Monday, February 6, 2012

The grand challenge of science in the developing world

The two faces of chemistry in the developing world is an interesting Commentary in Nature Chemistry by the legendary C.N.R. Rao.
While acknowledging the great advances that India, China, and Brazil have made the past few decades he stresses the incredible challenge to the least developed countries.

There is one statement in the article I disagree with. He states:
I do not know of a single institution in India that is comparable to any of the best institutions in the advanced countries. 
I think that, at least in condensed matter physics and chemistry (physical, theoretical, materials), I would rank the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore, ahead of most Australian universities. Some of my Indian colleagues tell me this strength is largely a legacy of C.N.R. Rao. So perhaps he is being modest about his contributions. 
Unfortunately though this favourable comparison also exposes the weakness of Australian universities.... 

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