India, 2 January 2007 – The cream of scientists of India will be participating in the 94th Science Congress, to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on 3rd January at Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu.
India’s President Dr A P J Abdul Kalam would address the scientists and inaugurate the children’s science exhibition on January 5. He would interact with the children on the occasion. Besides presentation of several research papers and discussions, many renowned scientists would deliver four public lectures and participate in theme sessions.
The five-day event, organised on the theme ‘Planet Earth’, in the backdrop of global warming and other serious concerns has aroused interests among the scientific community across the country and abroad. The Congress has gained greater significance as it will be conducted in the worst tsunami-affected district in the country.
The theme ‘Planet Earth’, was selected in view of beginning of the International Year of Planet Earth 2007-09. The annual mega event is being hosted in the temple town jointly by Annamalai University and The Indian Science Congress Association, Kolkata. An important objective of the Congress is to inculcate interest among the people in science and encourage young scientists in the country.
The Indian Science Congress Association was the brainchild of two British Chemists, Prof J L Simonsen and Prof MacMahon. The duo believed that scientific research could be stimulated if an annual meeting of research workers on the lines of British Association of Advancement of Science was organised in the country.
The maiden congress was held at Asiatic Society, Kolkata in 1914. The then Vice-Chancellor of Kolkata University, Justice Sir Asutosh Mookerjee was the president of the conference. As many as 100 scientists from the country and abroad took part in the meeting. And, 35 papers were presented on subjects such as Botany, Chemistry, Ethnography, Geology, Physics and Zoology. The second Congress was held under the presidentship of Surgeon-General W B Bannermann at Chennai in 1915.
Till now Kolkata has hosted 12 such Congress, Bangalore 8, Chennai 6 and Hyderabad 6. The annual event was organised once in Mysore (1982), Tirupathi (1983) and Madurai (1989). The 93rd Congress was held in Hyderabad in 2006.
Indian Science Congress Association has links with renowned research and development institutions – Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaebotany, Lucknow; Indian Institute of Geomagnetism, Navi Mumbai; Indian Institute of Tropical Meterology, Pune; Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services, Hyderabad; National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, Goa; National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad; National Institute of Oceanography, Goa; National Institute of Ocean Technology, Chennai; National Remote Sensing Agency, Hyderabad; Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad; Space Application Centre, Ahmedabad; Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehradun and The International Year of Planet Earth, as knowledge partners in organising the annual event.