PALAEOBOTANY THROUGH its different applications plays a very useful role in the welfare of human beings and the role of palaeobotanists becomes all the more important as there are only a few of them. One palaeobotanist exist among eight million people. It is the responsibility of a pool of palaeobotanists of various disciplines at the Birbal Sahni Institute and elsewhere in the world to align together in a meaningful way, said Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, Dr.T Ramasami.
He was speaking at the valedictory function of the international conference at BSIP on Friday evening. He said that BSIP was working on fossil fuels and could play a major role in guiding oil companies in oil and gas explorations. These oil companies lacked adequate scientific support and guidance in their exploration work, he said.
Ramasami visited the museum of the institute and planted a sapling of Aegle marmelos (Rutaceae). He also released seven catalogues and the institute’s journal ‘The Palaeobotanist’. He also released institute’s Vision 2020 that focuses on promoting industrial application, particularly in fossil fuels exploration for enhancing institutional leadership and contributing to the development of society.
The scientific deliberations started in the morning in two parallel sessions. The sessions were dealt with Gondwana Floristics and biostratigraphy, archaeobotany and anthropogenic activities, origin and evolution of early life and mass extinction, time boundaries and fossil record. Prof. JW Schopf also delivered a plenary lecture on three-dimensional morphological and chemical imagery of permineralized plants and precambrian micro-organisms.
Under poster session about 20 posters were displayed on palaeobotany, palynology, archaeobotany, origin of life etc and their utilisation in interpretation of palaeoclimate, palaeoenvironment and related problems.