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Kaushik Basu to head Infosys' science prize jury

Karnataka,Science/Tech, Tue, 10 Apr 2012 IANS

Bangalore, April 10 (IANS) Chief Economic Advisor Kaushik Basu will chair the jury for the social sciences prize of IT major Infosys' Science Foundation, replacing Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, who will head the new humanities prize category.


Cornell University economics and international studies professor C. Marks will also be on the jury for the Social Sciences Prize in place of Harvard University philosophy professor Thomas W. Lamont, the foundation said in a statement Tuesday.


"A Prize, once it gets a reputation for being awarded with a single-minded focus on excellence, is not just a tribute to past achievements but also a catalyst for future creativity and can play a transformative role in society," Basu said on his appointment.


Noting that the Infosys Prize had been able to drive attention to scientific research in the country, Basu said the role would give him an opportunity to assist the foundation and nurture new ideas and insights in social sciences.


Basu served earlier as a member of the jury panel for the social sciences prize in 2011.


The humanities category under Sen will cover philosophy, history, archaeology, legal studies, linguistics and literary studies.


The social sciences category will continue to cover subjects, including economics, political science, international relations, anthropology, sociology and psychology.


"The Foundation has been doing wonderful work in drawing attention to and encouraging research in various areas, including natural sciences, mathematics as well as social sciences," Sen noted.


The introduction of Humanities as a new category was announced at the Infosys Prize presentation ceremony in January to encourage research being undertaken in other fields, apart from physical, biological and social sciences.


"The Infosys Prize has come a long way since its inception in 2009 and has gained critical acclaim from various sections of society. The jury chairs selected for each category of the prize have achieved highest standards in their respective work areas," Infosys executive co-chairman S. Gopalakrishnan pointed out in the statement.


As a not-for-profit trust, the Foundation was set up in February 2009 by the global software major and some members of its board, including its co-founder and Professor Emeritus N.R. Narayana Murthy to honour outstanding achievements of researchers and scientists across five categories of scientific research, including Engineering and Computer Science, Life Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physical Sciences and Social Sciences.


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