My area of research is called crystal engineering
and it deals with the design of organic molecular cyrstals, for specific properties
which maybe chemical, physical and so on. And the challenge in crystal engineering is
that people didn’t think that you could pre-design crystals, make crystals to ordering in factors. But now over the methodology that has been
developed over the last 20-30-40 years, we have much more
confidence in being able to build up a crystal from scratch. And today I may say that maybe to 200-300 independent
research groups all over the world, the University of Bologna being an important
one, here with professor Braga, who have specialised in the subject of crystal engineering. So it is
really a very very wide discipline today. See, the 17 Goals are extremely overreaching,
they are wide, they cover all of humanity. I think just practically every field of human
and ever has to come into the picture in order to realize
these Goals. And, among this of course science is
very important. If you look at those 17 Goals, I would say
in practically all of the 17 some kind of scientific and ever activity is required. I mean, in my part of the world, India, China
and so on, with the rapid industrialization and growth, we are countries who have had
relatively nothing and now trying to grow very quickly: pollution and other things,
climate control, this become extremely essential. I mean, the name chemistry itself is associated
with the pollution and I think chemistry departments chemical research, my own subject of crystal engineering we are really interested, for example there
is a whole brunch of crystal engineering, that is concern with the absorption of gases. So you have polluting gases,
like oxide of sulphur, oxide of nitrogen, phosphorus and so on, which can be absorbed by these porus
materials and so there is actually quite a bit of well going on in chemistry which has
to do induction of pollution today. Something is already happening. I think if you take a gender equality, I think
many universities in the world over are taking care to see that there is a much
better representation for women in scientific activties and managerial positions, in positions
of authority. and the other thing is about industry. The fact that
univeristies and industries have to work much much closer. I mean, this is being going on, I know, but
I think it can be much closer and now to the point where
universities and industry actually have to work together in fact. One of the things that is being mentioned
about education system is that we are not training students
with adequate skill sets that are required for the important tasks of 2025, 2030 and
so on. And the whole business of turning out our
curricula have to change. We are turning out one dimensional students
today, who know great deal of their small area of work but they don’t know much outside. So we need to teach students
differently, which means that teachers also have to think differently. So, I would say that we are on the cusp of a revolution, even with regards to education. Scientists too are aware of their social commitment
and social responsabilites. You see, the scientists should not be confused
with people in Ivory towers and simply doing their own thing without care, without
any emotion, without any cognizance of what going to happen to their results in society
in general. So, I feel this
is the all business to bringing scientists, social scientists, economists, planners, politicians,
these kinds of people together. And I think that is why this is a very good
time to do these things. To put all together I think the role of universities
is extremely, extremeley important in realizing the 17 Goals of the UN.