BENGALURU: The constructive role of friendship applies not only across national borders, but also within. Divisions between groups and sects not only damage our social lives, but can also work as barriers to intellectual progress within and across nations. Friendship is, in fact, central to the development of knowledge,” said Prof Amartya Sen, Nobel laureate, Professor of Economics and Philosophy, Harvard University, USA.
He was speaking at the Infosys Prize 2019, held at the Taj West End on Tuesday. Six winners across fields, including engineering and computer science, humanities, life sciences, mathematical sciences, physical sciences and social sciences, were felicitated by Sen and given a gold medal, a citation and a cash prize of USD 100, 000.
Prominent Bengalureans across fields – Bicon CMD Kiran Mazumder-Shaw, her husband John Shaw; cricketer Anil Kumble, British Deputy High Commissioner Jeremy Pilmore-Bedford – marked their presence. This, in addition to those who have been associated with Infosys, NR Narayana Murthy, Sudha Murty, Nandan Nilekani, Mohandas Pai and SD Shibulal.
Post the award ceremony, Sen talked about the changing role of science from his personal experience. “I was diagnosed with cancer in 1952, and was given five years. I’ve completed 67 years since and now dealing with another bout of cancer, which is completely different from the first. I’m hoping to win this one too,” he said, pointing out the difference in radiology forms between his first treatment and the current one.The winners were chosen from close to 200 nominations, the jury of which was headed by academicians.
Meet the winners
Engineering and Computer science: Prof Sunita Sarawagi, Institute Chair Professor, CS and engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.
Humanities: Dr Manu V Devadevan, assistant professor, School of Humanities and Social sciences Indian Institute of Technology, Mandi
Life Sciences: Dr Manjula Reddy, chief scientist, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad.
Mathematical Sciences: Prof Siddhartha Mishra, professor, Department of Mathematics, ETH Zurich.
Physical sciences: Prof G Mugesh, Department of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru.
Social Sciences: Prof Anand Pandian, Department of Anthropology, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Johns Hopkins University.