In Memoriam: M. S. Swaminathan: His contributions to science and public policy

Rudy Rabbinge*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    The role of Swaminathan in science and public policy for more than 65 years is unapproachable. His contribution to strengthen agriculture and improve food security is tremendous and more than impressive. His incisive vision on the role of science to serve societal aims is widely accepted, and leading to evergreen revolutions in many continents and countries. In this article that role of Swaminathan will be described and it will be illustrated how three main guidelines were used in his thinking, approaches and interventions: (i) Promoting basic scientific insights and understanding where physical, (bio)chemical, physiological, ecological and genetical principles and knowledge are used and integrated; (ii) Stimulating and introducing inclusive approaches where various objectives such as environmental aims, sustainable development, gender, next to productivity increases are combined and used to strengthen harmonious developments; (iii) Activating and adapting institutions, national and international, and rules and regulations such that farmers are empowered and protected and that biodiversity is protected and where possible promoted and strengthened. All these policy issues were crucial for the functioning of Swaminathan and his impact on World Food Security, regional upgrading and local movements and sustainable development globally. The description and analysis in this article demonstrate his efforts and activities which have made the world a better place for all.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)439-446
    JournalCurrent Science
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • Climate smart agriculture
    • Inclusive thinking and inclusive approaches
    • Production ecological principles


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