British Council Hosts ‘The Great Talk’ in New Delhi

HTCampus Expert updated on : 13 Jan 2016

Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Nobel Prize winner and President of the Royal Society enthralls the audience with his GREAT Talk - ‘On Nobody's Word: Evidence and Modern Science’

British Council

The British Council hosted The GREAT Talk in New Delhi with Nobel Prize winner and President of the Royal Society, Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, delivered a fascinating lecture titled, ‘On Nobody's Word: Evidence and Modern Science’.

Taking the audience on an enriching journey, Sir Ramakrishnan drew on his wealth of experience in varying fields such as Physics, Chemistry and Molecular Biology, to trace the history of science back to the time when humans started making observations and conjectures about the world they inhabited.  He elaborated on how the modern scientific method was born in the 16th and 17th century when evidence began to matter more than elegance or appeals to authority. This attitude to science was probably helped by the freedom of thought that accompanied the reformation in Europe, and resulted in an explosion of knowledge in the last three centuries with accompanying benefits as well as some hazards for humanity. Sir Ramakrishnan gave details on how science is also different from dogma because it is constantly changing as new facts are uncovered and theories overthrown, while accepting that scientists are humans and thus fallible, science itself is self-correcting. In this intriguing lecture, Sir Ramakrishnan presented examples of errors made by scientists and talked about how they were corrected by the scientific process. Additionally, he went on to show examples of irrational and unfounded beliefs that persist in contemporary society. 

Speaking at the event, Mr. Rob Lynes, Country Director, British Council India said,The UK has a global reputation for excellence in education and skills thanks to the academic and research institutions that are among the best in the world. These are engines of ideas, knowledge-creation and innovation that have a global impact. That's why Britain remains the second most popular destination for international higher education students, and why our alumni go on to succeed and inspire others in almost any field you can think of - whether they are world leaders, Nobel-Prize winners, top executives, Oscar-winning directors or Olympic gold-medalists. We hope Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan’s lecture today will instill a scientific curiosity in the young minds, and encourage them to choose UK as their preferred destination for their future studies.” 

Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Deputy Director of the Medical Research Council, Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB), Cambridge and President of the Royal Society said, “The GREAT Talk is a wonderful initiative by the British Council to engage and inspire young students. My talk today was aimed at tracing the history of science that has existed ever since humans started making observations. In this lecture, I highlighted the self-correcting nature of the scientific process and also talked about the unsubstantiated beliefs that persist in modern society. I believe it’s important to inculcate a logical and scientific way of thinking in the young minds, and UK education offers the same along with a plethora of career-enhancing opportunities.”

The GREAT Talk is a multi-city initiative aimed at motivating young Indian students to plan their careers effectively by interacting with eminent UK speakers. The platform offers students a once in a lifetime opportunity to expand their horizons, meet with prominent speakers and explore new career directions. It offers a compelling opportunity to Indian students to engage with distinguished UK personalities who bring insightful, real world experiences and outlook to their academic pursuits.

Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan is Deputy Director of the Medical Research Council, Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) in Cambridge and President of the Royal Society. He grew up in India where he received his bachelor’s degree in physics before moving to the USA in 1971. On obtaining his Ph.D. in physics in 1976, he switched to molecular biology and after a long career in the USA he moved to Cambridge in 1999. He is best known for his work on ribosomes, the large molecules in all cells that read genetic information to make proteins. Additionally, Sir Ramakrishnan is a Fellow of the Royal Society, a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Leopoldina (the German Academy of Sciences) and a Foreign Member of the Indian National Science Academy. He received the Louis-Jeantet Prize for medicine in 2007 and shared the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 2009.



The ‘GREAT Britain’ Campaign

The ‘GREAT Britain’ campaign (“GREAT”) is a strategic international marketing programme designed to promote the UK to business, tourism and student markets worldwide in order to enhance the country’s global reputation and deliver long-term economic benefits. GREAT was officially launched in February 2012.

  • For world class education and training, with more than 30 of the world’s top 200 universities, choose the UK
  • International graduates of British Universities significantly improve their career prospects and earning potential. Study in the UK and enjoy the rewards
  • For a world class teaching experience, with 92% of postgraduate students in the UK rating the quality of teaching positively, study in the UK
  • For the highest number of top MBA courses in Europe and one of the best places to study business, choose the UK

The British Council

The British Council is recognised across India for its network of 9 libraries and cultural centres. We offer a range of specialised projects in arts, education, exams, English language and society to audiences across India and more than 100,000 members. We also provide access to English language training and learning for both students and teachers, offer UK qualifications in India and enable opportunities to study in the UK.

We also manage prestigious scholarships and training awards, including the Jubilee scholarships, the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan and the Charles Wallace India Trust awards. Our English language centres in Chennai, Delhi and Kolkata provide a range of general and business English classes, specialised skills based programmes and young learner courses. We work with a wide range of Indian partners in cities all over India enabling British and Indian experts to meet and collaborate and to nurture mutually beneficial relationships.




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