Webinar on Prospects for STEM Education, contribution of women scientists

Aligarh: Resource persons shed light on significant contributions of women scientists and how they discovered life-saving remedies, devised world-altering inventions, and produced far-reaching research in the two-day webinar on ‘Prospects for STEM Education in the 21st Century and contribution of women scientists in STEM’ held to mark the eventful centenary year of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). The programme was organised by the APJ Abdul Kalam STEM ER Centre, a joint Indo-US undertaking between AMU and the Ohio State University (OSU), USA.

Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar 2020 awardees, AMU alumna and IIT Kanpur faculty member, Dr Bushra Ateeq and Prof Jyotimayee Dash (IACS, Kolkata) stressed the need of addressing the enormous challenges of the 21st century for which it is imperative to rely on science and the mobilisation of all our resources including the potential, intelligence and creativity of women in the STEM field.

Dr Bushra delivered a thought provoking lecture on ‘Androgen Deprivation Therapy: The Double Edged Sword in Prostate Cancer Treatment’ and Prof Jyotimayee delineated ‘Chemistry in Biological Systems.’

Inaugurating the webinar, AMU Vice Chancellor, Prof Tariq Mansoor said that there is a need to not only honour and recognize women scientists’ contribution to the field of Science, but also inspire women and encourage greater participation of young girls in STEM.

He congratulated the panellists for their research contributions in cutting edge domains and encouraged students, particularly females to carry out innovative research in STEM.

The expert speakers, Prof Anil Pradhan and Prof Sultana Nahar from Ohio State University, USA; Prof Anuradha Godravarty from Florida International University, USA; Prof S Mazumdar, TIFR, Mumbai; Prof Qazi Mazhar Ali, Dean Faculty of Science, AMU and Prof Ekram Khan, Co-Director, APJAK STEM-ER Center discussed how women scientists are pushing the boundaries of scientific knowledge and seeking solutions to complex global challenges and how their work has changed the way we see our world.

Giving an overview of the webinar, Prof Farukh Arjmand Co-Director, APJAK STEM-ER Center and convener of the programme paid to tribute to Sir Syed Ahmad Khan.

She said that Sir Syed realised that modern education for girls was a pre-condition for the development of Muslim society as a whole and urged the student body of Aligarh University to recognise the necessity of educating girls “if you really seek to elevate the social position of the people.”

Prof Tauheed Ahmed, Director, APJAK STEM-ER Center, delivered the welcome address.

Dr Swaleha Naseem, Interdisciplinary Nanotechnology Centre, AMU extended the vote of thanks. She also moderated the webinar with Dr Asim Rizvi and Dr Sabiha Parveen.