ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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French Jesuit Scientists in India

The intellectual activity finally culminating in the grand theoretical syntheses of the celestial sciences towards the end of the 18th century followed a century's toil undertaken by Jesuit scientists and traveller's posted outside Europe. This essay briefly addressed the endeavour of the French Jesuits who landed in India during the late 17th and first half of the 18th centuries. The Jesuit scientists of the period were inaugurators of a discourse on India and Indian historical astronomy marked by ambiguity, where fascination and dismissal so together; where the enchantment with the new world and its distinct knowledge forms provide the occasion for enriching the self in cognitive and cultural terms, and through an act of distantiation, of redefining the self as superior.

Historiographic Concerns Underlying-Indian Journal of the History of Science-A Bibliometric Inference

Indian Journal of the History of Science A Bibliometric Inference Dhruv Raina This review proposes that the papers appearing in the Indian Journal of the History of Science fall into a genre of the history of science writing that strictly observes the internal-external divide. The attempt here is to identify the historiographic elements that constitute this genre of the history of science in India. Based on a bibliometric analysis, the priorities of historians of science in India publishing in the journal are identified. These priorities and the underlying historiography render certain kinds of problems amenable for research and investigation and foreclose the pursuit of others. In attempting a sociology of the discipline, a very preliminary one is proposed here, other themes and areas may be identified. In addition, it is suggested that the conservatism of historians of science, tied as they are to the apron-strings of the scientific establishment, has curtailed the growth of the discipline. While this review is partisan, it also seeks to gauge the growth of the discipline in terms of the precepts set down by the founders of the IJHS itself THE Indian Journal of the History of Science (hereafter IJHS) is a journal brought out by a scientific society and publishes papers solely in the discipline of the history of science and technology. This paper attempts a brief overview of the discipline by drawing upon the publications appearing in the IJHS. As will be discussed, the papers appearing in the IJHS fall within a certain genre of the history of science writing. At the outset this is simultaneously an exaggerated claim, as much as it is trivial for the sociologists of scientific knowledge. In any case, it may be reasonable to suggest that most of the papers published in the journal are authored by Indians undertaking research in the area, and that a significant proportion of Indians researching the history of science publish in the IJHS, Hence a simple bibliometric analysis of these publications would offer us some insight into the sociology of the discipline. A feature that both the natural and social sciences have been globally witness to is a proliferation of journals. While this is true of the domain referred to as Science Technology Society Studies (STS),1 the IJHS has till recently remained the sole academic forum for the history of science in India (several other short-lived efforts notwithstanding), However, those working on the history of sciences as it pertains to the geographical or cultural boundaries of India have, with a shift in either perspective, analytical or historiographic focus, been publishing in other journals as well. The dispersal of publications into a multitude of journals is surely not a random phenomenon, since journals are today (as was true in the past as well) associated with research communities and networks, tethered by methodological concerns, theories of interpretation, a domain of investigation, and within the domain a shared perception of the essential problematic.

Homage to an Honorary Taoist

Dhruv Raina Some fundamental issues in Joseph Needham's monumental Science and Civilisation in China, the manner in which it was to reshape the perceptions of the non-west and the questions of historiography that came up along the way.

Public Understanding of Science-Why Scientism Beats a Retreat

The public understanding of science as hitherto instituted was not so much a domain for research as it was of practical activity. The prutcipal focus, emphasised by both scientists and lay people, was of a pedagogic nature: the intent being to inform programmes of science education and the popularisation of science. However, the shifting ideological horizon of science has necessitated rethinking on issues concerning the public understanding of science.

Technical Institutes in Colonial India-Kala Bhavan, Baroda (1890-1990)

Technical Institutes in Colonial India Kala Bhavan, Baroda (1890-1990) Dhruv Raina S Irfan Habib Technical institutes set up in the native states in colonial India did not offer engineering degrees as did the universities, but only turned out a generation of middle and lower rung technicians. With the Presidency towns serving as metropolises, the native states became the provinces, reflecting the hierarchisation of the distribution of knowledge as well as power THE three jewels in the imperial crown, Bombay, Calcutta and Madras, had acquired universities by the 1870s.1 By 1887, Punjab and Allahabad had also acquired university status. The story of the native Indian states is, however, quite different. In their case the project of modernisation had to be undertaken not through imperial structures in alliance with local elites, but at the initiative of the native elites and ruling classes themselves. The process was in turn catalysed, among other factors, by the demand for an emerging class of literates and professionals. Thus it is of interest to investigate the founding of a technical institute in the native state of Baroda in 1890. This interest docs not merely rest in commemorating the centenary of the event as institutional history, but of identifying one more modality for the introduction of modern sciences in 19th century India.

Commoditised Science or Science for Consumption

Economic interests and science bureaucracies within the government mediate the orientation of science programmes. Scientists and people's science activists are called upon to develop the packing for the package rather than its contents. 


Cultural Foundations of a Nineteenth Century-Mathematical Project

Mathematical Project Dhruv Raina S Irfan Habib We investigate here the context in which Ramchandra, a nineteenth century Indian mathematician, journalist, populariser and social commentator, worked on A Treatise on the Problems of Maxima and Minima. The work was original in that it sought to obtain the maxima and minima of a function from algebra and without using differential calculus. The project itself was nourished by the notion of algebra as a cultural metaphor, and it is on this count that it attracted the attention of the British algebraist Augustus de Morgan. The Treatise, when placed against the background of Ramchandra's stance vis-a-vis the colonial educational policy, clearly reveals the beginnings of a still nebulous anti-colonial politics, insofar as its professed objective is a mathematical revivification of an intrinisic but dormant algebraic predisposition of the Indian mind.

Science, Technology and Non-Role of Parliament

January 28, 1984 are severe data problems which the analyst had to contend with in attempt- ing such rigorous methods of investigation. Space does not permit us to dwell on these issues or to highlight the entire range of Amjad's findings in this brief review. Instead, we shall comment on his major findings on a selective basis.

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