During the IYBSSD 24-hour online event, a team from European XFEL prepared a series of interview with early career scientists
Hello, everyone. I am Sharmistha Paul Dutta, a PhD student at European XFEL, Schenefeld, Germany. I am currently working with the FXE Instrument Group, and I’m investigating the metallophilic interactions in dimetal complexes, where I need to find out the origin of these metallophilic interactions and their electronic and structural changes in their higher excited states.
Why is basic science important to society?
Basic science is very important for our society for several reasons. Firstly, it drives the technological achievements and also the innovations in our society. For example, smartphones, internet, televisions and various medical instruments are really rooted in basic science. They are the results of innovations which involve the basic science. Secondly, it expands our understanding in the natural world, often leading to unexpected discoveries which have very important impact in our societies. Additionally, basic science is the base for various other applied sciences, and it shows us how we can make a very well-being societies and the path for innovations.
How can policymakers help to develop science and scientific research?
Policymakers play a vital role in advancing science and research. They can allocate various resources, establish research funding framework, and also create a fruitful environment for the researchers to show their research and to improve their innovations. And if we talk more about the funding, policymakers can make some security for this funding, for looking in-depth for other part. And also, that funding should be stable, predictable, and accessible to the researchers who actually need the funding, so that they can use them for their research purpose. Policy makers should also prioritize science, education, collaborations between the industry and academia, and also promote their researches to the whole world, so the researchers can be more motivated in their research.
How can we build a more diverse scientific research community?
To build a more diverse scientific research community, we must address the systematic barrier that hinder the equitable participation. Educational institutes and research organizations should actively work towards increasing the diversity and their recruitment process, and how they find out the new joinees in diverse situations. And also outreaching the efforts that should target diverse communities to inspire interest in science from a very early age is very important. We can involve science education, initiatives in schools, community engagement programs, and also some mentorship opportunities along with promoting equal access to education, science, innovations, and support the underrepresented groups around the world. Additionally addressing systemic biasness and stereotypes within the scientific community is very crucial. That also need to be removed from the society, to make a better happening in the world.
What scientific breakthroughs would you like to see happen in the sciences in the coming years?
Looking ahead to several scientific breakthroughs that would be a transformative impact on society, firstly, advancement in renewable energy and technologies and energy storage could be a very good transition stage for us in this world. It’s not only this energy storage, but the breakthroughs in solar power, wind energy, energy efficient materials and grid scale energy storage solutions. This could revolutionize our world. Secondly, the advancement in healthcare, such as the personalized medicine and gene editing technologies, which can be a huge breakthrough for the society. Most importantly, the breakthrough in artificial intelligence and machine learning could revolutionize various industries, including transportation, finance and healthcare, enabling more efficient and intelligent systems. All these scientific breakthroughs hold the potential to address global challenges and improve the quality of life of people all around the world.