‘Indian scientists will overcome lunar mission setback’: Nobel laureate
French physicist and Nobel laureate Serge Haroche on Wednesday said he was certain the Indian scientists would be able to overcome the setback of the loss of contact with Chandrayaan-2’s Vikram lander two minutes before it was to reach the lunar surface.
“Science is something where you are going in the unknown...you have surprises, sometimes good surprises and sometimes you have bad surprises and failures,” said Haroche, who won the 2012 Nobel Prize for Physics.
He said India has good education in mathematics, theoretical physics and in astrophysics. “I think we need to put money into small-scale physics projects even if it does not have the media attention like the moon landing,” he said
Haroche is in India as part of the Nobel Prize Series, which brings together Nobel laureates, experts and scientists to stimulate innovation and creative thinking.
Haroche called for the need for truth and creativity in the world to encourage rational thought and scientific temper. “You need an atmosphere of creativity and you need freedom. Scientists need freedom because science is fuelled by passion. Big revolutions in science occur in troubled times. While there is no simple correlation between the world stage and the development of science, we are now in troubled times again because some of the values of science are being attacked.”
He said internet, which is an achievement of science, is used by detractors of science as a tool against civilisation. “These are instruments that are used against science and for that the only answer is education. We have to raise children and young people in a rational way so that they understand what we have to become,’’ he said.
“That is why it is very important that education should be the prime goal of any sensible government. While there are many steps being taken in India and other parts of the world in this direction, I am not sure the governments are spending the kind of money that they should be spending.”