Australian science celebrates 75th anniversary of India’s independence

India became an independent nation 75 years ago today. In celebration of the [email protected] anniversary and the close bilateral relationship between Australia and India, the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has partnered with the Academy to share stories of the close scientific research relationship between the two nations.

The result is a series of six videos showcasing an inspiring cohort of Indian-Australian scientists and the varied and valuable research they are working on. The videos convey how these researchers value science and its importance to our future.

Academy Fellows Professor Mahananda Dasgupta (ANU), Dr Surinder Singh (CSIRO) and Professor Veena Sahajwalla (UNSW Sydney) are some of the Indian-Australian scientists at the forefront of groundbreaking research and feature in the video ‘The scientists creating a better future for Australia and India’.

From new technology that revolutionises cancer treatment to developing sustainable omega-3 oil and green steel, their work is changing the world.

For Professor Sahajwalla, her passion for recycling waste – which led to inventing sustainable materials – originated in her upbringing in Mumbai.

“It’s one of those things that once it’s in your DNA it never leaves you,” she says.

Similarly, Dr Singh was selected for India’s National Science Talent Program while at school, which harnessed his innate curiosity and guided him to a career path in science, in particular in plant molecular biology.

Nuclear physicist, Professor Dasgupta, also cannot separate her Indian past from her successes in Australia.

“I carry India with me at all times, because of the fundamental principles and the outlook that India instilled in me,” Professor Dasgupta says.

The other videos in the series detail collaborative research projects such as improving water quality, mapping bushfire prone areas and slowing the transmission of mosquito-borne disease. The benefits of this research are felt in Australia, India and across the globe.

Drought-proofing crops in Australia and India

Dr Gupta Vadakattu is a Senior Research Scientist at CSIRO Food and Agriculture who is looking into ways to improve crop health, and ultimately increase crop yield.

Australian science tackling water quality in the Ganges

Dr Anu Kumar is a Principal Research Scientist at CSIRO Land and Water. Her team is looking at the impacts that chemicals from sewage and industries have on our health and the environment. This research is an example of scientific collaboration between Australia and India that is helping to tackle global health and environmental challenges.

Better data to fight fires in Australia and India

Scientific collaboration between Australia and India is strengthening bushfire adaptation efforts in both countries. Dr Chandrama Sarker is a scientist on @CSIRO’s bushfire adaptation team. She is improving the way Australia maps bushfire-prone areas and understanding how we can lessen their impact.

The Australian technology slowing the spread of dengue fever

Dr Prasad Paradkar is a senior research scientist at CSIRO’s Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness. His team is working on research to genetically engineer mosquitoes, preventing them from transmitting diseases such as dengue or Zika.

The Indian-Australian scientist improving climate and air quality predictions

Dr Ashok Luhar works at @CSIRO’s Climate Science Centre and has been studying the impact of greenhouse gases and pollutants in our atmosphere for more than three decades. His pioneering work has helped improve climate models in Australia and around the world.

This series was funded by DFAT and produced by the Australian Academy of Science. We would like to acknowledge CSIRO for its participation in producing this suite of content.

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