The students of Amity International School, from across its chapters in Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon and Ghaziabad, had a momentous Wednesday as they got to rub shoulders with Nobel laureate Sir Richard John Roberts.
Roberts, who shared the Nobel for physiology or medicine with Phillip Allen Sharp in 1993, exhorted the students to aim higher and shoot for the coveted prize. He held a motivational session on the Amity campus with the students of classes 10, 11 and 12 and encouraged them to dream big and go for glory.
A biochemist and a molecular biologist, he was awarded the Nobel for the discovery of introns in eukaryotic DNA and the mechanism of gene-splicing. About 400 students, who attended the morning session, were advised to be driven in life and passionately pursue the goals that they set for themselves.
“Right from childhood, I was encouraged by my father to pursue Mathematics and Chemistry. I was so fascinated by these disciplines that I eventually decided to take up Chemistry for my higher studies. I believe teenagers should involve themselves in solving puzzles and crosswords as it would help improve their vocabulary and sharpen their minds. While choosing one’s career path, he/she should keep in mind that its not just about money. One needs to be passionate about one’s career and must ensure that he derives some satisfaction out of it,” Roberts, a British national, said.
In an afternoon session, the Nobel laureate interacted with undergraduate students from the Science stream. He shed light on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and said they’re safe and can even make food more nutritious.
“There is a misconception that food items made with the help of GMO technology is unsafe. This is nothing but a myth. The global scientific community has reached a consensus that GMO is safe. For a country like India, Bt Cotton (genetically modified cotton) is better than the traditional variety as it ensures more output, requires less land and is more profitable for the farmers as well,” he said.
Speaking on the launch of “Sir Richard John Roberts Centre for Genetically Modified Organism (GMO)”, a faculty member of the varsity said it will be a morale booster for researchers.
“Researchers and scientists at our university are already researching on the salinity of our soil. Now with the launch of this centre, they will also be motivated to take up similar studies on GMO technology as well,” Atul Chauhan, chancellor, Amity University, Noida, said.