Invest in education, get 100-fold return, says Nobel winner Roger D Kornberg at PU | punjab$chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Invest in education, get 100-fold return, says Nobel winner Roger D Kornberg at PU

Panjab University’s financial crisis is now global news with even a Nobel Prize winner expressing surprise at the fund crunch that has seen violent protests on campus over the past fortnight. Prof Roger D Kornberg, who won a Nobel in Chemistry in 2006, visited Panjab University (PU) on Tuesday to give oration on ‘Advances in Pharmaceutical Chemistry- The End of Disease?’.

punjab Updated: Apr 27, 2017 16:10 IST
Bhartesh Singh Thakur
Roger D Kornberg addressing a gathering in Panjab University on Wednesday.
Roger D Kornberg addressing a gathering in Panjab University on Wednesday. (Karun Sharma/HT)

Panjab University’s financial crisis is now global news with even a Nobel Prize winner expressing surprise at the fund crunch that has seen violent protests on campus over the past fortnight. Prof Roger D Kornberg, who won a Nobel in Chemistry in 2006, visited Panjab University (PU) on Tuesday to give oration on ‘Advances in Pharmaceutical Chemistry- The End of Disease?’ After the lecture, when informed of the financial crisis at the varsity, he turned to PU V-C prof Arum Kumar Grover and said, “If they (the central government and the Punjab government) give you 10 times more than what you want they can get 100 times later. However, it doesn’t happen in a year. It is for benefit of future of this country.”

He went on to add that countries like the USA and the UK invested heavily in science and so does China and this was a major reason that led to their superpower status. “We have to accept that all science is implied. It is only a question of time before an application emerges,” he said. “I am surprised that PU is generating 50% of revenue for itself, universities like Stanford do not even generate 5-10% revenue,” he went to add.

‘Indians talented, need support’

On few Indians getting Nobel, he said, “Indians have got Nobel prize. Those who have got it they have worked outside India. If India supports science in the way America or United Kingdom supports, then it would win more Nobel prizes. India has great or more talent. What is limiting is the support…At the end of the day it doesn’t matter whether science wins prize. It matters what they contribute to knowledge and purpose of their own society.” “The US has made investment and this is what makes makes it earn Nobel Prizes. The prize is, of course, an icon. It is important as it reminds general public of science. In the USA and in India, what we see is bad news. Nobel is positive news. It tells people what is main source of human progress from beginning of time and ever.”

‘Only luck needed to win Nobel’

On what does it take to get a Nobel prize, he said, “Just luck. There are many deserving scientists. Some get, some don’t. There is no formula. There is no magic. Many greatest scientists whom I know did not get Nobel while all Nobel laureates, whom I know, are not the greatest scientists.”