Wednesday, 17 July 2024

A Special Lecture on Occasion of Teacher's Day was celebrated on September 3 2021 on "Sustainable Science: Embedding Systems Thinking in Research and Innovation" by Prof.   S Sivaram, Honorary Professorand INSA Senior Scientist IISER Pune. Prof. S. Sivram began the lecture by telling about the importance of Teacher's day celebration.  Every year on September 5, the birth anniversary of Dr SarvepalliRadhakrishnan, a great scholar, philosopher and a Bharat Ratna recipientis being celebrated as teachers' Day across the country. He was also the first Vice President and second President of independent India former president of India.   Prof S. Shivramin his lecture mentioned that the future of a sustainable civilization rests on three pillars, namely, energy (and materials), ecology (and environment) and equity (the three Es). His talk also touched upon how the present economy remains utterly dependent on a massive inward flow of energy and matter derived from natural resources which is followed by a reverse flow of economically spent matter back to the ecosphere. The summary of his talk is presented below: Chemical sustainability problems are determined largely by these economy-ecosphere material flows. The flow of materials and energy through society is an integral, but poorly visible, element of global sustainability agenda. Given that the primary activities of chemistry are to analyse, synthesize, and transform matter the practice of chemistry has a great deal to contribute to sustainability science, which in turn, will play an increasingly important role in reshaping the practice of chemistry. Success in integrating sustainability considerations into the practice of chemistry implies a better understanding of the molecular basis of sustainability of earth and societal systems and embedding systems thinking in the practice of chemistry to consider the complex interplay of chemical process with scientific, societal, and environmental systems. Systems thinking tools, such as, LCA, 3 Ps and systems thinking concept map extension (SOCME) visualizations assist in highlighting inputs, outputs, and societal consequences of chemical processes and an assessment of, both, intended and unintended consequences to the planetary ecosystems. Since a core element of addressing sustainability challenges requires attention to the material basis of society, a new paradigm for the practice of chemistry is needed. If chemistry increasingly direct its strengths to contributing to a sustainable civilization, it will become more interesting and compelling to people, and may lose its "darkand toxic" image. It will then become more worthy of public support and spawn exciting economic enterprises that nurture sustainability.
The lecture ended with a lively interaction between the speaker and the audience.