Dr. Narottam Sahoo is a scientist by profession and science educator by training who has taken science to the common people. He has been recognized for his commitment to public engagement and for igniting a sense of wonder among people about the world by unveiling the interplay between science, engineering and society.
Dr. Sahoo is at present serving as the adviser and member-secretary of the Gujarat Council on Science & Technology (GUJCOST), Government of Gujarat. He was also the Senior Scientist at Gujarat Science City, Ahmedabad, with which he has been associated since 2001. At GUJCOST, he is mandated with giving a new dimension to the promotion and popularization of science and technology in Gujarat.
Before working in Gujarat, he was a postdoc fellow at Homi Bhabha Centre for Science
Education of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, for two years. During this period, he devised some interesting science education and communication modules for dissemination of science and technology among children and the general public.
Dr. Sahoo completed his doctoral work in chemical sciences at the Regional Research Laboratory under CSIR in Bhubaneswar and was conferred with PhD degree by Utkal University in 1999. For his pioneering research work in lignin chemistry, Dr. Sahoo was bestowed with the Institutional Prize (Gold Medal) of the Institution of Engineers (India) in 1998. His contribution to the field of natural sciences brought him the Young Scientist’s Award given by Department of Science & Technology, Government of Odisha, in 2000.
He was conferred with Dr. B. C. Dev Award for Science Popularization in 2014 by the Indian Science Congress Association. He got the recognition of the ‘Best Personality in Science & Technology’ for 2015 from the Computer Society of India in association with Institution of Engineers (India). The Indian National Science Academy (INSA) conferred its prestigious Indira Gandhi Prize for Science Popularisation for 2017 on Dr Sahoo.
Dr. Sahoo has been interested in research and innovation and has 45 research publications to his credit besides developing several gadgets, prototypes and science galleries. He has conceptualized and undertaken a number of research and development projects in collaboration with R&D institutions, universities and other government, non-government and international institutions. He has conducted training programmes, created academic courses, established a network of 30 Community Science Centres and School Science Clubs, organized a series of training workshops, seminars, conferences on the cutting-edge of S&T, and started special programmes on Spirit of Innovation, Design Lab, Tinkering Lab and so on.
He has been a Fellow of Sustainability in Science Museums, Arizona State University, USA, and has participated in the programmes of the International Urban Corporation (IUC), European Union, on climate change and sustainable urban development at Brussels, Belgium.
Dr. Sahoo’s innovative efforts towards science communication, motivational research, innovation, management, governance, and policy development have made significant impact leading to growth and development of the science and technology ecosystem. He is pursuing a vision of cross disciplinary communication among scientific research, education and communication, governance and publics for scientific advancement and socio-cultural excellence. He believes in the practice of constant learning and applying new ideas and technology with an aim to achieve new standards of excellence.