Indian science desperately needs more young blood at the policy making level. We have been hearing this far too often these days in the Nature India forum where many young and enterprising scientists deliberate on issues that concern them.
An editorial in the journal Science today emphasises the need for young scientists to become opinion makers and policy drivers in this country. In the editorial, eminent chemical scientist Raghunath Anant Mashelkar supports the view of a ‘Young Academy’ for India and makes a strong case for such a “borderless” academy discussing matters of all scientific disciplines. He says such an academy must also be “dynamic”, harnessing the power of technology and social media, and have a mind of its own.
India’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), which recently released a vision document, also feels the need to source potential young leaders from across the world, empowering young leadership and grooming them through leadership development programmes. The document also talks of creating a CSIR science management cadre.
At the 99th Indian Science Congress held in Bhubaneswar in January 2012, many speakers — young and old — talked at length about ‘creating space’ for the young scientists of this country in policy making bodies. The sentiment echoed in many speeches given by top science policy makers of this country.
It would be wonderful to see these talking points converted into action. Yes, there are funds, awards, scholarships and grants to recognise and encourage young scientists, but including bright young minds in shaping the future of science in this country would be another step forward.