Dr A. P. Jayaraman, a world-renowned scientist from BARC and a passionate science communicator shared his life and his passion for science with the campers. His interaction was filled with interesting and humorous anecdotes from his life. He started by showing a picture of himself with Stephen Hawking, and humorously referring to how he was not easily recognized, while everyone can identify great men from great distances. That is the travesty of our times, that we do not recognize people standing in front of us many times. A celebrity journal asked Dr Jayaraman to explain Hawking’s contribution in a sentence, and he replied that “Hawking derived the total wave function for the universe”. However, this is not easily understood by many, as science is many a time explained in a complex manner. He humorously mentioned that professors tend to give complex and abstruse explanations. He says that one’s ability to marginalize and universalize a problem is a good exit strategy in tricky situations and a good skill to learn.
He explained how despite being a renowned scientist, was having trouble solving Engineering problems his grandson brought to him. He said that every generation is log cycle ahead in IQ and two log cycles ahead in intelligence. He shares his birthday with Edward Teller, father of the hydrogen bomb. While they share the same birthday and visited the same places, he has not done the same things as Teller. Dr Jayaram explains that correlating lives is not effective and is fruitless. He said that if we look at our fellow mates who travelled life along with us, each will write a unique story. He spoke about how memory helped during his time but now information is available on the internet and that the ability to process information and create new knowledge is valuable today, not the ability to carry volumes of information.
Inspired by Dr Bhabha’s invitation to people to become nuclear scientists, he applied to Bhabha Atomic Research Center in Mumbai, his career spanned 40 years in BARC. He also spoke about how he joined the people science movement in which top nuclear scientists helped save the Silent Valley. He also explained his project on developing a solution for converting seawater to freshwater, which is a major contribution of his team in BARC. His work to purify water was inspired by his interactions with Prof. M. S. Swaminathan, which was presented to NASA. He advised his students to have minds like Dr C V Raman and Mendeley, combining the depth and breadth of the mind in addition to creativity. In addition, he emphasised that one should have ethical and a spiritual mind, which Indians obtain from a single source. He also spoke about his work with his colleagues to create interesting stories that help make scientific concepts easier to understand. His talk inspired the students and gave an insight into scientific thinking, the treasure of knowledge obtained through experience, and his passion for teaching science.
I found a role model. -Keerthana.
We are inspired by him. -Sooryanadh, Anirudhan Menon, Radha S Navada, G Sripujitha, U Shriram, Subiksha, Narayana Pillai, Aadarsh Kalyan, Treshai Hary and Amrit.
Got many scientific ideas. -Sooryanadh.
We are amazed by his wit, energy, intelligence and views on education and this generation – Abhinav Saikrishna, Devika Vinod, Adithya Kartha, Anirudhan Menon, Anagha Manoj, Radha S Navada, Prathiksha, Yashas Kumara.
Amazed by his contributions to Science – Devika.
Learnt how to choose friends and how important that is to our future. – Devika Vinod, Sandhiyae, Aadithyaa, G Sripujitha, Ashwannth.
Inspired to follow my passion. – Anirudhan Menon.
Like your innocence. – Kushagrika Marwaha & Anirudhan Menon
Learnt the importance of dedication and never giving up. – Kushagrika Marwaha & Deva Prakash.
Liked the fact that you mixed science in the stories of cooking of food. – Samhitha Panuganti, Subaharitha, Buvana, Logesh, Subaharitha, Achyuth, Narayana Pillai, Buvana & Vaidoorya.
Astounded by his knowledge of Science – Aditya.
Learnt to apply what I learned in class to life. – Amrit
Taught me that even the minutest parts of the world have an impact. – Vidya Suresh.
Got really good pointers on how to study. – Mathipriya, Subiksha & S Shiva Dharshan.
Learnt that we can learn everything. -Sachin, Anupama.
Came to like science because of him. – Tamilarasi & Ananya.
Learnt that creativity can help in pursuing a passion. -PM Dharsshan.
Learnt that passion has no age limit. -Ramyadevi, Keerthana & Aadarsh Kalyan.
He is just like an encyclopedia. – Prathiksha.
Love his dedication towards his passion. -Amruth Ganesh & Aadarsh Kalyan.
Learnt how important hard work, smartness, and never giving up is for success. -Amruth Ganesh, G Sripujitha, U Shriram & Pramarsha.
Admired and enjoyed his humility and simplicity. -Yashas Kumara