The University has a tradition of inviting distinguished academics and other personalities to come lecture to the University community on matters of interest, both scholarly and general. These lectures are intended to attract a wide audience, and are therefore somewhat more like colloquia. Two that we have this month are on the 19th and 20th of July.
Today’s speaker is the distinguished neuroscientist, V S Ramachandran, Professor of Psychology at the University of California, San Diego, where he is the Director of the Centre for Brain and Cognition. He will speak at 4:00 pm today in the DST auditorium on Neurology: From molecules to metaphor.
Ramachandran is internationally renowned. As Wikipedia says, his experiments in behavioral neurology which, despite their apparent simplicity, have generated many new ideas about the workings of the brain. In 1997 Newsweek magazine named him a member of “The Century Club”, one of the “hundred most prominent people to watch” in the 21st century and in 2011 Time listed him as one of “the most influential people in the world” on the “Time 100” list.
Our speaker tomorrow is the well known journalist P Sainath, Rural Affairs editor of The Hindu. Sainath was awarded the 2007 Ramon Magsaysay award for Journalism, Literature, and
Creative Communication Arts. Over decades of reporting, he has established himself as among the pre-eminent chroniclers of rural life in our times. Shri Sainath received the A H Boerma Award in 2001 for his contributions.
In July 2004, he was awarded the Prem Bhatia Award for excellence in political reporting and analysis in recognition of his “outstanding, indeed exceptional, work on the problems of the poorest of the poor, especially in Andhra Pradesh.” Dr. Amartya Sen has called him “one of the world’s great experts on famine and hunger”. Shri Sainath calls himself a ‘rural reporter’, or simply a ‘reporter’ – and photo journalist focusing on social problems, rural affairs, poverty and the aftermath of globalization in India.
P Sainath was born in Chennai and the grandson of the former President of India, Shri V. V. Giri. He was educated in Loyola College, Chennai. His preoccupation with social problems and commitment to a political perspective began when he was a student in college. He is a graduate of Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi where he was part of an activist student population. He is now an Executive Council member of the same university. After receiving a Master’s degree in history, he launched his career as a journalist at the United News of India in 1980 where he received the news agency’s highest individual award. He then worked for Blitz, then a major South Asian weekly in Mumbai, first as foreign affairs editor and then as Deputy Editor. For the last twenty-five years he has been visiting faculty at Sophia Polytechnic’s Social Communications Media course and also at the Asian College of Journalism in Chennai, inspiring a whole generation of young journalists.
His talk is at 4:00 pm on Wednesday the 20th July, also in the DST Auditorium. He will speak on The Media – Another Kind of Convergence.
Lecturers scheduled in the coming months include Girish Agarwal (Physics), Srikumar Bannerjee (Atomic Energy), Richard Zare (Chemistry) and Veena Das (Sociology). Watch this space.