A panel discussion at Panjab University (PU) Tuesday highlighted the need to screen the papers that are presented at platforms like the recently-held Indian Science Congress (ISC) and monitoring the claims. It called for an even urgent need to relook at the entire working of the ISC, besides a more credible forum. The 106th Indian Science Congress, held at Lovely Professional University, Punjab, witnessed speakers making claims about Ravana having 24 kinds of aircrafts, apart from Pushpak Vimana, birth of Kauravas using stem cell technology and test tubes and the existence of science of missiles in India since thousands of years, using weapons.
In context of the claims made at ISC, a panel against ‘Pseudo-science’ was held at the Department of Physics at Panjab University (PU) Tuesday. Moderated by Akshaya Kumar, Professor at Department of English, PU, the panelists included, Meera Anand, writer and professor of history of science, honorary professor at Department of Mathematics, Rajesh Kochhar and Arun Murthy, assistant professor at Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali.
During the seminar, Professor Kochhar said the aim of ISC was to inculcate scientific temper and promote science. The event, however, witnessed people with scientific qualification ridiculing established science, he added. Professor Murthy stressed upon the need to raise voice against ‘pseudo knowledge’.
Prof Anand, as part of the discussion, talked about her book, ‘Science in Saffron’, which strives to challenge nationalist myths about history of science in ancient India. “I wanted to clarify certain facts and wanted to challenge the statements made. I compared ancient Indian civilization with other civilizations of the world. ‘Myth’ is being interpreted as a scientific invention. Science concepts are being tied to national chauvinism and the conflation of myth and science is not acceptable,” added Prof Anand, who stressed upon the need of rational, scientific and analytical thinking.