Interview | Sethuraman Panchanathan

Interview with the 15th Director of the National Science Foundation, Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan

NSF recently appointed Mr. Panchanathan, the first Indian-American, to lead the science foundation. He speaks on his work at NSF, fighting fake news and the role of scientists during this pandemic

The Opinioc Team
Opinioc
Published in
8 min readJul 28, 2020

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By Mohammed Rayaan

The National Science Foundation is one of the foremost independent federal agencies of the United States working towards scie
Photo Credit: Arizona State University

The National Science Foundation is one of the foremost independent federal agencies of the United States working towards scientific advancements. Created in 1950 by Congress, the NSF eyes “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…”, and it has an annual budget of over $8 billion.

In June, the NSF appointed Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan as its 15th Director. The NSF website describes him as a “leader of AI breakthroughs, champion of innovation and inclusivity”. He “holds four patents, has published more than 485 papers in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings and has mentored graduate students, post-docs, research engineers and research scientists — more than 150”, according to NSF.

In an email interview, Mr. Panchanathan enunciates about his vision for NSF, their work during the pandemic, fighting fake news, and the role of scientists during this crisis.

Excerpts From The Interview

Q) Would you like to deliberate about your role as the Director of the National Science Foundation? What do you aspire to accomplish as the head of NSF?

The National Science Foundation plays a critical role in U.S. science and engineering because it supports basic research in all these fields. That means NSF enables researchers to explore fundamental scientific questions about everything from the forces that govern the universe around us to the biological, chemical, and social systems that make us who we are.

When NSF supports research, we’re…

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The Opinioc Team
Opinioc

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