M. S. Swaminathan

Chair, M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, India
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Professor M. S. Swaminathan has been acclaimed by TIME magazine as one of the twenty most influential Asians of the 20th century and one of the only three from India, the other two being Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore. He has been described by the United Nations Environment Programme as "the Father of Economic Ecology" and by Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, as "a living legend who will go into the annals of history as a world scientist of rare distinction." He was Chairman of the UN Science Advisory Committee set up in 1980 to take follow-up action on the Vienna Plan of Action. He has also served as Independent Chairman of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Council and President of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.

A plant geneticist by training, Professor Swaminathan's contributions to the agricultural renaissance of India have led to his being widely referred to as the scientific leader of the green revolution movement. His advocacy of sustainable agriculture leading to an ever-green revolution makes him an acknowledged world leader in the field of sustainable food security. The International Association of Women and Development conferred on him the first international award for significant contributions to promoting the knowledge, skill and technological empowerment of women in agriculture and for his pioneering role in mainstreaming gender considerations in agriculture and rural development.

Professor Swaminathan was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in 1971, the Albert Einstein World Science Award in 1986 and the first World Food Prize in 1987.

Professor Swaminathan is a Fellow of many of the leading scientific academies of India and the world, including the Royal Society of London and the US National Academy of Sciences. He has received 58 honorary doctorate degrees from universities around the world. He currently holds the UNESCO Chair in Ecotechnology at the M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation in Chennai (Madras), India.