Prof. Rao, born on June 30 in 1934 to Hanumantha Nagesa Rao and Nagamma Nagesa Rao in Bangalore, could have settled for a cushy job armed with a BSc in 1951 but his unsatiable quest for learning took him to the path of unending scientific journey. He obtained his Ph.D. in 1958 from Purdue University and joined the faculty of Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, in 1963.
Prof. Rao is an Indian chemist who has worked mainly in solid-state and structural chemistry. He currently serves as the Head of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister of India. Rao has honorary doctorates from 60 universities from around the world. He has authored around 1,500 research papers and 45 scientific books. On November 2013, the Government of India announced his selection for Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award in India, making him the third scientist after C.V. Raman and A. P. J. Abdul Kalam to receive the award.
Johannes Georg Bednorz received his master's degree from the University of Münster in 1976 and his PhD from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH Zurich, in 1982. In January 1982 he joined the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory in Rüschlikon, Switzerland, as a Research Staff Member.
His research in the area of solid state physics was focused on the investigation of structural phase transitions and ferroelectric properties of perovskite-type oxides. From 1983 on, he concentrated on the investigation of metallic oxides with the goal to develop superconductors with high transition temperatures. In 1987, he and K. Alex Müller were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of high-Tc superconductivity in a new class of compounds.
Since then, his research activities as an IBM Fellow concentrate on the development of new complex oxide compounds and their specific modification for possible implementation in microelectronics. In this connection, his interest is focused on the behavior of thin epitaxial layers, in particular metal-insulator-metal heterostructures, in strong electric fields. This work led to the discovery of a charge driven insulator metal transition and resistive switching effects in perovskite oxides, which therefore can be added to the list of materials for possible memory applications.
In connection with the work which led to the Nobel Prize he received, together with K. A. Müller, the Thirteenth Fritz London Memorial Award 1987 (University of California), the Marcel-Benoist Prize 1986 (Marcel-Benoist Foundation, Switzerland), the Dannie Heineman Prize 1987 (Academy of Sciences Göttingen) the Robert Wichard Pohl Prize 1987 (German Physical Society), the Hewlett-Packard Europhysics Prize 1988 (European Physical Society). In March 1988 he was awarded, together with Müller, the International Prize for New Materials Research of the American Physical Society. He is also recipient of the Viktor Moritz Goldschmidt Prize 1987 (German Mineralogical Society), the Otto-Klung Prize 1987 (Free University of Berlin) and together with Müller of the Aldo-Villa Prize 1991 (Italian Ceramic Society).
Raghavendra Gadagkar obtained B.Sc (Hons) and M.Sc. in Zoology from Bangalore University and Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India. During the past 35 years he has established an active school of research in the area of Animal Behaviour, Ecology and Evolution. The origin and evolution of cooperation in animals, especially in social insects, such as ants, bees and wasps, is a major goal of his research. By identifying and utilizing crucial elements in India's biodiversity, he has added a special Indian flavour to his research.
Gadagkar is now President, Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi, and JC Bose National Fellow at the Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Chairman, Centre for Contemporary Studies, IISc, Honorary Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali and Non-Resident Permanent Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg (Institute for Advanced Study) in Berlin. He has published over 250 research papers and articles and two books. His book entitled Survival Strategies (Harvard University Press, USA, 1997 and Universities Press, Hyderabad, 1998, since translated into Chinese and Korean), explains recent advances in behavioural ecology and sociobiology to a general audience. His more technical book entitled The Social Biology of Ropalidia (Harvard University Press, USA, 2001) summarizes over twenty years of his research aimed at understanding the evolution of eusociality. His research work has been recognized by a number of awards including the Shanthi Swarup Bhatnagar Prize, B.M.Birla Science Prize, Homi Bhabha Fellowship, B.P. Pal National Environment Fellowship on Biodiversity, the Third World Academy of Sciences award in Biology and H.K.Firodia award, DSc (hc) of the University of Burdwan, West Bengal and Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. He is an elected fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, the Indian National Science Academy, the National Academy of Sciences, India, the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences, USA and, the German National Science Academy Leopoldina.
He is or has been on the editorial boards of several national and international scientific journals, including the board of reviewing editors of Science. He has delivered over 500 invited lectures in universities, institutes, schools and colleges in India and abroad. He was invited to USA as the Michener Lecturer and by the Royal Society to deliver a public lecture in London, on the occasion of India day and has delivered plenary lectures at a number of national and international conferences. He is, or has been, a member of a number of national and international professional scientific bodies and government and non government advisory committees including the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Cabinet, Government of India.
As the founder chair of the Centre for Contemporary Studies, Gadagkar has initiated a new experiment that endeavours to engage some of the best practitioners of different disciplines in the human sciences, such as philosophy, sociology, economics, law, literature, poetry, art, music, cinema etc. and aims to forge meaningful interaction between the natural and human sciences with special focus on understanding the diverse research methodologies of different disciplines and create opportunities to rethink the foundations of our own disciplines. (Last modified in December 2015).
Prof. Villani was born in 1973 in France. He studied mathematics in École Normale Supérieure in Paris, from 1992 to 1996, and spent four more years as assistant professor there. In 1998 Prof. Viallani defended PhD on the mathematical theory of the Boltzmann equation. Besides his advisor Pierre-Louis Lions (Paris, France), he was much influenced by Yann Brenier (Nice, France), Eric Carlen (Rutgers, USA) and Michel Ledoux (Toulouse, France).
From 2000 to 2010 Prof. Villani was professor at École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, and now at the Université de Lyon. He occupied visiting professor positions in Atlanta, Berkeley and Princeton.
Since 2009 he is director of the Institut Henri Poincaré in Paris; this 80-year old national institute, dedicated to welcoming visiting researchers, is at the heart of french mathematics.
Prof. Villani received several national and international prizes for his research, in particular the Fields Medal, awarded at the 2010 International Congress of Mathematicians in Hyderabad (India), by the President of India. Since then he has served as a spokesperson for the french mathematical community in media and political circles.
Takaaki Kajita is a Japanese physicist, known for neutrino experiments at the Kamiokande and its successor, Super-Kamiokande.
Kajita studied at the Saitama University and graduated in 1981. He received his doctorate in 1986 at the University of Tokyo. Since 1988 he has been at the Institute for Cosmic Radiation Research, University of Tokyo, where he became an assistant professor in 1992 and professor in 1999.
He became director of the Center for Cosmic Neutrinos at the Institute for Cosmic Ray Research (ICRR) in 1999. As of 2015, he is at the Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe in Tokyo and Director of ICRR.
In 2015, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics jointly with Canadian physicist Arthur B. McDonald.
Ajay Kumar Sood (born 1951) FRS is an Indian physicist who was honoured by the Government of India, in 2013, by bestowing on him the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, for his contributions to the fields of science and technology. Sood was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2015. Dr. Sood, through his experiments in 2003, generated electrical signals by passing liquids over solids or through nanotubes and this phenomenon has now been termed by the scientific world as Sood Effect. Dr. Sood, along with his team of scientists at the Indian Institute of Science, has done experiments on semiconductor super lattices, fullerenes, solid C60, C70 and single walled carbon nanotubes and reported to have unearthed new concepts on optical phonons.
He was successful in exciting squeezed phonon states in KTa03 crystals, reported to be for the first time, by using femtosecond laser pulses and employing impulsive simulated Raman scattering. He has also discovered that liquid flow in a singled walled carbon nanotube induces the voltage and current to flow along the floor direction of the tube. Sood has also experimented with soft condensed matter like micelle composed viscoelastic gels which establish a deterministic spatiotemporal chaotic dynamics in the nonlinear flow regime.
He has also invented an ultrasensitive immunoassay by subjecting colloids to an electrical field, thus generating nonequilibrium phenomena, an invention that has relevance to the medical field. He has developed a medical diagnostic kit, too, which is said to be useful for the diagnosis of diseases across the spectrum. Sood is now working on the modalities of enhancing the viscosity of a material by adding nanotubes without increasing its weight. This will, for example, enable us to make lighter weight bullet proof vests with increased efficiency.