The study of the globalization of science in non-Western contexts has over the past three decades been shaped amongst other factors by the changing regimes of international politics. The revision of the frames of academic discourse about science in the non-West is more or less concurrent with the process of
This chapter elaborates upon three aspects of the process of the
15.2 The Encounter Between Modern Science and South Asian Knowledge Systems
In the encounter between the so-called traditional
In the nineteenth century these
In other words, the response of the South Asian
Similarly, in the domain of technology a recent study by Geijerstam entitled
15.3 The Modernity of Science and the Nation
The institutional and organizational context within which modern science was
During the period 1850–1880, at the level of higher technical education, the designs of the
Clearly then classical
The transformation of Ayurvedic and Unani Tibb medical practice in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was initiated through the efforts by three iconic figures: P.S. Varier, Hakim Ajmal Khan and P.C. Ray. The latter two were closely associated with the nationalist struggle. The trope of decline of the
On the other hand, within the
The central question concerning the slow expansion and institutionalization of science under colonial rule, especially during a period of extended, expansive and creative contact between European scientists and Indian savants, remains an important one. This was quite in contrast with the situation in Japan after the Meiji restoration in 1867. One plausible explanation for this tardy growth had to do with the priority accorded to the field sciences over the pure sciences Sen 1988. But the fact remains that India was a colony and sovereign nations like Japan and China could negotiate their trajectories of institutionalization and scientific
The study of the complex social processes involved in the
Different meta-historical frames sought to get a handle on the differences evident in the geography of knowledge. The
Other metahistories focusing upon scientific practices ran against the grain of these earlier explanations Pingree 1992. These metahistories appeared during the 1980s, but during the initial stages of
However, until the end of the nineteenth century, episodes of the encounter between the traditional sciences and ways of knowing and that of modern science continued to play themselves out on the growing stage of modern science in India. An anthropological engagement with these episodes reveals a great deal about the
From a metatheoretical perspective attempts to explore the “cultural context of scientific creativity in science in the non-Western world” was itself a product of disenchantment with modern science. In other words, the inevitability of modern science was no longer considered tenable and it was increasingly felt that there were other trajectories available—trajectories that were labeled “alternate sciences”: possible sciences eliminated by the march of a dualist modern science. Traces of these alternate sciences could be found, it was argued, in those precolonial forms of knowledge, including scientific knowledge whose evolutionary trajectories did not intersect with those of modern science. And those whose trajectories did intersect with modern science during the course of
The assimilation of modern science naturally commences at the level of pedagogy. This process was normally conceived in terms of the replacement of the traditional pedagogy and curricula by the new ones under the pressure of the imperial dispensation. In reality, science teachers had to contend with local cultural conceptions and
15.4 Science in Development and Decolonization
From the beginning of the twentieth century the leadership of the scientific community in India was closely associated with the nationalist struggle, and legitimated science by highlighting its importance in nation building and development. In the post-independence period, science was strongly coupled with the process of
Once scientific research acquired a home outside the university and established itself in the research institutes driven by goals other than the pursuit of knowledge, it often abandoned what Shiv Visvanathan has called, its “incest taboos” Visvanathan 1997. In the Indian context, we can see over the last fifty years the socialization of generations of science and engineering students in a
These transformations were debated in the scientific community both in India and abroad. The seminal contributions of the first generation of scientists during the pre- and post-independence period had integrated them into the global community of science and collegial ties enabled them to forge collaborative networks of research as well as of policy with their colleagues in Europe Anderson 1999a; Anderson 1999b. Scientists from Britain and France such as J.D. Bernal, Frederic Joliot-Curie, P.M.S. Blackett and J.B.S. Haldane played an important role in cementing these ties which proved beneficial for the organizational expansion of Indian science. The scientists mentioned had a left wing orientation and were keen on bridging the gap between the developing and the developed world, especially in their insistence that science belonged to the global commons Petitjean 1999. UNESCO on the other hand contributed to the organizational development of science in the former colonies. And as the
The 1950s and 1960s were the high tide of the Nehruvian era of science, of
By the beginning of the 1970s, the
The expansion of “Western science” and the globalization of science itself do not reveal the replication and reproduction of a paradigmatic version of science that emerged in Northern Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Sociology of scientific knowledge and theories of
The globalization of Western science, or to use a more neutral term, modern science is then not a process that commences from an original home of modern science Needham 1969. In evolutionary terms we have several sciences in a constant relation of localization and globalization. As Needham’s river metaphor so aptly suggests, modern science emerged in a specific historical context of Western Europe and on expanding into other cultures it undergoes a dual process of
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