Prof BJ Rao delivered the inaugural address for the School of Social Sciences Golden Jubilee Tea Time Short Talk Series at the New Seminar Hall, School of Social Sciences. He spoke on the topic “Biology is Fuzzy, but Fascinating!”.

He started his talk by talking about the infinitesimally small place humanity holds in the wide canvas of the universe. He then spoke about the extraordinary similarities and differences found within the human species. The human species is 99.9% similar genotypically, yet the phenotypic variations lead to enormous variations and diversity. He spoke about how biology allows for this diversity within very similar physical and chemical compositions. He spoke about how natural selection chooses genetic variations and how genes adapt to survive. Yet, with all its dynamism, the mutations and changes seldom lead to out-of-species changes. This, he concluded, makes biology fuzzy yet robust.

The question-answer sessions invited many questions from students and faculty of various disciplines. From questions about the desirability, scope and ethicality of genetic modification to the prevalence of superstitions among the Indian scientific community, Mr Rao responded to all the questions in a crisp and direct manner. He commended the School of Social Sciences for initiating a conversation between different disciplines to discuss and debate ideas. Prof Jyotirmaya Sharma, the Dean of the School of Sciences, thanked the Vice Chancellor for accepting the invitation, delivering a fascinating talk and answering all the questions patiently.