Guest post by VIKAS BAJPAI
There couldn’t be a more opportune time than the present moment in India’s history for an impassioned cry for science to arise from the scientific community in the country. On the 9th of August 2017 scientists from across India carried out the ‘March for Science’ in twenty six cities with the plea addressed to the Prime Minister of the country demanding that:
the Government to uphold Article 51A of the Constitution and to restrain the attempts that run counter to the development of scientific temper, human values and spirit of inquiry enshrined in the Constitution (Organizing Committees of the India March for Science in different cities, 2017).
It was further stated:
Science is not a set of beliefs. Science tries to understand the laws governing the material world and society following a well-established methodology where nothing is accepted without evidence. Thus science has created a body of knowledge that has been tested by practice, which provides the basis for advancement of society. That is why it is now an established canon of governance that all decisions that impact people’s lives should be based, not on personal beliefs, but on scientific evidence (ibid).
Within days, Avijit Pathak, a sociologist teaching at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University wrote his piece, the ‘Hubris of Science’ in The Indian Express as a rejoinder to this ‘March for Science’.