GUWAHATI, Sept 3 - �Scientific truth is a verifiable truth. Questions raised by Newton or Einstein are still relevant. Questions continue over generations. Great scientists involve the �role of doubt� in arriving at truths,� said Prof Barindra Kumar Sharma, renowned physicist and retired Professor of the Gauhati University, while delivering the 19th Pandit Tirtha Nath Sarma Annual Memorial Lecture on �Science: Characters and Values� at the Pragjyotish College on September 1, said a press release today.
Prof Sharma further stated, �Formulation of the problem is vital in solving a scientific problem. So imagination is more important than mere knowledge. Science is anti-authoritarian and needs a conducive space for its spread. Tolerance to heterodox views is immensely important for a proper scientific perspective.�
Recalling the contributions of earlier scientists, he significantly remarked, �Path is made by walking, hence legacy of science is crucial. So, in crediting particular scientists with an invention or discovery one should highlight the contributions of the predecessors.� Technology is the end result of scientific investigations, he stressed.
The values of science are ingrained in its characteristics, he said. Quoting eminent theoretical physicist Richard Feynman, who said, �God has given every man a key to Heaven, but it can also open the gate to Hell,� � Prof Sharma concluded, with a note of caution.
�When science fails in providing the correct answer, it is society and ethics which must show the direction,� he said.
The lecture, which was highly applauded, was marked by a question-answer session.
The annual lecture, organised by the Pragjyotish College Teachers� Unit (PCTU) on the occasion of the college foundation day in the hallowed memory of the founder Principal Pandit TN Sarma, renowned litterateur and Sanskrit scholar of yesteryear, was attended by past and present teachers, guests, present faculty, non-teaching staff and students of the college, among others.
Prof Manisha Barua, daughter of Late TN Sarma, former Principal in-charge Jayashree Devi, senior teachers Dr Pranati Sharma Goswami and Dr Sonali Buragohain also addressed the gathering. Pallabi Sharma, Principal in-charge, delivered the welcome address.
Earlier, floral tributes were paid on the portrait of the founder Principal. The meeting was presided over by PCTU president Dr Jogesh Chandra Deka.