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Evoking Waris Shah

Why we must reclaim the idea of an undivided Punjab, but not nostalgia for it.

Feminist Science Studies

Feminist science studies (FSS) is a field of study that is interdisciplinary. It draws upon the philosophy, historiography and sociology of science. 1 It also has to necessarily draw upon the practice of science itself. While social scientists might gain insights into the practice and culture of...

Exploring Uneasy Terrain

Gita Chadha Scientific Communities in the Developing World edited by Jacques Gaillard, V V Krishna and Roland Waast; Sage Publications, December 1996; pp 398,

Science Question in Post-Colonial Feminism

Science Question in Post-Colonial Feminism Gita Chadha MUCH as I am tempted to agree with Mira Nanda's proposition that reason needs to be affirmed "as an ally of all those struggling to break free from the margins which their natal cultures have consigned them to" and that "scientific rationality can serve to generate a critical stance toward the cultural discourses that constitute the self-identities of women living under traditional patriarchal arrangements in post-colonial societies" [Nanda 1996], it would be fruitful to critically examine and reconstitute some of the ideas contained within these statements, especially since Nanda mounts this defence of reason (used synonymously with scientific rationality, which synonymous use I think is a pedagogical error since reason is a more general term and scientific rationality a specific form of it) not only as the tool for a critical appraisal of traditional systems but also as a defence of Descartes and modern science, both of which have come under attack by critical theorists and by post-modem theorists. At the outset, it is essential to realise that the feminist critiques of rationality and modern science are not limited by the post-modernist attack on enlightenment reason as a category of transcendental and universal truth. This is not to deny the fact that the post-modernist turn in the philosophy of science, and in epistemology, have contributed significantly to the debate over developing the feminist relationship with science its craft, its metaphysics and its ideology. The debate, like the relationship, is a rough and passionate one.

Plagiarism in Physics: Time for Introspection

Using the recent 'scandal' about an instance of plagiarism in physics involving the vice-chancellor of Kumaon University and his student, to a discussion on the larger sociological issues in the culture of science arguing that the issue of plagiarism concerns not just the scientific community but the entire academic community.

Sokal's Hoax: A Backlash to Science Criticism

Because of the connection between knowledge and politics, someone urging a view about scientific inquiry may be understood and read as supporting a political analysis, even when that is not her intent. We all care deeply about polities, hence there is more than enough room for misunderstanding and hurt.

Sokal's Hoax and Tensions in Scientific Left

Though apparently an attack on a specific genre of writing in the social sciences, i e, the post-modernist one, the focus of Alan Sokal's hoax extends over the entire methodological debate in science, natural and social It also extends over the entire range of science critiques that seek to reinterpret the canons of mainstream modern science. However, these critiques of science, it is argued here, cannot simply be pushed into the political left or right nor can they be interpreted as proor anti-science which is what Sokal's position finally amounts to.
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