In this interview on the occasion of the opening ceremony of IYBSSD, LS Shashidara, President, International Union of Biological Sciences, stressed the need for people to use basic sciences to solve world’s problems.
Do basic sciences have any benefit?
People work and use the basic science to find solutions to the problems of the world so that we can actually move towards sustainability.
My field of research is biology, particularly the area of molecular biology and evolution. And IUBS itself focuses in the foundations of biology, genetics, evolution and ecology.
What links can you make between research and sustainable development?
One of the areas I work on, is the evolution of insects. Right. And they are basically very different body part patterns. Now I by understanding this, but in the context of the climate change again, there is huge loss of biodiversity and, and genetic diversity in the insect groups. So by looking at how the evolution has sustained over a long time, very different insect groups, particularly many of them, are beneficial like pollinators, some of those are not so beneficial, like mosquitoes, which carrying the diseases. So what I can do is, use my knowledge to understand how in future the population dynamics of these insects will change because of, let’s say, climate change or because of habitat degradation. And that’s I can link to loss of pollinators for agriculture purposes or sudden spurt of diseases carried by insects.
What is your dearest wish for this coming year?
More and more people to come together and have a policy recommendations and very clear action plan which are practical, implementable across the world, whether it is in developed country or developing country or underdeveloped countries and across all the entire globe. And also work together, more international collaborations, right. And at the same time, we also want to have, recommendations that like policy recommendations and action plan. The subsequent years should lead to more action. Right. And where people work and use the basic science to find solutions to the problems of the world so that we can actually move towards sustainability.
Interview by Laurent Orluc