A series of high-profile events in India will seek to celebrate and build on the country’s relationship with the University of Edinburgh.
The events, which will bring together researchers from Edinburgh with leading Indian academics, are expected to encourage new collaborations between the University and partners across India.
They include a Particle Physics Symposium in Delhi, at which Edinburgh academics will discuss the role played by the University, including the work of Professor Peter Higgs, in the discovery of the Higgs boson.
Other speakers at the symposium include Rolf Heuer, Director General of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), where scientists pinpointed the Higgs particle in July 2012.
The University will also run a Science Road show across India in February, in which leading academics from Edinburgh will work with faculty and students in Delhi, Chennai, Coimbatore and Pune on areas including robotics, marine energy and nuclear waste clean-up.
In addition, the University is launching the Edinburgh India Institute to promote the study of contemporary India in Scotland. The initiative, based in Edinburgh, will seek to encourage partnerships and links between the two countries.
Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, Principal of the University of Edinburgh, said: “These initiatives show that the University is committed to working with Indian partners and institutions. Our partnerships with India will help us not only to further education across the world, but also to jointly pursue solutions to questions that face us all.”
Areas of potential collaboration include particle physics. The search for the Higgs boson particle was sparked by a theory put forward by Professor Higgs, after whom it is named.
India also plays an important role in particle physics – the term boson is commemorative of the work of Indian physicist Satyendra Nath Bose. The Particle Physics Symposium will enable leading researchers from India and the UK to discuss recent discoveries and plan future collaborations.
Prof Peter Higgs, Emeritus Professor at the University of Edinburgh, said: “I am delighted that leading scientists are being brought together by this symposium. The term Higgs boson itself encompasses the contributions made in Edinburgh, Scotland and in India in the field of fundamental physics, and I am sure that this symposium will further encourage alliances in the future.”
Journalists are invited to attend the first day of the Symposium (Feb 15) at the India International Centre, when Rolf Heuer and other academics from CERN and the University of Edinburgh will be presenting. Please note that Professor Higgs will not be at the symposium nor available for interview.
The University has a long tradition of teaching and scholarship relating to India. Former Edinburgh figures include William Robertson, who wrote one of the earliest European texts on Indian commerce and culture, and John Brockington, who was Secretary-General of the International Association of Sanskrit Studies from 2010-2012.
The University is also home to the Centre for South Asian Studies, the principal academic unit in Scotland dedicated to the study of the Indian subcontinent. The Centre has links with the Scottish Parliament, non-governmental organizations and major educational and cultural groups in South Asia and Scotland. Professor Roger Jeffery, one of the founders of the Centre, is President of the European Association for South Asian Studies.
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