The description of the working conditions and scientific atmosphere at the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), in your News report (Nature 408, 127; 2000) comes as a surprise to us. We represent 90% of the senior investigators working at the ICGEB, New Delhi, and we do not agree that there have been “deteriorating working conditions” at our centre. If Nature had solicited views from a wide range of scientists working at the ICGEB you would have got a completely different view of the working conditions and atmosphere here.
The healthy scientific atmosphere at the ICGEB, New Delhi, is reflected in the scientific output of the centre. In addition to a growing list of publications in international scientific journals, ICGEB investigators have been successful in attracting grant support from a wide range of international funding agencies including the Wellcome Trust, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the World Health Organization, the European Commission, the Rockefeller Foundation, the (US) National Institutes of Health and the Human Frontiers Science Program in recent years.
Moreover, the activities of the ICGEB are reviewed annually by an independent council of scientific advisers (CSA), which includes two Nobel laureates. The two CSA members quoted by your correspondent had only positive things to say about the scientific work of the ICGEB, New Delhi. We believe that the quality of our scientific research is a direct reflection of the healthy working atmosphere prevailing here.
Other signatories to this letter: V. Siva Reddy, Raj Bhatnagar, Sunil Kumar Mukherjee, Nirupama Bhatnagar, Kanury V. S. Rao, Suresh Nair, N. Tuteja, Neeti Sanan Mishra, Nirupam Roy Choudhury, M. K. Reddy, Raman Rajagopal, Krishnamurthy Natarajan, Suman Dhawan, Chetan Chitnis, Pawan Malhotra, Sadhu Leelaavathi, Ashima Kushwaha, Sunil K. Lal, Deepak Sehgal, S. Swaminathan, N. Khanna, Shahid Jameel, Anand Ranganathan