Science is a matter of curiosity and about discoveries and needs to have a real passion about science who is pursuing science as a career in any respect. Persuasion of scientific research comes through different routes: as a childhood ambition, influence of a person’s circle, advice by a senior towards career. Science, no doubt, has progressed due to some individual contribution of unique and great scientists but it is equally an overall contribution by each and every one with passion for science. These people were not only known for their breakthrough studies in science but also for their passion for science and the uncompromising standards in research that they have lived and applied to themselves and others.
At every departmental, institutional, conference, seminar etc. session, the speakers would be nervously waiting, with the audience, for insightful questions from these great personalities living for science. Not only that people in general and new researchers in particular during their presentations used to be very cautious about the presence of such renowned people with passion for science but also used to be eager to listen and learn from such great personalities in science. We need people having passion for science not only for themselves but also to motivate others to go for deep understanding of science.
Earlier, people of teaching fraternity were always eager to ask questions in seminars, conferences and presentation from the presenter about his research and its impact. There were dedicated and sincere people who always used to be torch bearers for science and be present in the front rows of seminars and conferences. Supervisors used to regular partners of research activities in the laboratories. At present, we always miss people who used to be at the front row of the conference hall, nodding in agreement or shaking their head in approval or disapproval of science being presented. Presently, such presentations have become just a route matter and none of concern to other faculty members. Online webinars, seminars, conferences, presentations have further declined the passion for science.
With time, the passion for science in teachers, scientists and students is deteriorating in all its forms like Ph.D., research publications, seminars/conferences, presentations etc. Earlier, teachers used to be very particular about the quality of Ph.D. work as well as research publications of their students. Students were put through a regress routine of regular presentations about their research work in research groups and were questioned by each and every one about the relevance and deep understanding of research concepts but at present such training is almost disappeared in most of the universities. In my short career of Ph.D. at IIT Delhi, I know a number of cases of Ph.D. students who could not complete their Ph.D.s as either they could not satisfy the research outcome expectations of their supervisors or could not overcome screening of the departmental research committee. Though such things are not wanted but regress training towards the deep understanding of the theoretical and experimental concepts of science as well as significant research outcome is always required from a researcher.
Fraudulent scientific research towards PhD. and research publications has become the hall mark of present day as the counter checking by expert people at every level is missing or has just turned to be a routine affair. Though, various parameters of scientific progress evaluation like: publications in high impact factor journals, citations, patents etc. have emerged with time but still the thorough questioning of the researcher by the people with passion for science in the respective research fields not only give an extra authentication to the research findings but also gives confidence to the researcher about his understanding of the scientific concepts as well as his presentation. Different organs like research progress committees, departmental research committees, central research committees to check the validity of a researcher’s hard work, dedication, sincerity and research progress from time to time have almost biased and unproductive in their roles. Teachers/researchers are either not interested to know about the research outcomes of a researcher or are influenced by the supervisors to ignore the facts. Sometimes, researchers are supported by the supervisors to the extreme limit and supervisors only try to answer all the questions asked by the experts. Such researchers after completing their Ph.D.s coming in the market are further proving a blot on the growth of science. At one hand if there is need to motivate and encourage young people to pursue science as a career on the other hand there is an equal need of people with passion for science to control, guide and pursue the research activities in order to maintain the standards of science in the country.