It was a historic moment when Nobel Laureate Sir Richard John Roberts- world renowned Biochemist and Molecular Biologist visited Amity University and delivered an interesting and engrossing lecture on “The Path to the Nobel Prize” at University Campus, Sector-125, Noida.
Sir Richard John Roberts is an English Biochemist and Molecular Biologist who was awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Phillip Allen Sharp for the discovery of introns ineukaryotic DNA and the mechanism of gene-splicing. He currently works at New England Biolabs. Sir Roberts has been a supporter of GMO technology across the world, citing it as absolutely “safe” and having the potential to save lives in developing countries.
Welcoming the luminary, Dr. Ashok K Chauhan-Founder President, Amity Group stated that Amitians have tremendous talent and every individual in Amity is filled with brilliance. He pledged on behalf of all Amitians to herald “GMO India” and transform the country through GMOs. Dr. Chauhan announced the launch of “Sir Richard John Roberts Centre for Genetically Modified Organism (GMO)” at Amity University which will undertake research related to GMOs and promote their benefits .
Delivering the lecture, Nobel Laureate Sir Richard John Roberts outlined how he was encouraged by his father right from early age to pursue Mathematics and Chemistry, which eventually made him fascinated enough to pursue a career in Chemistry. Taking about his research work on GMO, he shared that as part of the GMO Campaign , he promoted GMO technology as safe and advocated its use extensively in developing countries which need better yielding crops with nutritional value. He remarked that in GMOs, genes are carefully crossed which is a safe method as the genes could be monitored easily.
He shared that scientific community across the world has reached consensus that GMO is safe and factual but once people are scared of using it, it becomes difficult to assure them otherwise. He opined that the Green Parties, which initially threatened the people about the adverse effects of GMO, have to take up the cause of GMOs for ensuring its acceptance by the people.
He remarked that Bt Cotton is perfect for India since as compared to traditional cotton, it has more output, requires less land and is more profitable for the farmers as well. He stated that weather conditions are changing across the globe; the rainfall is much scanty therefore, traditional methods of agriculture have to be changed with GMOs.