Intellectual Property Rights : Encouraging Innovation or Dehumanizing Science?

Everyone knows that Guglielmo Marconi as the inventor of the two-way radio. He also won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1909 for his work in the field of wireless radio communication. A century later, Indian physician Jagdish Chandra Bose, was credited with with making these inventions nearly 20 years earlier. But, instead of patenting his inventions, he had chosen to make them public. In a sense, he was an ideal scientist as he understood that the ultimate aim of science was to benefit humanity. Ancient Indian medical practitioner Sushrutha was a pioneer in one type of cataract surgery. He never turned away any of the people who came from distant lands to get treated by him or to learn from him.

Jagadish Chandra Bose

Continue reading “Intellectual Property Rights : Encouraging Innovation or Dehumanizing Science?”

The History Of The Sexes – Part 3 : The Present

Aruna Asaf Ali was one the younger generation of freedom fighters who entered the fray in the 1920s, becoming a member of the Congress after marrying Asaf Ali, a member himself. She is remembered for hosting the Indian National Flag in Bombay during the Quit India movement. Post-Independence, she became the first Mayor of Delhi and was awarded the Padma Bhushan and the Bharat Ratna. In an interview, she has said that, like Dr.Ambedkar pushing for the rights of his community, women too should have made sure that they had proper representation in the national decision-making. We all joined the movement initially, not so much for ideological reasons, but for the our love for our husbands, sons or brothers. Men decided the next course of action and we followed them like lambs, no questions asked. We loved and trusted them so much that we forgot to push for gender equality. We should have. Continue reading “The History Of The Sexes – Part 3 : The Present”

Scientific temper and India

The Hindu time scale is cyclical; it consists of kalpas which consists of a thousand cycles of is four yugas- the satya, the thretha, the dwapara and the kali yuga, which repeat themselves. At the end of each kalpa, the universe is destroyed and recreated to begin the next cycle, each consisting of billions of years. In the current cycle, the Ramayana happened during the thretha yuga, the Mahabharata in the dwapara yuga. We are living in the kali yuga, hence the end-of-the-world predictions of December 2012. Time and date-keeping, which forms the basis for recording events, was not done in a rational and precise manner. There is no information on the exact date when the Battle of Kurukshetra occurred, but there is a record of the positions of stars and planets, that is, astronomical time.

But the ancient Greeks and Arabians recorded events and facts that occurred during a time period. They originated the Gregorian calendar which is in use even today; there was continuity and objectivity in their writings. Continue reading “Scientific temper and India”