The international release function of the book, Decoding the Pandemic, authored by Professor Arun Tiwari and Professor Dr. Seyed E. Hasnain and published by Sakal Media Pvt. Ltd., Pune, India, was held at Cambridge University, UK, in an online event on Tuesday, December 21, 2021. The book had generated a lot of interest before it was published and the online launch was well-attended by renowned scholars from across the world. Among those who graced the occasion were Sir Tom Blundell, FRS, University of Cambridge, UK, and Michel Tibayrenc, MD, Ph.D., Director of Research Emeritus, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), France.
India and the world are still reeling from the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which does not discriminate between humans and has no respect for borders. Hardly had the first wave subsided, when the virus came back in full force, this time as the deadlier Delta variant. Mutations of the virus keep appearing, the latest being Omicron and IHU. It seems that there is no end to the pandemic. In such a situation, rather than run away in fear, it is better to arm ourselves with more information about our enemy, to be able to tackle it better.
“This was the precise thought that led us to come up with the book, Decoding the Pandemic,” said Prof. Arun Tiwari. He went on to quote Marie Curie who famously said, “There is nothing to be feared; it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” COVID 19 has made mankind change its perception from that of fear to one of understanding and gaining confidence to tackle the enemy. It has changed the way the world looks at existence. “It is this spirit of confidence that this book celebrates,” Prof. Tiwari elaborated.
Prof. Dr. Seyed Hasnain said that COVID-19 had proven that the world is indeed a family. No matter who one was or which part of the world one belonged to, the virus would infect everybody, discriminating against none. “The book is trying to see where the world is heading,” he said.
The book comes at the right time, in the sense that it captures the spirit of the ongoing worldwide pandemic. It delves into the history of previous pandemics and the lessons to be learnt from them. It brilliantly captures the pandemic and its consequences from various angles – biological, scientific, technological, social, geographical, political and financial. The book expertly explains how modern science has successfully captured the horoscope of the virus – from its genetic composition; its transmission routes; classification of viruses; to the methodology by which drugs work on restricting the virus – and has responded with remarkable speed in introducing vaccines to alleviate the suffering caused. The book does not merely focus on the devastation caused by the virus; it also pays a tribute to science and celebrates the triumph of life over death. Interspersed with pearls of wisdom in the form of fitting quotes at the beginning of each chapter, the book engages the readers with its in-depth knowledge about the science behind the virus. Discussing sensitive topics such as conspiracy theories, the book chronicles the fact that the marginalized in society are the ones who faced the maximum brunt of COVID-19. The authors not only skillfully probe into the pandemic and its effects on the world; they also provide insights and possible solutions that would help deal with the future pandemics, at the same time warning that global solutions are required for global issues. Expertly written and thought-provoking, this book is a must-read for medical experts, policy and decision makers and the lay person alike.
The authors of the book, Prof. Arun Tiwari, a renowned technologist, who has worked closely with former Indian president, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, and Prof. Dr. Seyed E. Hasnain, an eminent biologist, have joined hands to come up with this well-written book. Prof. Arun Tiwari, a missile scientist, author and professor, has worked relentlessly to apply defence technology for the use of the common man. He was instrumental in developing India’s first indigenous coronary stent, an innovation that broke the monopoly of the exorbitantly priced foreign stents and brought much-required medical aid within the reach of the common man. A founder-member of CARE Foundation,
Hyderabad, he is a Platinum Jubilee Mentor of CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad.
Prof. Dr. Seyed E. Hasnain, a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, USA, has the distinction of having been the first Director of the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics. An eminent scientist in infectious disease biology, who has won international acclaim for his work on TB and DNA finger-printing, he is the Vice Chancellor of Jamia Hamdard and a Padma Shri recipient. His laboratory works on research in infection biology and molecular pathogenesis of infectious organisms. An Invited Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, he has worked at the National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi, and has a dozen patents to his name.
The book Decoding the Pandemic is available in paperback, hardcover and e-book format, for the international audience.
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