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Physicist Sriram Ramaswamy, Director of TIFR Centre for Interdisciplinary Sciences, Hyderabad; biochemist Ramanujan Hegde, MRC Laboratory of Microbiology, U.K. and applied mathematician Lakshminarayanan Mahadevan, Harvard University are on the list of fifty scientists elected as Fellows of The Royal Society, a premier scientific academy of the U.K. and the Commonwealth.
Prof. Ramaswamy said, “I’m delighted at this recognition of the value of the research that my co-workers and I have been doing. And I’m proud that Indian groups have been leaders in this area from its inception. I am optimistic that this Fellowship will give greater visibility to fundamental science in India.”
Describing his work on active matter in fluids, Prof. Ramaswamy said, “Using only general physical principles, we build equations that predict the nature of flows and fluctuations in active-particle systems on a wide range of scales — within a living cell, in collections of swimming microorganisms and, in principle, in fish schools.”
Sriram Ramaswamy, who is on leave from the Indian Institute of Science, works on two broad areas: Collective movement of self-propelled (“active”) matter through fluids and non-living imitations of self-propulsion.
While IIT-Madras alumnus L. Mahadevan’s work attempts to understand the geometrical and dynamic patterns of shape and flow in physical and biological systems, Ramanujan “Manu” Hegde’s work shows that even modest failures of proteins to reach their correct cellular destination could lead to neurodegeneration, which cells avoid by targeting the proteins.
- So far 8,000 Fellows have been elected ever since the Royal Society’s foundation in 1660. 60 persons of Indian origin numbering have been selected so far.
- Srinivasa Ramanujan was the second Indian to be inducted, in 1918, the first being Ardaseer Cursetjee, an engineer.
- The Royal Society elects new Fellows and Foreign Members every year. Candidates must have made “a substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science and medical science”.
- The Society is the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence, and its mission is to recognise, promote, and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity.