Friday, August 26, 2005

Ecotechnology, food security and Prof. MSS!

A few days after the Tsunami, there was this news item in the Hindu : it was about a village that survived Tsunami thanks to M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation's `Information Village Research Project'. A typical case of what one might call the collateral benefit. And, apart from the Sudhakar 'Thaths' Chandrasekharan story that I heard long back in a Banglinux conference about how computers made a difference to the lives of some college students in Kenya, in my opinion, this was the second human interest story where technology did make a real difference. So, that is Prof. MS Swaminathan for you - touching lives of people in ways that one might never have imagined.

In honour of Prof. Swaminathan turning 80 this August, the July 25th issue of Current Science has brought out a special section titled Chromosomes to food security : before I happened to see this special section, I knew Prof. MSS only as an agricultural scientist. Some of the articles in this issue disabused me of that notion - apparently, Prof. MSS also contributed to areas like cytogenetics, mutagenesis, and radiation biology. If not the entire special section, the MS Swaminathan I know by Bruce Alberts , President, National Academy of Sciences , USA, and the book review are worth giving a try.

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