The brief bio of Ashoke Sen at Allahabad based Harish-Chandra Research Institute’s website states:
My area of research is string theory, – a theory that tries to give a unified description of all matter and the forcesbetween them based on the postulate that the elementary constituents of matter are tiny one dimensional (string-like) objects instead of point particles. My specific research interests include S-duality, tachyon condensation and black hole entropy.
The description which is expected to sound Greek and Latin to most of us has earned never heard (we will be happy if the reader has heard of him before he got the prize) of Ashoke Sen a $ 3 million Prize from unheard of highest physics honour ‘Fundamental Physics Prize’ established by some Yuri Milner, who happens to be a Russian entrepreneur and venture capitalist. Theoretical physics (natural philosophy once) uses mathematical models for describing certain aspects of nature. Sir Isaac Newton is one of the most known and advertised to be the first theoretical physicist.
In India, we are proud of our veda’s and modern scientists like Dr APJ Abdul kalam, JC Bose, CV Raman etc, but can we as a common man name the top ten scientists of India? How many of us know what CV Raman or JC Bose are famous for? How many of us know that Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology is awarded annually by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)?
Putting money behind cricket does stimulate national health as common people get encouraged to take up sports. Why don’t we reward our scientific community, make them heroes and in turn stimulate science with youngsters, who tend to take up call center jobs after studies? We are not just lecturing. Any scientist can approach us and we will be happy to publish their bio and the area of research on this news portal.
Ashoke Sen, in an interview said that there are many good physics scientists in India. It is a shame that we don’t know that unless the recognition comes from outside India. Why can’t we pay at least a million dollar to our top ten scientists as a prize every year? If prize money adds to the recognition, an eminent panel also contributes to the credibility of the prize, else it will go the Padma Bhushan way.
Let Ashoke Sen’s recognition bring in a change in how we treat our scientists.