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The Scientific Edge - The Indian Scientist from Vedic to Modern Times
The Scientific Edge - The Indian Scientist from Vedic to Modern Times

The Scientific Edge - The Indian Scientist from Vedic to Modern Times

by Jayant V Narlikar

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Product ID:12707

Language

English

Publisher

Penguin

ISBN

9780143030287 - Year: 2003/4 - Pages: 216

Binding

Paperback

Jayant V Narlikar
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Author: Jayant V Narlikar
Publisher: Penguin
Year: 2003/4
Language: English
Pages: 216
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9780143030287

Description

India has a rich history of scientific accomplishments. In the fifth century, nearly one millennium before Copernicus, the Indian astronomer and mathematician Aryabhata theorized that the earth spins on its axis. Likewise, in the twentieth century physicist Meghnad Saha’s ionization equation opened the door to stellar astrophysics. But India’s scientific achievements have occurred as flashes of brilliance rather than as a clear trajectory of progress. So how did India, with its historic university system and excellent observatories, lose its scientific edge?

Cosmologist, founder director of the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, and science fiction author Jayant V Narlikar tracks the highs and lows of Indian science across the millennia, distinguishing fact from fiction. Through a lively narrative of breakthroughs and failures, he explores the glories of India’s scientific advances and questions the more fanciful so-called discoveries. His essays are invigorated by his excitement for new finding, and he argues passionately for preserving the true scientific temperament instead of granting legitimacy to such pseudosciences as astrology. Above all, Narlikar raises issues that both the layperson and the scientist need to consider as India seeks to lead the world in information technology and biotechnology.

Contents

PREFACE

PART I: INDIA’S SCIENCE IN A HISTORICAL CONTEXT

Things to Be Proud of...
And Red Herrings That Had Best Be Forgotten
The Role of Ancient Indian Universities
What Arrested the Growth of Indian Science in the Second Millennium A D?
The Search for Records of the Sighting of the Crab Supernova
Indian Astronomy: Colonial Collaborations
The Relevance of Raja Rammohun Roy

PART II: LEARNING TO LIVE IN THE AGE OF SCIENCE

The Culture of Science
The Importance of a University
A Direction for Indian Science
The Scientific Temper: An Urgent Indian Need
The Oxymoron of Vedic Astrology
Science Journalism: Educating the Public

PART III: THE FUTURE OF SCIENCE IN INDIA

Why Study Astronomy?
Indian Science Fiction
Science and Religion: Approach towards a Synthesis

Notes

Index

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