Mr President, Ladies and Gentlemen, I have the easiest job this afternoon to read a message from Her Majesty The Queen. But just before I do that, I came out here via various other points of call but before I left I did have a conversation with Her Majesty in which we were discussing three things about the Commonwealth. One was inspiration, and how inspirational the Commonwealth can be to so many people in so many different areas, and Science is just one of them. Another one was about aspiration, about encouraging young people to aspire to be more than they could possibly imagine through the activities of the Commonwealth. Science is just one of those strands of activity where the young must aspire to have knowledge of Science, and in Science. And the other one was for the desire that future role models, that our young people follow, will be the sort of people who are part of what goes on here in Bangalore. They are the people who are inspiring new technologies, new Science, be it in the technical world or the biomedical world. So all these things lead to what is going on here.
So, Her Majesty’s message (read aloud):
“It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all here today to the first Commonwealth Science Conference since 1967.
Congratulations and sincere thanks to the Government of India, The Royal Society, the Commonwealth Secretariat and The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust for their efforts in bringing together more than 300 talented scientists and PhD students from more than 30 countries for this occasion.
The goals of this conference are worthy and inspiring – it is a celebration of excellence in Commonwealth Science, mathematics and engineering – and I am sure that your research and innovations will help to shape a brighter future for all nations.
Science is the key to unlocking potential, solving complex problems and creating life-enhancing opportunities for the next generation. I hope that this conference will provide you with a creative environment in which to exchange new ideas, develop partnerships and collaborate on important projects.
I send my warmest good wishes to you all for a successful and productive conference which I hope will continue for many years to come.