Appealing to students to rethink getting into corporate careers, Nobel Prize winner Venki Ramakrishnan on Saturday asked the “top 0.1%” of the country to not waste their talent and instead think bigger.
Ramakrishnan was speaking on the second day of Techfest, the annual technology festival of the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay, on Saturday.
Ramakrishnan didn't himself make it to IIT, as he said, and then did a BSc from Baroda University. He was one of the winners of the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 2009.
“Think big, don’t settle for corporate careers,” said Ramakrishnan to applause from the audience. “You will make a lot of money and end up being miserable in a boring life. Instead, set your sights high, invent something. The world is your limit. These are things those at the top should be aiming for, not middle level corporate lives.”
Ramakrishnan, who lives and works in Cambridge, was conferred knighthood last week.
Ramakrishnan delivered his general comments to a packed auditorium at the end of his lecture on antibiotics and how they work. He pointed out that “bacteria will eventually find a way to become resistant to new antibiotics”. “No matter what, bacteria will become resistant,” he said. “That is the property of natural selection and evolution.”
On Friday, Hinduja hospital, Mahim, said it had come across a new, drug-resistant strain of the tuberculosis causing bacteria. “I am not a tuberculosis expert but I imagine it is a multi-drug resistant form,” said Ramakrishnan.
Providing a general explanation for why bacteria become drug-resistant, he pointed to the indiscriminate use and prescription of antibiotics. “Another problem in developing countries is that you can get (it) at any store,” he added. “That needs to be controlled.”