By Promote Science - December 25, 2016

Recollections of interactions with 
Prof. Sir Michael Victor Berry
 
Promote Science talks with Prof. Sir Michael V. Berry
Prof. Sir Michael Victor Berry (https://michaelberryphysics.wordpress.com/) visited IISER, Kolkata to deliver a week long lecture series during the GIAN (Global Initiative for Academic Networks) programme around first week of December, 2016. We were indeed very lucky to have a brief conversation with him regarding science outreach and his personal views regarding scientific research. Initially, we were a bit nervous as well as excited to interview this great scientist who has made numerous fundamental contributions in the field of mathematical physics, optics and helped us to appreciate how Nature works.
 
We told Prof. Berry what Promote Science is all about and how we intend to make a difference in our society pertaining to scientific awareness and opportunities to do research among the common people especially school going children from rural/urban India. We have to admit it was a great learning and inspiring experience for us. You can watch this amazing conversation here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEh8t92qfMc
Prof. Berry narrated his brief story how his interest was kindled in science, his recollections about the discovery of the Panchratnam-Berry phase, his personal views about some great Indian scientists such as Panchratnam (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S._Pancharatnam), C.V. Raman and others.
 
After the recording session, we had a brief informal chat with him. He felt very happy about our initiative and encouraged us to expand our outreach programme to villages and less priviledged areas. We discussed with him about our plans to do science outreach in villages and schools. We also told him about another wonderful youth driven initiative called Ek Pehal (http://www.1pehal.in/) run by students of IISER, Kolkata.

Prof. Berry bid adieu with a brief inspiring short story about one of his retired colleagues in Brazil. She is a physicist and goes to far flung areas in Brazil in her car and carries her laptop and projector along. She visits all schools and asks the principal that she wants to show some demonstrations. Some people agree and then she excites and inspires the school kids with the joy of doing science using her demonstrations. We hope to reach somewhere closer like her great initiative.


Our science outreach programme kicks in a few weeks from now. If you want to donate old books/copies/stationery items for distribution in far flung areas, feel free to message us or write to us at promotescience2020@gmail.com

We are going to start a monthly newsletter soon, where we discuss major happenings in Science and opportunities for school children to pursue scientific research. We hope to reach far flung areas where internet might not be accessible via postal newsletters (initially on a trial basis). Please subscribe to the monthly newsletter or forward to any school going child/teacher/parent who may find it interesting and useful.

Thanks for your love and support.

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"There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it."
--Edith Wharton

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