr. Rukmini B Nair, from the Department of HSS, IIT Delhi spoke on the work of Kazuo Ishiguro, the Nobel Prize winner for Literature this year. While reflecting on Ishiguro versus other she mentioned that he had written only 7 books over 35 years. “He is perhaps the first writer to have emerged from a writing school. His writing marks several transitions — from Japanese to English characters, from a single marginal character to marginal groups and from books to films.