ISF president Kris Gopalakrishnan, said: “This year marks a landmark moment in ISF’s journey.Over the course of 15 years, the Infosys Prize has recognised mid-career researchers who have done impactful, groundbreaking work across disciplines. The prize has helped drive conversations around their work and on a larger scale created meaningful engagement around science and society.”
The winners were shortlisted from 224 nominations by an international panel of jurors comprising world-renowned scholars and experts. The awards will be presented on January 13, 2024.
ISF trustee and Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy, said, “Learnability, creativity and innovation are the ways to navigate our fast-changing world. We must be daringly inventive to tackle the daunting and persistent problems of today.”
Over the years, Infosys Prize winners have gone on to win many international accolades. “…These include the Nobel Prize (Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo), the Fields medal (Manjul Bhargava and Akshay Venkatesh), the Dan David Prize (Sanjay Subrahmanyam), the MacArthur ‘genius’ Grant (Sunil Amrith), and the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics (Ashoke Sen),” ISF said.
The 2023 Winners:
Sachchida Nand Tripathi | Engineering and Computer Science
Sachchida Nand Tripathi, professor, Sustainable Energy Engineering (SEE), IIT-Kanpur, won the prize for the deployment of large-scale sensor-based air quality network and mobile laboratory for hyper local measurements of pollution, data generation and analysis using artificial intelligence and machine learning for effective air quality management and citizens awareness. He has shown that the important differences between observations of winter haze formation in Delhi and those in other places like Beijing are that the nano-particle growth-rate in Delhi is much higher and happens at night without photochemistry. This finding holds the key to mitigating air pollution in India.
Jahnavi Phalkey | Humanities
Jahnavi Phalkey, the founding-director of Science Gallery Bengaluru, was recognised for her granular insights into the individual, institutional, and material histories of scientific research in modern India. Her book, The Atomic State, and many articles insightfully braid the global history of science, especially nuclear science, with the anthropology of the postcolonial state to illuminate rich and textured histories of the everyday lives of science in India. Phalkey’s work has emphasised the need to see the history of science as much as a history of scientific ideas, as one of power, practice, and the nation-state.
Arun Kumar Shukla | Life Sciences
The prize was given to Arun Kumar Shukla, professor, Biological Sciences and Bioengineering, IIT-Kanpur, for his outstanding and far-reaching contributions to the field of G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) biology. His research has established a new understanding of GPCRs, which are one of the most important classes of drug targets. His work has opened up previously uncharted avenues for designing novel and effective therapeutics.
Bhargav Bhatt | Mathematical Sciences
Bhargav Bhatt, Fernholz Joint Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study and Princeton University, was picked for his outstanding and fundamental contributions to arithmetic geometry and commutative algebra. Prof Bhatt’s joint work in prismatic cohomology with German mathematician Peter Scholze introduces new ideas and powerful methods in this area at the heart of pure mathematics.
Mukund Thattai | Physical Sciences
Mukund Thattai, professor, Biochemistry, Biophysics and Bioinformatics, National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) in Bengaluru won the prize in recognition of his groundbreaking contributions to evolutionary cell biology. Prof Thattai is a physicist who researches how complex cellular organisation emerged from microscopic disorder. Thattai’s work could have profound implications in one of biology’s central mysteries of how complex cells emerged from primordial ones. He is among the pioneers of the physics of life.
Karuna Mantena | Social Sciences
Karuna Mantena, professor, Political Science, Columbia University received the prize for her groundbreaking research on the theory of imperial rule, and the claim that this late imperial ideology became one of the important factors in the emergence of modern social theory. Her book Alibis of Empire and related papers are landmark publications in political theory with implications for all social sciences. Her impactful book helps us understand that the dramatic shift in imperial policy, following the 1857 rebellion in India was not a straightforward reaction to this traumatic event but legitimated by a new ideology of indirect imperial rule that was carefully crafted by the ingenious conceptual work of thinker-administrators such as Henry Maine.