India's science establishment needs to undertake more imaginative and investigative research if the challenge of climate change is to be met, writes Sunita Narain in the Business Standard.
The country's scientists hesitate to draw inferences when there is uncertainty, she says, instead preferring to play it safe and be cautious in their words and assessments.
Narain uses the example of India's glaciers. Scientists have established that they are receding, but they hesitate in interpreting this evidence any further and attributing melting glaciers to human-induced climate change.
Instead, they stick with 'safe' interpretations, saying the glaciers could be going through a period of natural recession or that melting may not lead to significant changes in hydrological systems.
The scientists must accept that there is a problem, writes Narain. They must embrace new approaches, question data and research, and actively engage with people and events.
Most importantly, she says, the establishment must take on more young and female scientists, whose "impatience and desperation" will strengthen India's — and the world's — climate science.