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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Failures occur in Science: Nobel laureate Serge Haroche on moon lander

The problem, he said, was that there was “too much expectation and media attention around the mission and when you lose, there is disappointment”.

chandigarh Updated: Sep 12, 2019 00:26 IST
Hillary Victor
Hillary Victor
Hindustan Times, Mohali
(From left) Member of Nobel committee at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, Juleen Zierath and Nobel Laureate Serge Haroche during an event at National Agri Food Biotechnology Institute, Sector 81 in Mohali on Wednesday.
(From left) Member of Nobel committee at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, Juleen Zierath and Nobel Laureate Serge Haroche during an event at National Agri Food Biotechnology Institute, Sector 81 in Mohali on Wednesday. (Ravi Kumar/HT)
         

Sounding an optimistic note, Nobel laureate and French scientist Serge Haroche on Wednesday hoped that Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientists will certainly try to fix the problem with the country’s first moon lander, which fell silent before the touchdown.

“Science poses surprises, sometimes failures and sometimes successes. I don’t what happened with this (Chandrayaan-2 lander Vikram) but they (ISRO) will try to solve the problem,” the Nobel laureate said while speaking on the sidelines of the ‘Nobel Prize Series India 2019’ event at the National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute here. The three-day event is aimed at highlighting issues related to education and learning and will also be held in Ludhiana and New Delhi.

Haroche, who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2012, said, “Science is something where you are going in the unknown…you have surprises, sometime good surprises and sometime you have bad surprises and failures.”

The problem, he said, was that there was “too much expectation and media attention around the mission and when you lose, there is disappointment”.

Taking about basic education in India, Haroche said the government should invest more in the sector on priority. “But this is not happening and the trend is worrisome,” he said.

He said, political heads do not believe in growth and development in the field of Science. They have to understand that a lot of money is required to be invested for a longer duration for basic research, he said.

“India provides good education in Mathematics, Theoretical Physics and Astro Physics. However, we need to put money into small-scale physics projects even if they don’t get media attention,” the Nobel laureate said.

On the contrary, the French scientist said, China is putting in huge amount of money in Science and technology but at the same time does not provide freedom for research to its scientists.

“I strongly believe that creativity comes by freedom,” he added.

First Published: Sep 12, 2019 00:26 IST