Publish Date: 8th March 2021

Institute lecture on the occassion of International Women's Day by Prof. Rohini Godbole

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I would like to begin with a discussion of the importance of diversity in practice of science. I will thenfocus on the issue of gender equity in science, summarising the current status and argue that onerequires both: enabling policies as well changes at the societal level. I will then end by talking aboutthe roles that individuals like us who are involved in practice of science, the institutions and societyon the whole can play.


Prof. Rohini M. Godbole, currently Honorary Professor at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore,is a theoretical particle physicist. She retired from the Centre for High-Energy Physics of the IIScafter serving as Professor for over 25 years. She was earlier at the Mumbai University, the TataInstitute of Fundamental Research, and has also worked at a number of universities in India, Europeand the USA including at CERN, Geneva.

Her research over the past four decades, on exploring the Standard Model of particle physics andphysics beyond the standard model, has resulted in over 300 publications in refereed journals andpreprints as well as a graduate textbook. Her pioneering work on probing hadronic interactions ofphotons provided important insights for the design of electron-positron colliders, and her suggestionsto probe standard model (and beyond standard model) physics have been used in experiments atdifferent colliders.

A Fellow of The World Academy of Science (TWAS), she has been elected to the three scienceacademies of India, serving as Vice President of the Indian National Science Academy as well. She isand has been a member different national and international advisory bodies such as the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel of the USA, the International Detector Advisory Group for the InternationalLinear Collider etc. She has been the chief editor of Pramana, journal of Physics of the IndianAcademy of Sciences, a member of various editorial boards of national and international journals, and is serving on the Advisory Board of the Oxford Research Encyclopaedia for Physics.

Professor Godbole has been an avid supporter of the cause of women in science, working over thepast decades to facilitate more effective participation of women in the scientific workforce. Amongher lasting contributions is the (co-edited) book Lilavati!s Daughters: The women scientists of Indiacomprising of autobiographical sketches of Indian women scientists, as well as landmark surveys onthe status of women in science. She chaired the Committee on Equity and Inclusion for India!sScience, Technology and Innovation policy of 2020 (STIP 2020).

Rohini Godbole’s extensive contributions to science and society have been recognised by the Government of India through the conferment of the Padmashri in 2019, by the Karnataka Academy of Science through the Lifetime Achievement award, and by the French Government through thehonour, Ordre National du Mérite, both in 2021.