Restoring Vision through “Project Prakash”: The Opportunities for Merging Science and Service
Author(s)Sinha, Pawan; Chatterjee, Garga; Gandhi, Tapan Kumar; Kalia, Amy Ashwin
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“So how does this help society?” is a question we are often asked as scientists. The lack of immediate and tangible results cannot be held against a scientific project but statements of future promise in broad and inchoate terms can sometimes pass the benefit-buck indefinitely. There is no incentive against over-stating the benefits, especially when they are hypothetical and lie in the distant future. Few scientists will say their science is not designed to serve society. Yet the proliferation of “potential benefits” in grant proposals and the Discussion sections of research papers, in the absence of tangible translations, can make the service element of science seem like a cliched ritual. Its repetition hollows out its meaning, breeding cynicism about the idea that basic science can be of service.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Public Library of Science
Sinha, Pawan, Garga Chatterjee, Tapan Gandhi, and Amy Kalia. “Restoring Vision through ‘Project Prakash’: The Opportunities for Merging Science and Service.” PLoS Biology 11, no. 12 (December 17, 2013): e1001741.
Final published version