Memorial Lectures


Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment has instituted Memorial lectures to honour the S&T visionaries to cherish their contributions. Dr. P. K. Iyengar, P. T. Bhskara Panicker, Dr. P. K. Gopalakrishnan, Dr. P. R. Pisharoty, Dr. G. N. Ramachandran, Dr. E.K. Janakiyammal and Dr. Thanu Padmanabhan are the distinguished scientists of the past whose contributions will be honored reminiscently during the lectures, by the eminent speakers.

Dr.P.K. Iyengar

Dr. Padmanabha Krishnagopala Iyengar (29 June 1931 – 21 December 2011), former chairman STEC, was an eminent Indian nuclear physicist. He played a central role in India’s nuclear experiments. He was former head of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and former chairman of Atomic Energy Commission of India.

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Dr. G.N. Ramachandran

Dr. Gopalasamudram NarayanaIyer Ramachandran, (8 October 1922 – 7 April 2001) was an Indian physicist who was known for his work that led to his creation of the Ramachandran plot for understanding peptide structure. He was the first to propose a triple-helical model for the structure of collagen. He also made other major contributions in biology and physics.

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Dr. E.K. JanakiAmmal

Dr. Janaki Ammal Edavaleth Kakkat was an Indian botanist who conducted scientific research in cytogenetics and phytogeography. Her most notable work involves those on sugarcane and the eggplant. Her studies on ethnobotany particularly in use of plants by tribals in Kerala are of great value. In order to promote excellent work in taxonomy and encourage young students and scholars to work in this field, the E.K. Janaki Ammal Award was instituted in the year 1999. Two awards, for outstanding work in Botanical and Zoological Taxonomy including work done in Micro-organisms, are eligible for consideration under either of the two categories—E.K. Janaki Ammal National Award on Plant Taxonomy and E.K. Janaki Ammal National Award on Animal Taxonomy respectively.

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P. T. BhaskaraPanicker

Sri. P.T. Bhaskara Panicker (1922–1997) was a famous social activist and writer of Kerala, India. He was born on 15 October, 1922 in Adakkaputhur in Palakkad district to Sri. K.M.V.Namppoothiri and Smt. Kavukkuttyamma.  After passing BSc and BT, he worked as a school teacher for two years.  Panicker was one of the leaders of the science popularisation movement- the Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad- in the 1960s and 1970s.  He was the founder editor of journals such as Sasthra Keralam (Science Journal for Children), Primary Teacher (Journal for School Teachers), and Pusthaka Sameeksha, (പുസ്തക സമീക്ഷ) (Journal for Book Review).  He was also the editor of encyclopedias like Jeevacharithrakosam (ജീവചരിത്രകോശം) for children, Science Encyclopedia for children, Balavijnanakosam (ബാല വിജ്ഞാന കോശം), SasthraVijnanakosam (ശാസ്ത്ര വിജ്ഞാന കോശം), Dravida Vijnanakosam (ദ്രാവിഡ വിജ്ഞാന കോശം).  He published more than 100 books, mostly scientific and educational.  He died on 30 December, 1997.

Dr. P.K. Gopalakrishnan

Dr. P.K. Gopalakrishnan, an eminent sociologist and economist has played a crucial role in formulating the Science & Technology Policy of Kerala in 1972 and in establishing the R&D institutes under it. He took his Master’s Degree in Social Science from Institute of Social Sciences, The Hague. He completed his Ph.D. in Economic Sciences from Amsterdam University, The Netherlands under Prof. Tinbergen, a noble laureate. Dr. Gopalakrishnan affectionately called ‘PKG’ had occupied many important positions in Government of Kerala. He was associated in different capacities with Cardamom Wage Board, Taxation Enquiry Committee, Labour& Industrial Bureau and Backward Classes Reservation Commission. He was a Special Secretary to Planning & Economic Affairs Department during 1974-80.

Dr. P.R. Pisharoty

Dr. Pisharoth Rama Pisharoty (February 10, 1909 – September 24, 2002) was an Indian physicist and meteorologist, and is considered to be the father of remote sensing in India.He was the founder Director of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune in 1962. His pioneering experiment of detection of coconut wilt-root disease using Soviet aircraft and US equipment was considered to be the first success in remote sensing in India. Pisharoty served as the Director, Remote Sensing and Satellite Meteorology, at ISRO Space Applications Centre, Ahmedabad during 1972-75. He was a Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of World Meteorological Organization from 1963 to 1968 and later its Chairman. He worked at PRL until the early nineties when he retired for health reasons. The Indian Society of Remote Sensing renamed the Indian National Remote Sensing Award to ‘P. R. Pisharoty Memorial Award’ in his memory.

Dr. Thanu Padmanabhan


Dr. Thanu Padmanabhan (1957-2021) was a Distinguished Professor at the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) at Pune, India. A globally-renowned theoretical physicist, Dr. Padmanabhan completed his undergraduate and postgraduate at the University of Kerala. He joined the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in 1979 to pursue a doctoral degree and went to the Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, UK with a postdoctoral fellowship. Some of the positions he occupied were as Chairman of the Astrophysics Commission of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP), President of the Cosmology Commission of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), Sackler Distinguished Astronomer of the Institute of Astronomy,Cambridge. Dr. Padmanabhan was awarded the Padma Shri in 2007, the Infosys Prize for Physical Sciences in 2009 and Kerala Sasthra Puraskaram in 2021.


Monkombu Sambasivan Swaminathan, (1925-2023) was an Indian geneticist and international administrator, renowned for his leading role in India’s “Green Revolution,” a program under which high-yield varieties of wheat and rice seedlings were planted in the fields of poor farmers.
Swaminathan received his education in India and pursued his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge (1952), specializing in genetics. Over the subsequent two decades, he held various research and administrative roles, mostly in the Indian civil service. During his tenure in these positions, he played a pivotal role in introducing Mexican semi-dwarf wheat plants to Indian agricultural fields and played a significant part in fostering the adoption of modern farming techniques. Between 1972 and 1979, Swaminathan served as the Director-General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). Following this, he held the position of Principal Secretary in the Indian Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation from 1979 to 1980. His contributions extended internationally as well, with his appointment as Director-General of the International Rice Research Institute from 1982 to 1988 and as President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources from 1984 to 1990.