Readings in Indian Sociology: Volume VI: Sociology of Science and Technology in India [1 ed.] 9788132113874

Sociology of Science and Technology in India, is a collection of 12 articles in Sociology of Science and Technology (SST

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Readings in Indian Sociology: Volume VI: Sociology of Science and Technology in India [1 ed.]
 9788132113874

Table of contents :
Cover
Contents
Series Note
Foreword
Introduction
PART I - Role of Science (Theoretical)
1 - The Role of Science in Modern Society
2 - Robert Merton’s Formulations in Sociology of Science
PART II - Scientific Community
3 - The Emergence of the Indian Scientific Community
4 - A Large Community but Few Peers: A Study of the Scientific Community in India
PART III - Scientific Productivity
5 - Scientific Productivity: Sociological Explorations in Indian Academic Science
6 - Scientific Goods andT heir Markets
7 - Scientific Knowledge in India: From Public Resource to Intellectual Property
PART IV - Science, Technology and Social Change
8 - Science and Social Change: Emergence of a Dual Society in India
9 - Is Kerala Becoming a Knowledge Society?—Evidence from the Scientific Community
10 - Green RevolutionTechnologies and Dryland Agriculture
11 - Traditional Potters and Technological Change in a North Indian Town
12 - People’s Science: A Perspective from the Voluntary Sector
Index
About the Editor and Contributors
Appendix of Sources

Citation preview

Sociology of Science and Technology in India

Readings in Indian Sociology Series Editor: Ishwar Modi Titles and Editors of the Volumes Volume 1 Towards Sociology of Dalits Editor: Paramjit S. Judge Volume 2 Sociological Probings in Rural Society Editor: K.L. Sharma Volume 3 Sociology of Childhood and Youth Editor: Bula Bhadra Volume 4 Sociology of Health Editor: Madhu Nagla Volume 5 Contributions to Sociological Theory Editor: Vinay Kumar Srivastava Volume 6 Sociology of Science and Technology in India Editor: Binay Kumar Pattnaik Volume 7 Sociology of Environment Editor: Sukant K. Chaudhury Volume 8 Political Sociology of India Editor: Anand Kumar Volume 9 Culture and Society Editor: Susan Visvanathan Volume 10 Pioneers of Sociology in India Editor: Ishwar Modi

READINGS IN INDIAN SOCIOLOGY VOLUME 6

Sociology of Science and Technology in India

EDITED BY Binay Kumar Pattnaik

Copyright © Indian Sociological Society, 2013 All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilised in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. First published in 2013 by SAGE Publications India Pvt Ltd B1/I-1 Mohan Cooperative Industrial Area Mathura Road, New Delhi 110 044, India www.sagepub.in SAGE Publications Inc 2455 Teller Road Thousand Oaks, California 91320, USA

Indian Sociological Society Institute of Social Sciences 8 Nelson Mandela Road Vasant Kunj New Delhi 110 070

SAGE Publications Ltd 1 Oliver’s Yard 55 City Road London EC1Y 1SP, United Kingdom SAGE Publications Asia-Pacific Pte Ltd 3 Church Street #10-04 Samsung Hub Singapore 049483 Published by Vivek Mehra for SAGE Publications India Pvt Ltd, typeset in 10.5/12.5 Adobe Garamond Pro by Zaza Eunice, Hosur and printed at Saurabh Printers Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Available

ISBN: 978-81-321-1387-4 (PB) The SAGE Team: Shambhu Sahu, Sushant Nailwal, Thomas Mathew, Asish Sahu, Vijaya Ramachandran and Dally Verghese Disclaimer: This volume largely comprises pre-published material which has been presented in its original form. The publishers shall not be held responsible for any discrepancies in language or content in this volume.

Dedicated to the Pioneers of Indian Sociology

Thank you for choosing a SAGE product! If you have any comment, observation or feedback, I would like to personally hear from you. Please write to me at [email protected] —Vivek Mehra, Managing Director and CEO, SAGE Publications India Pvt Ltd, New Delhi

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Contents

List of Tables Series Note Foreword by Haribabu Ejnavarzala Introduction by Binay Kumar Pattnaik

ix xi xv xix

Part I: Role of Science (Theoretical) 1. The Role of Science in Modern Society N.A. Mavalankar 2. Robert Merton’s Formulations in Sociology of Science Pravin J. Patel

3 10

Part II: Scientific Community 3. The Emergence of the Indian Scientific Community V.V. Krishna 4. A Large Community but Few Peers: A Study of the Scientific Community in India E. Haribabu

33

55

Part III: Scientific Productivity 5. Scientific Productivity: Sociological Explorations in Indian Academic Science Binay Kumar Pattnaik 6. Scientific Goods and Their Markets Kamini Adhikari 7. Scientific Knowledge in India: From Public Resource to Intellectual Property E. Haribabu

71 95

117

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Part IV: Science, Technology and Social Change (i) Modern S&T

8. Science and Social Change: Emergence of a Dual Society in India V.K.R.V. Rao 9. Is Kerala Becoming a Knowledge Society?—Evidence from the Scientific Community R. Sooryamoorthy and Wesley M. Shrum 10. Green Revolution Technologies and Dryland Agriculture Gurdeep Singh Aurora

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149 165

(ii) Traditional S&T and Involvement of Civil Society

11. Traditional Potters and Technological Change in a North Indian Town Geeta Jayaram Sodhi 12. People’s Science: A Perspective from the Voluntary Sector Vithal Rajan

181

Index About the Editors and Contributors Appendix of Sources

209 215 217

197

List of Tables

Chapter 3 Table 1 The Composition of the Scientific Staff in Colonial Scientific Enterprises in 1920 Table 2 Publications on Science in Indian Languages in the Provinces of India between 1875 and 1896 Table 3 The Indian School of Chemistry in the 1920s Chapter 5 Table 1 ANOVA: Types of Scientific Institutions and Total Quantity Performance (TQP) Table 2 Total Quantity Performance (TQP) by Type of Scientific Institutions Table 3 ANOVA: Types of Scientific Institutions and Infrastructure Facilities Table 4 Infrastructure Facilities and Total Quantity Performance (TQP) Table 5 ANOVA: Research Environment and Types of Scientific Institutions Table 6 Research Environment and Total Quantity Performance (TQP) Table 7 Rewards and Total Quantity Performance (TQP) Table 8 ANOVA: Awards and Types of Scientific Institutions Table 9 Awards Won by Types of Scientific Institutions Table 10 ANOVA: Graduate School Prestige (GSP) and Types of Scientific Institutions

35 41 44

75 76 78 79 80 81 83 84 85 87

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Table 11 Graduate School Prestige (GSP) and First Place of Employment 88 Table 12 Total Quantity Performance (TQP) & Graduate School Prestige (GSP) 89 Table 13 ‘t’ Test—Scientists Trained in Major vs. Minor Indian Universities and Total Quantity Performance (TQP) 90 Table 14 ‘t’ Test—Scientists Trained in Major vs. Minor Universities Abroad and Total Quantity Performance (TQP) 90 Table 15 ‘t’ Test—Scientists Trained in Indian University vs. University Abroad and Total Quantity Performance (TQP) 91 Table 16 ‘t’ Test-Scientists Trained in Minor vs. Major Universities and Total Quantity Performance (TQP) 91 Chapter 9 Table 1 Characteristics of Respondents Table 2 Professional Activities Table 3 Productivity of Respondents

153 157 160

Series Note

The Indian Sociological Society (ISS), established in December 1951 under the leadership of Professor G. S. Ghurye at the University of Bombay, celebrated its Diamond Jubilee in 2011. Soon after its foundation, the ISS launched its bi-annual journal Sociological Bulletin in March 1952. It has been published regularly since then. Taking cognizance of the growing aspirations of the community of sociologists in both India and abroad to publish their contributions in Sociological Bulletin, its frequency was raised to three issues a year in 2004. Its print order now exceeds 3,000 copies. It speaks volumes about the popularity of both the ISS and the Sociological Bulletin. The various issues of Sociological Bulletin are a treasure trove of the most profound and authentic sociological writings and research in India and elsewhere. As such, it is no surprise that it has acquired the status of an internationally acclaimed reputed journal of sociology. The very fact that several of its previous issues are no more available, being out of print, is indicative not only of its popularity among both sociologists and other social scientists but also of its high scholarly reputation, acceptance and relevance. Although two series of volumes have already been published by the ISS during 2001–05 and in 2011, having seven volumes each on a large number of themes, yet a very large number of themes remain untouched. Such a situation necessitated that a new series of thematic volumes be brought out. Realising this necessity and in order to continue to celebrate the Diamond Decade of the ISS, the Managing Committee of the ISS and a sub-committee constituted for this purpose decided to bring out a series of 10 more thematic volumes in such areas of importance and relevance both for the sociological and the academic community at large as sociological theory, untouchability and Dalits, rural society, science & technology, childhood and youth,

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health, environment, culture, politics, and the pioneers of sociology in India. Well-known scholars and experts in the areas of chosen themes were identified and requested to edit these thematic volumes under the series title Readings in Indian Sociology. Each one of them has put in a lot of effort in the shortest possible time not only in selecting and identifying the papers to be included in their respective volumes but also in arranging these in a relevant and meaningful manner. More than this, it was no easy task for them to write comprehensive Introductions of the respective volumes in the face of time constraints so that the volumes could be brought out in time on the occasion of the 39th All India Sociological Conference scheduled to take place in Mysore under the auspices of the Karnataka State Open University during 27–29 December, 2013. The editors enjoyed freedom not only to choose the papers of their choice from Sociological Bulletin published during 1952 to 2012 but were also free to request scholars of their choice to write Forewords for their particular volumes. The volumes covered under this series include: Towards Sociology of Dalits (Editor: Paramjit S. Judge); Sociological Probings in Rural Society (Editor: K. L. Sharma); Sociology of Childhood and Youth (Editor: Bula Bhadra); Sociology of Health (Editor: Madhu Nagla); Contributions to Sociological Theory (Editor: Vinay Kumar Srivastava); Sociology of Science & Technology in India (Editor: Binay Kumar Pattnaik); Sociology of Environment (Editor: Sukant K. Chaudhury); Political Sociology of India (Editor: Anand Kumar); Culture and Society (Editor: Susan Visvanathan) and Pioneers of Sociology in India (Editor: Ishwar Modi). Sociology of Science & Technology in India (Editor: Binay Kumar Pattnaik) is the sixth volume of the series titled Readings in Indian Sociology. Sociology of Science and Technology (SST) has been an under-researched domain in Indian sociology. SST, being a much specialised and focused domain within it, often overlaps its boundaries and struggles for its disciplinary identity. Therefore, the editor’s introduction distinguishes between the two and later brings out the major research works of SST in India based on sociological theories and concepts, as the exclusiveness of theories, conceptual frameworks and concepts provide for the basic identity kit of a discipline. This volume, a collection of 12 articles in SST, throws light on the major themes of SST, such as role of science (theoretical), scientific community in India, productivity

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patterns in Indian S&T research, S&T unleashing social change in India. It can hardly be overemphasised and can be said for sure that this volume as well as all the other volumes of the series Readings in Indian Sociology, as they pertain to the most important aspects of society and sociology in India, will be of immense importance and relevance to students, teachers and researchers of both sociology and other social sciences. It is also hoped that these volumes will be received well by the overseas scholars interested in the study of Indian society. Besides this, policy-makers, administrators, activists, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and so on may also find these volumes of immense value. Having gone through these volumes, the students and researchers of sociology would probably be able to feel and say that now ‘[w]e will be able to look much farther away as we are standing on the shoulders of the giants’ (in the spirit of paraphrasing the famous quote of Karl Pearson). I would like to place on record my thanks to Shambhu Sahu, Sutapa Ghosh and R. Chandra Sekhar of SAGE Publications for all their efforts, support and patience to complete this huge project well in time against all the time constraints. I also express my gratefulness to the Managing Committee Members of the ISS and also to the members of the sub-committee constituted for this purpose. I am also thankful to all the editors and all the scholars who have written the Forewords. I would also like to thank Uday Singh, my assistant at the India International Institute of Social Sciences, Jaipur, for all his secretarial assistance and hard work put in by him towards the completion of these volumes. Ishwar Modi Series Editor Readings in Indian Sociology

Foreword

T

he lineage of sociological studies of science in Europe can be traced to Karl Mannheim’s sociology of knowledge. In the United States of America, Robert Merton pioneered sociological studies of science which eventually developed into sociology of science in the late 20th century. The European tradition owes its origins to the debates on epistemology- theories of knowledge - in philosophy of science. Science as a method is seen to consist of both empiricist theory of knowledge and rationalist theory of knowledge. Scientific knowledge is seen as universal, rational, a temporal, and invariant. On the basis of this conception of scientific knowledge, rationalist philosophers argued that as science is rational and universal, science is beyond the purview of sociological analysis as the discipline is concerned with understanding of social and cultural phenomena and variations in them across time and space. And at best sociologists would be required to explain irrational beliefs, if any, in science. Sociological explorations can only attempt to describe organization of science and behaviour of scientists in relation to the cognitive norms. Robert Merton shared this view and confined his research to social and moral norms and consequences of conformity to and violation of norms. In a sense science is seen as disembodied knowledge unconnected with the social and cultural context in which it is produced. However, this has been challenged by the influential work of Thomas Kuhn (The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 1962, 1970) who argued that the rationalist-empiricist accounts of science are a historical and incomplete. He argued that science should be seen in its historical integrity and shows how and to what extent social and cultural factors, both internal (during normal science) to the world of science and external to science (in times of crisis) influence the formation and acceptance of new paradigms in science. He also conceived of scientific community

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as a paradigm-bound community, the members of which share beliefs about the world associated with the paradigm and develop a sense of belonging to the community, in the very way sociologists have conceptualized community. Kuhn’s work opened up possibilities of not only understanding the organization of science and behaviour of scientists but also the content of science – theories, models, concepts – and the process of generation of scientific knowledge in sociological terms. The new sociology of scientific knowledge, however, questioned the Kuhnian notion of insulation of paradigm-bound scientific community from wider society and demonstrated that the divide between the internal world of science - theories, models, concepts and methods - and the external world of science –economy, polity and culture is porous rather than opaque. The advances in the fields of new technologies such as nuclear energy, biotechnology and information technology combined with the institutional protection of knowledge through IPRs since the middle of the twentieth century have contributed to the porosity mentioned above and transformation of science from a morally neutral activity (academic science) to post-academic science, which is intimately connected with the goals of industry and the logic of industrial production and military weapons production. Scientific knowledge which was hitherto a public resource has become an intellectual property. Further, modern sciencebased technologies have been posing risks to people and environment. This shift in the values of science from academic sciences to post-academic science and consequences for human health and environment brought science under public gaze and public’s engagement with science. As part of the democratic process, civil society has been demanding accountability from the scientific communities, especially in the context of uncertainty of knowledge and risks associated with uncertain knowledge. The above background is essential to understand the context in which science in India is practiced and the interface with the civil society. Although modern science was introduced in India during the colonial period, after independence, science and technology have been seen as tools for social, economic and cultural transformation of the Indian society (see the scientific Policy Resolution (SPR) of 1958). This is reflected in many scholarly writings of scientists and political leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, one of the architects of the SPR, 1958. On the

FOREWORD

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basis of this policy there has been expansion in scientific institutions and enhancement of funding for scientific research. As a result, India today has one of the largest pools of human resources in science and technology. However, sociological studies of science have not been incorporated into curriculum of universities as it has happened in Europe and USA. Contributions to this volume attempt to address the following aspects: science and society interface by exploring the instrumental role of science and technology in the development and social change; understanding internal dynamics of many scientific communities in different disciplinary spaces; science and civil society dynamics. I earnestly hope that this volume would introduce teachers and students to social studies of science and technology in India and motivate them to undertake research in the little explored area. The term scientific communities as used here denote paradigm- bound communities rather than territory-bound community. Future research should focus on the process of scientific knowledge generation in the Indian context in addition to examining the influence of science and technology on various domains of human life and environment. Haribabu Ejnavarzala Professor Department of Sociology University of Hyderabad

Introduction Binay Kumar Pattnaik

O

f late we have come across a bumper crop of literature under the rubric of science technology and society studies or social studies of science. Vast number of scholars from across disciplines (various social sciences including policy studies, natural as well as technology discipline based scholars, particularly those with special interest in history and policies of science and technology [S&T]) have contributed to this ever-growing common fund of knowledge that has come to be known as Science and Technology Studies (STS). Whereas studies in sociology of science and technology (SST) is a very focused and discipline-bound domain. Although it started as a puritan discipline called sociology of science, but was born out of Karl Manheim’s sociology of knowledge. I in India the discipline did not remain as a puritan one as sociology of science only. It has become SST. Because the epistemological debate in the very late 1970s and 1980s made it clear that modern technology is an offshoot of modern science (scienticised). Of course, some part of modern technology was born out of traditional crafts. Particularly after the growth of polyvalent disciplines like computer science and engineering, bio-technologies and Nano technologies, which are excessively knowledge intensive, separating technology from science becomes untenable. Of late, basic research too is getting linked to industrial interests and the hitherto distinct cultures of basic and applied sciences have begun to obliterate through mergers (e.g. molecular biology and plant breeding technologies). Indeed, the distinction between S&T seems to be getting obliterated or at best blurred. The term ‘techno-science’ (Haraway 1998) captures the interpenetration of S&T. The Watson and Crick (1953) model is an

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example of a theory that transcends and cuts across traditional disciplinary boundaries, and molecular biology as a whole is an example of the interpenetration. It is not only today that both science and technology are greatly dependent upon each other for their advancement and proliferation, both have acquired a similar value structure (market orientation), both are related to the epistemic communities and market (and in similar ways to the providers of knowledge, services and products). While serving the society both are not distinguishable always. And the global success of technology education in Indian Institute of Technologies (IITs) also established the great relevance of science-based engineering/technology education in India. By this I mean to say that interface areas of education have come up in a big way. It is mostly because of these reasons that a handful of sociology departments in Indian universities teach a course on SST and not a course on sociology of science only. Although at a conceptual level both science and technology continue to be independent of each other, they are inextricably tied to each other, as each one is dependent upon the other for its understanding and development. Hence, today’s great points of convergence of science and technology make both inseparable. STS is a vast interdisciplinary area of study that brings together a diverse community of scholars studying the origin, growth and consequences of scientific and technological knowledge, practices and organisations. Further, to be more specific, STS studies are about the study of how social, political and cultural values affect scientific and technological processes of research and innovation and how these affect, in turn, society, economy, politics, culture and environment. STS studies also examine into the varieties of the problem areas like relationship between scientific and technological innovations and society and the directions and risks of Science and Technology (S&T). Worldwide, more than two dozen universities today offer bachelor’s degree in STS studies. Nearly half of these offer graduate programmes (master’s and doctoral) in STS studies. Notable among the leading STS graduate/fellow programmes are at the Harvard university, University of California Berkley, MIT, Stanford university, Virginia Institute of Technology, University of Pennsylvania, University of South California (all in USA). And in Europe, notable ones are at the Lancaster university, university of Nottingham and European Inter-university Association on Society, Science and Technology (ESST) (including universities from France,

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Denmark, Greek, Sweden Netherlands, Spain and Norway). The major professional associations developed for STS studies are (i) Societies for Social Studies of Science (4S) in USA, (ii) European Association for the study of Science and Technology (EASST) in Europe and (iii) the Japanese Society for Science and Technology Studies (JSSTS) in Asia. The major professional journals in STS studies are The Social Studies of Science (SAGE, Beverly Hills), Science Technology and Human Values (4S), Science and Technology Studies (Finnish society for STS), Minerva (Springer), Science Technology and Society (SAGE, New Delhi), Science and Culture (Routledge) and so on. But SST very much forms a segment of the STS program. As a systematic endeavour to study S&T as a social system (with inherent discrepancies of power and reward), SST is based upon the communitarian character of S&T. The essential feature of modern S&T is its foundation in a collectivity known as the ‘invisible college’ (consisting of large numbers of networks/peer groups that may overlap each other). The community is perceived with a set of norms and values that govern the conduct of individual researchers as well as peer groups in S&T. Thus, the exchange system within the social system of S&T is also regulated. Thus, SST studying S&T as a social activity deals with the social conditions and effects of S&T. And SST studying S&T structures and processes of scientific and technological (innovative) activities. In a nutshell, as a true branch of sociology, SST is more concerned with social structures and process of scientific and technological (innovative) activities. And it also is concerned with how S&T relates itself to the larger societal structures and processes. As a discipline-based exercise, SST makes use of the sociological theories/perspectives, concepts, methodologies (quantitative and qualitative/narrative, corresponding research designs, tools and techniques, and so on). SST has been enriched through the application of theoretical perspectives of sociology like structural functionalism, structuralism, conflict perspective, interactionism, small group studies/group dynamics, social movements and so on. It is noteworthy that even SST contains competitive/rival epistemological positionings in the study of S&T, for example (i) Positivistic, conformist tradition with potentiality to become revolutionary, (ii) Radical (Marxist), (iii) Social constructionist and even (iv) Feminist. That apart, SST also has developed some of its own models/conceptual frameworks/concepts like the triple Helix, strong programme,

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accumulative advantage and the sacred spark, kingdom of ends, social capital perspective, scientific ambivalence, scientific dogmatism, cosmopolitans and locals, scientific creativity and productivity, singletons and multiples, big science and little science, alternate technologies, sustainable technologies, softer technologies and so on. The global professional body to back up the discipline is none other than the International Sociological Association (ISA) wherein the concerned research committee (RC.23) is entitled SST. The other professional international body to promote and facilitate SST is the SST Network an European platform. The professional journal that caters to the disciplinary requirements is the journal Sociology of Science and Technology (IHST, St. Petersburg). In spite of the threat of taking over by subsuming and hijacking of many of its perspectives by the STS studies, SST as a discipline is growing both in terms of bringing larger themes, problems under its umbrella of investigation and in terms of volumes of output with diversities of innovative methods and perspectives. The discipline of socialogy of science was born with its first paradigm unleashed by R. K. Merton through his theorisation of the ethos of science which is well grounded on structural functionalism the popular theory of sociology of yester decades. This theory was further cultivated and expanded by American and British sociologists like Norman Storer (1966), W. O. Hagstorn (1965), W. Kornhauser (1962), Bernard Barber and W. Hirsch (1962), Stephan Cotgrove (1970), Box and Cotgrove (1966) and so on. The scope of this theory was further expanded by taking it to the studies in productivity, creativity and reward system in science. The architects were again some Americans and British sociologists like F. M. Andrews (1964, 1965 and 1979), Pelz De (1963), Pelz and Andrews (1966), C. W. Taylor and F. Barron (1963), H. Zukerman (1967 and 1977), J. Gaston (1978) G. Gordon and S. Marquis (1966), Crane Diana (1965), S. Cole and J. R. Cole (1967), S. S. Blum and R. Sinclair (1973), A. E. Brayer and J. Folger (1966), R. G. Kron (1971), P. D. Allison and J. A. Steward (1974).

Studies in the Structural Functional Perspective Full-fledged studies from the vantage of the structural functional perspective in SST India is rare. The Indian studies based on this theoretical tradition were those of Pattnaik (1992, 2001, 2003). The first study of

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Pattnaik (1992) was based on the Mertonian ethos of science. In precise terms, the ethos of science is an effectively toned complex of values and norms which is held to be binding on men of science (1973: 268). The earliest papers on the ethos of science were, of course, by Merton written in the 1930s and 1940s and interpreted much later by sociologists of science. Pattnaik (1992: 58–94) systematised the Mertonian indicators from his scattered writings. He articulated the ideology of science in terms of the values and norms of science, which was, in fact, a cultural interpretation of science through the structural and functional approach. But Pattnaik (1992: 62–74) even took note of the strong critics of Merton like II Mitroff and M. J. Mulkay who had offered counterviews to Merton with alternative indicators. As the Mertonian sociologists of science have claimed that knowledge certified cannot be produced without a sincere commitment to the ideology of science, critics like Mittrof and Mulkay came out with empirical evidences in contradiction to Merton’s formulations. Hence, to accommodate the counter views and its empirical indicators of normative structure, Pattnaik (1992) resolved that these critics were not contradictory to the structural functional perspective of Merton, but were differing only in specificities adding to the comprehensiveness of the Mertonian formulation. Thus, the study of Pattnaik (1992: 135–42) operationalised the ideology of science (with Mertonian views inclusive of counter views that were not contradictory) in terms of norms of science (e.g universalism, communism, disinterestedness, organised scepticism, and consistency) and values of science (e.g simplicity, falsifiability, inter-subjectivity, originality, creativity, cross-fertilisation, etc). As indicated earlier, the structural functional perspective ushered in by R. K. Merton to study scientific communities is now spread over to the studies in scientific productivity, creativity and reward system. The sole example of this in Indian Sociology is again the studies of Pattnaik (2001 and 2003). In this study of quality research performance (creative) among Indian academic scientists, Pattnaik (2001) examined a set of hypotheses linking quality research performance (creative) with other organisational variables like research environment, reward system in organisation and profession, multiple role occupancy by scientists, motivation, graduate school prestige and the well-known Ortega Hypothesis. The results were positive as all the hypotheses were verified. The other study of Pattnaik (2003: 198–220) was devoted to scientific productivity. It was also the sole example of an empirical exercise among Indian academic scientists

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that made use of the Mertonian structural functional perspective. Besides, this was also an exercise on examining the ‘accumulative advantage hypothesis’. Pattnaik here examined a set of hypotheses linking scientific productivity with types of scientific institution, research environment, institutional reward system and infrastructure facilities in the parent organisation. In this important piece of research, Pattnaik (2003: 212, 218) discovered the presence of Matthew effect and Elitism as existent phenomena in Indian science. This work of Pattnaik (2003) is very much part of this volume. The study of W. Morehouse’ (1971) one of the early sociological works in S&T in India is an exercise on the process of institutionalisation of S&T institutions in India. Morehouse, theoretically having taken a structural functional view, perceived scientific institution as a ‘social system with goals and embodies a number of interacting variables, like leadership, policy, programme, resources and internal structure. The institution as a system interacts with the environment in which it is placed through its external linkages. His perception (1971: 3) of scientific institution is a three-dimensional matrix, such as (i) structuring the formal organisation, (ii) function or process, both internal and external (linkages) and (iii) time dimension, where in structure and function are constantly changing through their interactions over time. Anchored on the time dimension, Morehouse (1971: 4) argues that through the interaction of internal variables and external interaction with other societal systems like economy, education, politics and so on, the organisation becomes institutionalised. Sociologically speaking, Morehouse (ibid.) distinguished between organisation and institution and said that all institutions are organisations but not all organisations are institutions. Thus, the distinction is the process of being valued. To him, a scientific institution as an ‘organisation incorporates, fosters, and protects normative relationships, action patterns, and perform functions/services that are valued by the larger societal systems’. Institutionalisation of scientific organisation is accomplished only when it could demonstrate that it embodies social and technological innovations, that some of its relationships and action patterns are normative (both internally and externally) and that support as well as complementarities in the environment is attained. This institutionalisation is a matter of degree. The criteria for institutionality of  scientific organisation are thus, (i) ability to survive over times, (ii)  perceived by the environment as an organisation with intrinsic

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values and (iii) specific relationships and action patterns within the organisation, acquisition of normative character by, noted Morehouse (1971: 5). Morehouse developed some organisational patterns with the application of which he studied institutionalisation of S&T organisations in India (S&T Ministry/Departments of Govt. of India, GOI R&D bodies, industrial R&D units and university S&T). To him, based on the relationships with one scientific and technological organisation and discovery of scientific knowledge as well as their effective utilisation, S&T organisations are classified into, (i) task coordination and (ii) task implementation bodies. When the former is concerned with initiation, planning and coordination of various units, the latter are concerned directly with R&D activities undertaken. The task coordination organisation are further divided into two types: (i) scientific technological inclusiveness and (ii) scientific technological exclusiveness. The organisation of inclusiveness type are concerned with better activities in the innovation-chain and their utilisation in R&D, whereas ‘organisation of exclusiveness’ type are concerned with the development of better internal and external linkages. Similarly, the task implementation bodies are classified into two types: (i) those characterised by scientific isolation and (ii) those characterised by scientific togetherness. Works in the organisation characterised as isolation type are mostly directed towards non-scientific/ non-innovative purpose undermining scientific work. And works in the organisation characterised as togetherness type are mostly directed towards building effective linkages (both internally and externally) leading to innovation and high productivity. Internal variables that influence these organisation types and their linkages, could be identified as strong leadership, political linkages and objective measures of high-quality works in S&T productivity. The subsequent formulation of hypothesis on institution building in S&T by Morehouse (1971: 14–20) proved the subsumed preponderance of structural functionalism in his work.

The Concept of Scientific Community The edited book by Gaillard, Krishna and Waast (1997) is an Indiabased major publication (though not an empirical study) devoted to the study of scientific communities in the developing world. The book includes 12 case studies (6 from Africa and 3 each from Asia and Latin

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America) which mostly trace the institutionalisation and assimilation of modern S&T, professionalisation of science and the growth of the effective scientific communities in developing countries. As most part of the developing world had a colonial past, their colonial and post-colonial experiences point towards different challenges confronted by different countries at different moments of history. Since modern S&T came to developing countries through colonial rule, the book points out how colonialism structured and influenced the institution of modern S&T and the emergence of scientific communities in those developing countries. As the World War II ended, colonialism disintegrated, and some developing countries witnessed massive efforts by their nationalist governments to build S&T institutions and relevant infrastructure. But before independence, meaning during colonial days, the S&T development had taken roots in some developing countries in nationalist mode and other in colonial mode (to serve imperial interests). Mostly after political liberation, the nationalist mode of scientific development in several developing countries promoted the strategies of import substitution and self-reliance in relation to the economic policies, which also shaped the organisation of S&T and the goal orientation of scientific communities there. The volume brought to bear different social perspectives in currency in science studies for understanding the growth of S&T and its communities in developing countries. In spite of the pluralities of the perspectives, there were underlying threads of certain social and historical processes in these countries that influenced the growth of scientific communities there. More important here is the concept of scientific community or specialist group that the authors subscribed to in this exercise. The authors claimed (1997: 18–22) that their conception of scientific community goes beyond the Mertonian normative, Kuhnian interpretive and NeoKuhnian social constructionist conception of science which is called ‘national scientific communities’. The authors explicated the three features with regard to the conception of ‘national scientific communities’ having acquired a shared culture of science: (i) scientists with a community perform research within a common institutional and intellectual pelting with common priorities of research questions; (ii) it also signifies the formation of national identities in the practice, production and advancement of scientific knowledge. Discipline-based communities take the shape and function of a kinship group; (iii) national scientific

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communities of developing countries function as periphery to international science. This is a neo-colonial legacy that entails a division of labour in world scientific research; (iv) growing professionalisation (not necessarily institutionalisation) of groups involving some routinisation of activities and defined moulds of training replacing local codes of ethics and values by wider ideals and professional norms; (v) Brain drain and brain circulation in relation to the international S&T in scientific communities persist. Although spelt out in the editors introduction to the volume, the concept of national scientific communities is very much subscribed by the India-based paper therein by V. V. Krishna (236–80). The other noteworthy publication that pertains to the scientific community in India was by Vinod K. Jairath (1984: 109–30). While searching for the roots of the Indian scientific community, Jairath traced it back to colonial S&T in India. Having followed George Basalla model of colonial science that grew in three phases (indigenous scientific thought, a providing source for modern science; colonial science (dependent on Western science); and the process of transplantation with cultural nationalism). Jairath found the birth of colonial scientists in India. But in a post-independent India, he found (1984: 10–11) three types of scientific communities: (i) the reformists (which captured power in alliance with Nehru), (ii) revivalist and the (iii) Radicals. All three had their roots in colonial S&T India. But to Jairath, the three types of scientists are rooted deeply in different political ideologies and hence argued for the differing roles of S&T in the context of development. Hence, if the reformist and radicals argued for coalition with Western S&T for development, the revivalists and the radicals have been critical of the role of modern S&T and argued for promotions of People’s Science Movement (PSM) and indigenous S&T. The book entitled ‘Scientific Community in India’ by G. S. Aurora (1989) is an empirical study of scientific communities in independent India that were located in government-funded scientific institutions in the industrial (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research [CSIR] and State Laboratories), agricultural, medical and higher education (university) sectors (eight case studies). Aurora’s notion of science is not epistemologically a distinct one, rather it is the positivistic one, but following Rose and Rose (1969: 2), he in fact widened the definition from a valid method of studying nature to that makes science a social institution and

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is inclusive of technology (as part of the R&D activities) (1989: 10–11). Further, his notion of science includes the scientific community at large that is an interactive one bound by certain values of its conduct. As an interacting community, scientists also make use of formal and informal channel of communication being part of formal scientific institutions and as a part of discipline-/theme-based professional groups. Thus, by conception to Aurora’s scientific community is akin to the ‘invisible college’ model. And not surprisingly, while tracing the roots of the Indian scientific community to colonialism in India, Aurora (1989: 48) subscribed to the notion of colonial science introduced by George Basalla who articulated the penetrating modes of Western science in non-European societies. The three overlapping phases of Basalla through which Western science spread were (i) non-scientific society (non-European) becomes a source of growth for Western science, (ii) a period of colonial science, and (iii) processes of transplantation of colonial science and attempt to build an independent S&T tradition. Aurora (1989: 48–55), in fact, contexualised the three phases of spread of Western science in India with live history. By the time India became independent, a well-knit and wellspread scientific community (maybe with colonial origin) was ready to transform itself. Aurora (1989: 62–63) has, in fact, perfectly articulated a number of standout characteristics of this scientific community such as the following: 1. The leadership of scientific community continue to reside in the universities and that to in the then leading older universities like Calcutta, Bombay, Delhi, Allahabad, Banaras, Madras and so on, as their students occupied administrative positions in research establishment of S&T. 2. In the community of university scientists, the traditional bond of student– teacher continued. 3. Practically, in all the disciplines of scientific and technological endeavour, professional organisations had been formed. 4. Almost all the S&T organisations and universities where scientists worked were funded by the government, and hence participation of scientists in public issues was the minimum. 5. Scientific communities in all the S&T disciplines were still closely tied to their British counterparts. British and American journals were the regular channels of scientific communication for Indian scientists. And Indian S&T professionals continued to be dependent upon the evaluation methods and reward system of the British and American counterparts.

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Soon after independence there was a radical change in the national S&T policy to bring about socio-economic transformation in the country. Here a large number of scientific and technological establishments outside the university framework were established in industrial, agricultural, medicine and health sectors. In this study, the major concern of Aurora had been the organisational context in which the scientists work. He analysed the structure and processes of the scientific institutions, particularly the larger ones. These laboratories/institutions were de-bureaucratised and subsequently their organisational structures were assigned to promote collegiate culture and a working environment conducive to the pursuit of excellence. However, Aurora’s study showed that while laboratories received a high degree of autonomy, their internal structure remained highly centralised. In place of creating a collegiate culture, the laboratories continued as bureaucratic institutions unable to flex. Although expected to provide a creative environment, the laboratories ended up generating demotivation and dissatisfaction. But the organisational picture has been a shade better in the laboratories of agricultural scientists, noted Aurora. He discovered the dilemmas of the then scientific community, such as Indian scientists have been more concerned with reinventing the wheel, duplicating research (because of self-reliance policy) rather than applying research for solving problems of the society. Research laboratories had became examples of par excellence for subverting the questioning and curious minds. He argued that if conformity is the value, creativity is the causality; if invention was the concern, innovation was crucified. Thus, Aurora had offered an appreciable critique of the functioning of the Indian scientific community in the then public-funded S&T institutions. To add the factors of historicity and diversity, Aurora (1989: 262) proposed that the structure and culture of the specific scientific communities then could be better understood by tracing how particular sector of S&T developed and within the sector particular S&T institutions developed (because of varying political patronage and policy impacts), moulding scientist–institution relationship and there by the specific communities. He illustrated the structure and culture of the specific communities through the ‘sector–institution–scientific community’ triads of relations. The overall picture that emerged from this study of Aurora is one of disenchantment of the then Indian scientific

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community which was in search of an identity, in search of an environment, in search of an opportunity to perform, to contribute and excel. Socio-economic and academic background of Indian scientists: The more recent study of the Indian academic scientists, not in a community perspective, but as individuals, was reported by Pattnaik (2007: 82–96). In his empirical study of scientists in chemical sciences and technologies, Pattnaik has examined three major hypotheses pertaining to their social origin, career choice, scientific performance, such as the following: 1. Conditioning at the university department/graduate school encourages more number of graduates to enter into career in scientific research and makes high performer scientists out of them (Realistic Factor Hypothesis). 2. As the lower middle class value of hard work and persistent struggle for success coincides with the professional requirements of scientific research, a large section of the scientific community hails from a lower socio-economic class (Grass-roots Origin Hypothesis). 3. Early academic achievement as a variable is predictive of later scientific eminence (performance based) and scholarship among scientists (Early Achievers Hypothesis).

The data analysis did not support the realistic factor hypothesis and the data showed that majority of the scientists entered into the career by self-motivation and other subjective variables, such as the inspiration by the university faculty and the like. Even it was found that self-motivated scientists had dominated both the quality and quantity performance indicators (2007: 89). By further data analysis to examine the social class origin of the scientists, the Grass-roots Origin Hypothesis has been verified as nearly the half of the sample scientists were found to have very modest social class origin and only one-third of them had lower middle-class origin (2007: 92). (It was also found that self-motivation was not correlated to social class origin of the scientists.) With regard to the Early Achievers Hypothesis, the data analysis showed that a vast majority of these academic scientists were early high achievers in the examination of schools, colleges and universities and many of them were toppers. The inter-correlation among examination scores revealed the consistency in their early performance in the academics. But most revealing was the finding that their scores on early achievements had no correlations with their performance indicators as adult scientists, that is both with quantity and quality research

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performances. It now becomes obvious that an early achievement may be a requirement for entering into the scientific career. Hence, a vast majority of them were found to be early achievers. But their performances in terms of quantity and quality research output, which is highly skewed, has nothing to do with early achievements, as after entering into the profession, their nature of work, skills required and indicators of performance become completely different (but not surprisingly, it was found that high self-motivation was correlated positively to early achievement through examinations [2007: 94–99]). Brain drain and brain gain: The well-known concept of brain drain has become so conspicuous in the Indian context that it is believed to have originated because of the huge influx of Indian scientific manpower to UK in the 1950s and 1960s. The concept was apparently first used by the Royal Society to describe the emigration of scientist and technologist to North America from the post-war Europe (Cervantes and Guellac 2002). But another source indicates that the concept was first used in the UK to describe the large-scale emigration of Indian physicians, scientists and engineers. Within India, the brain drain phenomenon gained visibility and sociological significance when large-scale emigration of Indian engineers, particularly from the premier institutes like the IITs, was witnessed in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. It was perceived as a huge loss of intellectual capital to the country. In the context of scientific community in India, this phenomenon acquires high relevance and again V. V. Krishna along with Khadria (1997) articulated the concept of ‘brain drain’ and ‘brain gain’ in the Indian context with the help of secondary sources data and collated data from several relevant studies. Of course, Sukhatme along with the IIT Bombay sociologist Indira Mahadevan (1988: 1285–93) had studied the phenomenon of brain drain empirically based on the sample from IIT Bombay alumni. Sukhatme and Mahadevan tried to measure the extent of brain drain and explicate the motivations and aspirations of the IIT graduates who migrated abroad and also the reason for staying on abroad. The authors gave profuse rich empirical data that were very specific and typical to their IIT sample. But the paper of Krishna and Khadria was more broad based and comprehensive linking the phenomenon to S&T policies in India. That apart, Krishna and Khadria (1997) did take the issue of brain drain beyond and talked about brain gain which is notable in this context of SST in India.

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Having perceived the phenomenon of emigration of highly qualified personnel (HQP) as a developmental issue, the authors have articulated the five decades of Indian experience into three distinct but overlapping phases such as: (i) 1940s to 1960s, (ii) 1970s to 1980s and (iii) 1990s and beyond (1997: 348). The first phase referred to the foundation of Sarkar committee in 1946 under Viceroy’s Executive Council, Scientific Manpower Committee in 1947 after independence, Education Commission under the chairmanship of Dr S. Radhakrishanan in 1948, and so on, which were the initial efforts to build S&T manpower as well as S&T infrastructure in India. Subsequently, under the First Five Year Plan too, a Manpower Studies Committee, a Cabinet Committee on manpower (1957) and so on were set up to plan for building S&T manpower. Beneficiaries of these were the Indian universities. The authors indicated that in alliance with Nehru, the first prime minister, elite scientists of India like S. S. Bhatanagar, Homi J. Bhabha, D. S. Kothari, P. C. Mohalanabis and so on laid the network of S&T institutions like the CSIR, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Department of Atomic Energy (DAE)/Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), Planning Commission and so on. Then the IIT Act of 1961 was passed and five IITs were set up for producing high-quality technical manpower. By the 1970s, brain drain came to be known as a recognised phenomenon with IITs. Efforts were made to ‘brain gain’ by expanding IITs and Indianising IITs. In 1967 the prime minister of India, through a round table conference, recommended every possible effort to create institutional mechanism to ensure return of the Indian scientists working abroad. Bhabha founded and headed Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) to attract Indian natural scientists from abroad. Following this, CSIR and ICAR also took similar steps to absorb properly the Indian scientists who returned from abroad. M. S. Swaminathan, B. P. Pal and others integrated the Indian scientists who then returned from abroad to bring in the green revolution. The CISR which had instituted the National Register of S&T personnel had created a special section for Indians abroad and, in 1958, created a ‘scientific pool’ to suitably place these scientists who returned from abroad. There are more evidences of this kind which were, in fact, efforts towards ‘brain gain’ in India. In the next phase, that is 1970s to 1980s, brain drain as a problem became more acute in spite of the oil crisis of 1973. Migration route for

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Indians turned towards the USA, UK and Canada. The study of Sukhatme and Mahadevan (1987) pointed out that approximately 37 per cent graduates and 31 per cent postgraduates from IITs were migrating abroad in the 1980s. In the discipline of computer science and engineering, it was close to 60 per cent then, which was alarming. Non-availability of quality employment in homeland was said to be the common reason behind this migration. Mashelkar (1984) pointed out the professional factor underlying the brain drain that ‘the brain go where the brains are’. A study on brain drain by Mohanti et al. (1995) based on 17 research groups in 12 scientific institutions drew attention to sociological issues like poor intellectual leadership, system of rewards, pattern of communication and absence of invisible colleges as being crucial factors inhibiting the formation of viable research groups in particular specialisation, and this in turn could be attributed to the brain drain from India. Further, Indiresan and Nigam (1993: 356) noted in defence of IIT engineers that an IIT engineer does not feel wanted in India, the way American universities make them feel wanted. Subsequently, the author pointed out the socio-political problems prevalent in Indian S&T establishment. The example cited was the case of C-DOT where a few hundred expatriate Indian engineers had came to work with Sam Patriada (Technology Mission) with patronage of the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. But after the demise of Rajiv Gandhi, this mission fell victim to import lobbies and vested interests within and finally crumbled, to experience the outmigration of those Indian engineers, then to Australia. Krishna and Khadria also (1997: 369) talked about internal brain drain, mostly in the third phase, that is 1990s and beyond (after the globalisation of Indian economy), but it missed the vital point that globalisation enabled the US-based Indian engineers, particularly those from the Silicon valley, to return to India and brought in the information technology (IT) revolution and later the information and communications technology (ICT) revolution to India. They returned with their US training in engineering, US job experiences, US IT and ICT industry connections (for supply chain) and some times with US venture capital funding. The analysis of this phenomenon drives home a further extended concept called ‘brain circulation’. And now it is argued that in the long run, brain circulation is good for both the developed and developing countries, because these migrant S&T professionals not

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only contributed handsomely to the economy of their host country but also to their home country when they returned with rich knowledge, experience and industry connections (Saxenian 2002). Same thing is said to be true of China and its electronics industry, particularly the hardware industry (Saxenian 2005). However, Krishna and Khadria (1997) made a sociological contribution by first using and contextualising the concept of ‘brain drain (human capital flight) and brain gain’ for India. The authors used the concept ‘brain gain’ in a somewhat broader sense as arresting the brain drain through various institutional measures was also considered a sort of brain gain as encouraging S&T professionals to return to homeland after amplifying their talents abroad was considered a brain gain.

Studies in the Social Constructionist Perspective Zaheer Baber’s book The Science of Empire (1988) is a contribution to SST in India, although it is a study of S&T in Indian history. Baber analyses the social context of the origin and development of S&T in India from antiquity, through colonial period to modern times. What is relevant to the present context is the theoretical perspective Baber subscribed to in this exercise. It was in the 1990s when Baber was engaged in his exercise that the social constructionist approach in SST was in vogue. Not surprisingly Baber came under its influence and began by articulating the contribution of this approach as it demystified and deconstructed the idealised image of scientific practices built by the Mertonian tradition of normative views of science and scientific enterprise. Baber also appreciated the social constructionist approach as it made room for the scientist as active agents involved in the production of knowledge. This approach implicated a number of social factors in the production of scientific facts. The protagonist of this perspective focused on the complex negotiation and power struggles that constituted essential components of the scientific process that constructs (not discovers) scientific facts. Soon Baber, in the process of his discussion landed in Kuhn’s domain that ‘claim of strong programme being absurd and an example of deconstruction gone mad?’ (1998: 3) and soon researchers in SST found that this approach although targeted Merton’s ‘ethos of science’ approach, but when stripped of its own polemical manifesto and trendy neologisms’, it was not better than the Mertonism

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for empirical purposes. The ‘epistemic relativism’ of this constructionist perspective engendered ontological relativism. Although the perspective was insisting that scientific facts are socially constructed on the floor of laboratory, few accepted that the world does not exist independent of and prior to the knowledge produced about it. Hence, the contradiction emerged soon that the perspective being epistemologically relativist also is ontologically realist’ (Woolgar 1988: 53–65). Soon came the counter perspectives of Ray Bhaskar and Steven Yearley. But Baber clearly resided with Yearley’s (1988: 184) moderate constructionist view. And the political economy view. Although Yearly projects the idea that scientific and technological developments unfold in a constructionist manner, they also remain confined to the micro-sociological level of analysis’. And the political economy perspective draws attention to the larger institutional structures to examine how development of scientific and technological knowledge is influenced by political–economic priorities. Baber considers the combined approach a powerful theoretical tool. Baber, following Yearley, did not reject the insight of the constructionist perspectives, rather attempted to articulate it with an explicitly institutional and historical dimensions. In this study, Baber tried to demonstrate that the colonial encounter of Britain and India in the sphere of S&T had significant consequences not just for S&T in India but also for the development of the Western S&T. When political authorities in Britain realised the great potentialities in the application of S&T in India for the expansion of colonial purpose and the young scientists in Britain realised that the new geo-climatic conditions, minerals, flora, fauna and so on in India would provide them great research career opportunities, the patronage came through. The experience of building S&T institutions in British India contributed a fund of knowledge which was later on used in Britain. Concomitant were the policies of withdrawal of patronage for indigenous scientific and educational institutions. The elite, urban anglicised sections of the Indian population attempted to utilise the colonial structures to consolidate and legitimatise their status. They sought the expansion of the Western S&T as it was perceived as an avenue for social mobility on the contrary the involvement of both British and India created a transnational culture, with common communication strategies/systems, erasing cultural differences. Thus, the Western S&T transmitted to India by a colonial government through colonial institutions gave rise to a colonial S&T (Baber 1998: 7–8).

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The focus of this book has been the two-way interaction between S&T and society, how specific social and cultural factors led to the emergence of specific scientific and technological knowledge system and institutions which transformed the very social condition that produced them. A key feature of this analysis was the role of pre-colonial trading circuits and other institutional factors in transmitting scientific and technological knowledge from India to other civilisations. This reveals the pattern of social institutional construction of S&T. In the next chapter (1998: 14–52), the author demonstrates this also with examples from ancient Indian S&T which was socially and culturally embedded. Then ‘science was not considered as an independent analytical domain but was intimately interwoven with the other institution of society’ (1998: 19) and in the ancient and medieval periods, the distinction between S&T was also blurred. S&T were interwoven and embedded in social and cultural institutions. Now Baber corroborated his argument by showing how Geometry and Mathematics were embedded in the religion and social structure, for example the Sulbasutras (Vedic) recommended to construct square and circular altars with exact measures to perform rituals. The book is replete with such examples of S&T in all the spheres.

Studies in Marxian Perspective Although Marxist approach in Indian sociology is a well-known approach to study Indian society, it has not been so popular in the sociology of science. The sole votary of this approach in the SST in India was Ramasubban (1977: 155–93) who demonstrated the application of Marxist approach in analysing the impact of agriculture technology in India in the 1960s. Not only there is a dearth of published research work on this approach, but also there has been a dearth of scholars who subscribed and applied this approach to their studies in sociology of S&T. Therefore, the sole reference in favour of this is more than three decades old. Although Ramasubban started with collecting the damaging criticism of the well-known structural functional perspectives propounded by R. K. Merton, the perspective continues to be the dominant one even today, because in spite of his vehement criticisms against it, Mulkay (1980: 23–42) in a special issue of the noted journal

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Current Sociology had candidly confessed that till then no viable and coherent alternative perspective to the structural functional one was available, not even his own, he considered. To the Marxian sociology of science, knowledge of nature, science is a social product, a tool which humans progressively perfected to enhance his materialistic development. Knowledge here is not abstract or pure, it can only be applied to human benefits. This makes a rigid distinction between pure and applied science untenable in the Marxian framework. It further asserts that the state of science in any period is critically influenced by the given level of development of the material forces of production, the corresponding relation of productions and the superstructure of the social ideas. Hence, science in this framework is not even autonomous, rather is subservient to historically determined social forces’ (Ramasubban, 1977: 164). Marx had explicitly distinguished natural sciences from other forms of knowledge/cultural products that make the ideological superstructure determined by a historical mode of production. It is needless to emphasise here that the social ideas of the superstructure reflect the social relations and attitudes which may be subsumed in the social consciousness. Man makes use of his knowledge of nature to influence or master his natural and social environments. This is the foundation upon which technology develops, becomes progressively part of the productive forces and hence mode of production that moulds the superstructure. But making the process more dynamic, the Marxist argued that there exists some kind of ‘circular relationship’ between the superstructure of social ideas and development of scientific knowledge. Thus, the direction, pace and the aims of scientific knowledge are subject to the influence of the superstructure of social ideas (1977: 165). Further, it is argued that the conceptual phrasing of scientific problems is often determined by the economic, cultural and social contexts of the scientist. The Marxian theory of knowledge centres around the problems of theory and practice (praxis). The link between S&T embodies the link between theory and practice. The unity and difference between pure and applied science (i.e. between theory and practice) is an important feature of the Marxian approach to science. It is noteworthy that under the Marxian framework there exists an objective contradiction between theory and practice and, at the same time, their unity (1977: 166). Technology might be the embodiment of natural sciences man has accumulated in his struggle to

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harness the natural/social environment, but later on, technological development does not depend upon science. Development of theoretical science makes only one of the determinants of technological development. Theoretical science by itself cannot determine the direction and pace of development of technology. And the development in technological sciences is also determined by factors external to it. Thus, the vital aspect of S&T stands open; that is social basis or their development (ibid.). It is the investigation of the combined effect of the mode of production and the corresponding superstructure of ideas upon the development of S&T at each stage of history that makes the Marxian sociology science, claims Ramasubban (1977: 167). Having spelt out the Marxian approach, Ramasubban goes ahead to establish how the form of social and economic organisations largely conditions the pace and direction of the development of S&T, based on the specific interactions between socio-economic organisations in the case of Indian agriculture. She investigated this question/hypothesis with the help of secondary data and findings of research investigation by others. She concentrated on three issues basically: (i) the nature of changes that were taking place in Indian agriculture then, (ii) determining the extent of impact of green revolution technology on productivity and its patterns, and (iii) prospects of agricultural research to grow and to contribute to a total alternation of the agrarian prospects of India. Of course, she made her investigation on Agricultural S&T in the backdrop of India’s efforts to experience self-sufficiency in agricultural productivity (to escape high rural impoverishment of the 1950s and 1960s). After the introduction of the Community Development Programmes of 1950s, and subsequent American technological aid packaged for attaining green revolution (the combined aid of Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation and United States Agency for International Development [USAID]) in the pattern of Land Grant institutions, called as Intensive Agriculture Development program (IADP), the results were worth noting. May be India achieved selfsufficiency in agriculture by the end of 1960, but the other findings were alarming. It was found that in north India (Punjab, Haryana, etc.), all the input conditions for capital intensive and green revolution technologies were in favour of big farmers, for example, (i) requirement of large pieces of land by the technology which was not scale neutral, (ii)

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credit facilities, (iii) selective crop intensiveness of the technology and (iv) availing regulated irrigation water, and so on. Thus, the new agricultural technology immensely benefitted the big farmers. It also rendered the small and marginal farmers landless as they could not compete with big farmers. The major obstacle for tenant farmers adopting the new technology was the prevalent land tenurial system. About a quarter or more of the cultivated land in the country is under tenancy then. The rent on these holdings was very high. Their indebtedness led to their depeasantisation. Thus, the land ownership pattern and the land tenurial system both greatly determined the success of agricultural technologies in northern India. In southern and eastern India, food habit (stickiness of the traditional verities of rice) became a strong factor against the high yield variety (HYV) rice. In the same regions (the wet-rice growing areas), the land lords drove high risk-free incomes from feudal rent of land and money lending. If the new agricultural technologies were to be spread in these areas then these must be more profitable than the risk-free gains of the landlords. This was not possible without land reforms. In the Koshi-irrigated area in Bihar, the big land-owning class, which exercised economic and political control over share croppers and labourers, had no interest in encouraging the farmers to adopt new technologies as it would liberate the latter from the servile bondage (1977: 180). Thus, Ramasubban pointed out that agrarian social structure had then not provided the conditions for the spread of the new technologies among the rural India’s farming communities. An agrarian social structure characterised by dominant feudal features received the green revolution technologies to neutralise its effect. Ramasubban might have made her point and proved her hypotheses, but the Marxian sociology of S&T remained confined to how S&T is determined by socio-cultural factors merely in its diffusion. It is not examining the role of socio-cultural factors in the process of S&T knowledge creation. This later vital point is encashed upon by the social constructionist scholars. The other strong limitation of the Marxist approach is its relevance and suitability to genetic/historical method of explanation only where Marxist scholar can point out how the new society (structural features) emerges out of the womb of the old. It is certainly not amenable to other methods of scientific explanations (such the deductive, probabilistic and functional).

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Studies in Science and Technology Movements in India Appropriate technology (AT) movement in India: The study of AT movement in India by Dhal and Pattnaik (2012: 73–115) is a pioneering as well as novel exercise in itself. It is pioneering because it is the first empirical exercise on AT in India and it is novel because it is a sociological exercise through the application of a social movement theory. Reference to the study becomes almost inevitable in the context of studying science movement in India (as in the outset we clarified that conceptually differentiating between S&T may not be tenable now and often the PSMs in India rally around the issue of appropriate technologies). Having indulged in the debate on AT, the authors identified the indicators of AT in the context of a developing country like India, that is its labour-intensive character, suitability to local climate, dependence on local raw materials, local R&D, cultural relevance (embedded character), eco-friendliness and energy efficiency. The study of the phenomenon broadly has two parts, wherein the first part is based on secondary data and the second part is based on primary data. The first part is the articulation of AT movement as a macro phenomenon (PanIndian) studied as a discursive movement. This part of the study is based on the application of social movement perspective, that is from mobilisation to institutionalisation. After having articulated the early ideological mobilisation by the ideologies of AT like M. K. Gandhi, E. F. Schumacher, J. C. Kumarappa, and so on, the authors located the other forms of mobilisation in the First as well as the Fourth Five Year Plans of India, scientific policy resolution of Government of India (GoI) (1958), technology policy statement of GoI (1983), S&T policy statement of GoI (2003) and so on, which culminated in founding a good number of public-funded AT-promoting research institutions like CTARA at IIT Bombay, the Application of Science and Technology to Rural Areas (ASTRA) at IISci Banglore, CRT at IIT Delhi, NRDC under DSIR, KVIC and so on. It is also culminated in the setting up of a large number of private-funded AT-promoting institutions like ATDU at Varanasi, Appropriate Technology Development Association (ATDA) at Lucknow, MSRF at Madras, PPST Foundation at Madras and so on.

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The second part of the study was an effort to study empirically AT organisations through the resource mobilisation theory of social movements. The empirical exercise is based on three comprehensive case studies such as, (i) the ATDA, Lucknow, (ii) the ASTRA cell at the IISci Bangalore and (iii) the Honey Bee Network (HBN) at Ahmadabad. Each of the studies was an application of the resource mobilisation theory (RMT) advocated by (McCarthy and Zald 1977 and Tilly, 1978). RMT was construed to be suitable because (i) it is developed to study through the ongoing movement, (ii) applicable to study social movement organisations (SMOs) and (iii) the actors or the scholars of AT movements are construed to be engaged in instrumental actions by making of resources of the movement organisations and fostering mobilisation for development of appropriate technologies. Analysis of the movement organisation through the RTM involved the following broad framework: (i) intellectual mobilisation of the resources (a) actors (conscience constituents, constituent adherents and so on) (b) conception (c) formation (ii) Organisational Resources (a) objectives of the organisation (b) membership (c) activities (d) programmes and so on (iii) Financial Resources (a) funding agencies (b) other sources of earnings (iv) intellectual resources (a) projects implemented (b) patents filed (c) commercialised products and processes (d) technology transferred and so on (v) external linkages of SMO (vi) internal linkages of the SMO

But the logic of the study design was based on the three modules of technology diffusion based on which three case studies were chosen. And the broad conclusion was that as the model of technology transfer varied, the survival and success chances of the SMOs varied accordingly.

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Following was the model underlying the study of Dhal and Pattnaik (2012): Case Studies

Model of Tech. Diffusion

Survival and Success

ATDA Lucknow

Lab to land (Direct)

Failure, Dying (Top Down)

ASTRA Cell at IISci

Lab to Land Via

Successful after changing

Bangalore

NGO/SHG

its thrust to research agenda on Sustainable Technologies

HBN Ahmadabad

Land (people) to Lab to

Successful Sustainable

Land (people), via

Technologies (Bottom up)

NGO/SHG/VO

The authors concluded that as the model of technologies transfer involved more and more popular elements, the thrust of SMOs’ changed and these moved to produce more sustainable technologies. Without any popular component, the first SMO was found to be dying out of sheer failure. The second SMO (ASTRA) Cell at IISci, Bangalore, changed its thrust in 1973 and became centre for sustainable technologies (CST) to reorient its research towards sustainable technologies and involved non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and self-help groups (SHGs) for retaining its popular linkage, it then survived and experienced growth. And the HBN which believed in a bottom-up approach thrived on grass-roots level popular innovations to deliver the people back the same with technical, financial/marketing backup and involvement of popular elements like NGOs, SHGs, village organisations (VOs) and so on in the process of diffusion. It experienced rising growth and sustainability, of course, not only because of the popular contents and participatory nature of the entire process of the technology diffusion, but also because of the sustainable nature of the small and grass-roots innovation-based technologies. People’s Science Movement in India: The book entitled Science for Social Revolution, by Zachariah Mathew and R. Sooryamurthy (1994) was the first study of the first PSM in India led by Kerala Sahitya Shastra Parishad (KSSP) as a movement organisation. As a study of the PSM, it

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legitimately comes under the SST studies, hence it becomes essential to explicate the conception of science maintained by KSSP. As a movement organisation, for its convenience, KSSP takes advantages of the epistemological relativism and holds it as its own conception of science. To KSSP, science meant Shastram (Sanskrit)—an essentially modern view of science, that is systematically organised knowledge, tested logically and empirically. It is formally codified. But Shastram refers to the closed nature of scientific knowledge at a particular time (1994: 192). The other conception of science is based on Vijnan (Sanskrit) meaning valid knowledge about the material world that is based on observation and experimentations. Hence, it is not absolute rather is tentative, piecemeal and open to correction (1994: 20). KSSP subscribed to both the notions of science at the same time. But in day-to-day work, KSSP used the term ‘science’ in the latter sense. In 1973 KSSP adopted the slogan ‘science for social revolution’ which signified the correct approach of KSSP to science. It meant that (i) not any branches of knowledge but science is a process of enquiry that tries to establish cause-and-effect relationships, whether in natural or social world, (ii) the method of science and the use of conclusions derived from science and its applications are dependent upon human decisions and (iii) those human decisions have led to grave social problems including immiserisation. Hence, S&T should be people oriented and at the service of the people (1994: 20). Thus, KSSP tried to promote a critical consciousness of a particular type among the people of Kerala. As a PSM organisation, KSSP was not to promote the scientific spirit as an end issue but as a means. It was not interested in popularising science in the sense of merely disseminating scientific and technical knowledge in simpler terms. It was mainly to promote greater self-reliance and popular participation in development using S&T knowledge as part of its Liberatory pedagogy. In a nutshell, science was used as a means of social criticism in the Marxian sense of science. So KSSP treated S&T as a means to achieve the goals of an equitable and sustainable society. The other point of relevance in this context is the articulation of the theoretical foundation of the movement. Although authors studied PSM, the use of any given theory of social movement was never made explicit. However, implicit is the collective action and mobilisation perspective of social movement. Implicit features of the perspective of the PSM led by KSSP are:

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Binay Kumar Pattnaik 1. KSSP itself was an outcome of collective action by teachers, writers/literary persons, scientists, students, journalists and so on). Its broad theme of concern were (i) formal and non-formal primary education, (ii) people’s health, (iii) environment, (iv) people-centred S&T and (v) use of science for social change. 2. Its focus was voluntary involvement of committed middle-class intelligentsia, even as paid members (1994: 27). 3. Mobilisation by KSSP was its conscientisation process that involved dissemination of its message through science clubs, schools run by KSSP (summer science camps), science processions, science through folk arts, street theatre, rural science forums, organising people’s science congress, Jathas and KalaJathas, and so on. (1994: 63–75). 4. It developed a vision of society and ideology (Marxist) to attain the longterm goals of bringing social change/revolution. It also spelt out some of its short-term goals like full literacy, building environmental awareness, scientific consciousness and so on (it had institutionalised itself through some of its values in the long run) (1994: 28). 5. Its intellectual heritage was based on the writings of eminent historians of S&T like J. D. Bernal and J. B. S. Halden. 6. As part of its mobilisation strategies, it made alliances with other interest groups, voluntary organisations/NGOs and political parties on scientific issues (1994: 27). 7. It directed its action against the state and capitalism.

The other noteworthy sociological work on PSM in India was by Sahoo and Pattnaik (2012). Its distinctness lies in its empirical and theoretical character. Having defined PSM in India and putting it into its socio-historical context, the authors traced the genesis, formation and growth of PSM (2012: 9–21). Thereafter, the authors offered a discourse on the ideology and world view of PSM in India and an extensive account of science movements in Europe, USSR, Australia and the United States (2012: 22–73). More specifically, the study is an application of the well-known resource mobilisation theory of social movement studies. The earlier study of the KSSP by Zachariah and Sooryamoorthy (1994) is taken as a point of departure and the authors studied other PSM organisations in India, like the All India People’s Science Network (AIPSN), Bharaat Gyan Bigyan Samiti (BGVS), Jana Vigyan Vedica (JVV), Delhi Science Forum (DSF) and Ekalavya. Of these five case studies, one is an umbrella organisation of the four (i.e. AIPSN) and it flexes its muscle in civil society domain with the help of media and other intellectual resources.

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Of the four People’s Science Movement Organisations (PSMOs), two are radical activist organisations (BGVS and JVV) which are involved in grass-roots mobilisation of the people for science. The third one is also a radical organisation that has been suggestive of pedagogic revolution and mobilisation through school science pedagogy and novel teachers training programmes (i.e. Ekalavya). The last one is a voluntary organisation (i.e. DSF) which is a critiques of government S&T policies and engages in discursive-type mobilisations through its intellectual resources. Before analysing the five case studies from the vantage of resource mobilisation theory (of MacCarthy and Zalad, 1977: 1212–41), the authors explicated (2012: 33) why the PSMOs should be treated as SMOs, namely (i) each of these organisations has a specific set of goals to attain, (ii) each of these organisations has its strategies, tactics to mobilise resources both material and intellectual, (ii) decisive role of leadership in these PSMOs, (iv) each of these PSMOs have memberships and full-time staff to advocate for its constituency (section of population) and (v) each of these PSMOs mobilises its own resources in collaboration with their allies. Studying the five SMOs from the vantage of social movement theory is a sociologically exciting journey in social movement. The analysis of the five SMOs within the broad framework of RMT involves how these have pursued their goals (ideologically driven), with their distinct programmes and activities and at times with their unique methods of mobilisation. That apart, this analysis also emphasised how these SMOs not only maintain strong internal linkages but also strongly liaison with other civil society organisations/SMOs as well as with the Indian state. The authors pointed out how the PSMOs have worked in a concerted manner in liaison with each other (because of their ideological underpinnings) and carved out a niche for themselves in the domain of Indian civil society. It is because of their powerful presence (being active and vocal) that the Indian state is in fact forced to concede to them enough space in the public domain and recognise their pressure through occasional consultations. The major finding of the authors (1912: 69) was how in the long run the PSMs in India, as part of the social processes, have thrived by adapting to the changing socio-political and economic realities of India. Their adaptations involve their continuous renewal and, if necessary, diversification of the movement organisation itself. These tactics of adaptation through renewal, reformulation and diversification (backed

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by empirical evidences) have been key to their survival and success. This has been possible because of the dynamic locus of the movement. The locus of the movement, of course, constitutes the movement’s intellectuals who have been rich sources of creative ideas. Thus, the intellectuals have been the source of the dynamism of this movement, as it is usually found in other new social movements. The other major finding of the authors (ibid.) is the response of the Indian state to these PSMOs. As the larger movement was growing wider and involving more people and intellectuals, a centrist federal government at New Delhi could not ignore it and tried to relate itself to this broad-based movement. Having realised that such a movement cannot be completely taken over by the government, the ministry of S&T (DST precisely) formed an all-India umbrella organisation named National Council for Science and Technology Communication (NCSTC) to affiliate and regulate the PSMOs on the basis of membership to NCSTC. Even the government tried to attract and win over selected PSM intellectuals by offering chairs, resources and some freedom. Thus, the GoI has been able to relate itself to these voluntary and leftist-dominated PSMs and has not alienated itself to confront them. Finally, Sahoo and Pattnaik (2012: 70) noted the subtle points of imprint made by this larger PSMs in India, such as: (i) PSM as a pressure group forced the government to make S&T more people oriented, at least in policies; (ii) it kept alive the bottom-up approach to the policy making and governance in S&T; (iii) it linked to the government with non-official indigenous systems of knowledge otherwise known as alternative S&T and (iv) it also handsomely contributed to the literacy campaign and environmental movement in the country. Science popularisation movement in India: Worth referring in the context of science movements in India is a study on science popularisation movement in the eastern Indian state of Orissa by Pattnaik and Sahoo (2006: 211–44). Science popularisation movement is not to be confused with PSM because the later has structural concerns. Based on the articulation of the structural social inequalities, involving people on a voluntary basis, using science as means of social criticism, PSM seeks to bring structural as well as cultural changes in the society. PSM is necessarily an ideology driven collective mobilisation. But science popularisation movement is only an organised effort to spread scientific awareness and information pertaining to S&T. It may be that science

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popularisation efforts may take the shape of a movement and even serve nationalistic/regional interests of identity, as it is the case here. Even it is seen to be sharing its boundaries with PSM at times and aiming to promote scientific temper among the masses. This paper by Pattnaik and Sahoo (2006) analyses science popularisation movement in Orissa as a means of cultural criticism. The analysis is based on the case histories of Oriya scientists from mid-20th-century Orissa who all have formed the part of the movement. Based on the sociological perspective of social movement, that is from mobilisation to institutionalisation, the paper articulated the early mobilisations initiated by a group of science lovers/teachers and professionals at Cuttack in the 1940s. This soon got transformed into an institution called Orissa Bigyan Prachar Samiti (OBPS). And thereafter the basic mobilisation continued in the form of popular writings in science, science fictions, translation of great scientific works into the local vernacular language, teaching of science in vernacular language, delivering popular lectures in science, institution building in S&T and so on. Thus, the central thrust of the discursive movement was to take science to people. The authors Pattnaik and Sahoo (2006: 234–38) traced the roots of this movement in the pre-independent nationalist movement and the Oriya renaissance when Oriya nationalism, Oriya reformism and Oriya identity formation, three social movements intertwined, were sweeping the then Oriya society. So the science popularisation movement in Orissa was a carrier of the spirit of reform and renaissance. Later on, OBPS got diversified and a new movement organisation was born out of it called the Orissa Bigyan Academy (OBA) which, of course, later on became a government-funded organisation. OBPS slowed down and later on a new form of radical (left wing) science popularisation movement emerged in the 1990s under the leadership of Srujanika that uses science as a means of social activism. Another noteworthy piece of research on contemporary science movements in India came from Krishna (1997) with a somewhat different emphasis. Of course, by that time, Zachariah and Sooryamoorthy (1994) have already written about the PSM of KSSP. Although Krishna’s is not an empirical study of the then contemporary science movements in India, the article is worth referring to in the context of social movements in S&T in India. Krishna (1997: 375) perceived the movements in science in the context of India’s development discourse. To him,

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although the S&T system continued to play instrumental role in shaping society, certain sectors presented unsurmountable resistance in many forms against the techno-science hegemony mediated by technocratic and political forces. The scientific community had experienced the loss of autonomy, immunity and self-regulation that it had enjoyed before 1960s and was perceived as being part of the techno-science hegemony, devoid of the concern for the laity and the indigenous traditions. So the 1970s experienced the emergence of science activism rooted in a concern for the laities. Broadly, two streams of science movement emerged reflecting the two streams of critical consciousness (in response to the S&T in Modern India). One, critique emerged within the perspective of modern S&T and its relation with society. The social actors and groups which constituted the stream of the movement upheld and recognised the progressiveness and liberating role of modern S&T but were critical of the way it has become elitist, ignoring the interests of the poor masses. Science activists of this group drew their inspiration from the writings of J. D. Bernal and Karl Marx to take the S&T issues to the people. These have come to be known as the PSMs. The second stream of critique evolved outside the modern S&T epistemology and reflected varying construction of views borrowed from M. K. Gandhi and Gramsci. The actors of the stream are individual scholars who had taken extreme epistemological positions amounting to alternative sciences. The main concern of Indian alternative science movement (ASM) was the hegemonic force and authority of the S&T establishment in connivance with the Indian state. The hegemony of modern S&T was to be understood in the sense of scientism and technism which meant domination over all other forms of non-Western indigenous knowledge systems and production systems (Krishna 1997: 376). Krishna calls this the ASM (ibid.). And the protagonists of the movement were Ashis Nandy, Claude Alvares, Vandana Shiva, J. P. S Uberoi and so on. But the meaning of counter-hegemony was questioning of the modern Western S&T as a methodology (that dominates through centralisation of decision-making in operations and even the analysis of socio-cultural problems), raised questions about the misgivings of S&T as well as questions about distributive justice of S&T in terms of equality of access to the benefits and participation in decision-making. To Krishna, counter-hegemonic actions refer to organised and unorganised individual-based as well as group-based reactions both

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at intellectual and grass-roots levels to neutralise or resist hegemonic actions in the interest of society. Such actions, of course, do not erupt suddenly, but over a period of time, turn into a movement. The progress is from ideas through a process of public awakening or consciousness for ‘mobilisation’ and a process of ‘incorporation’ resulting from the counter-hegemonic action (1997: 377). Both the streams of the critique as evolved in the form of PSM and ASM in India reflect this process. Thus, it is clear that Krishna although did not make use of the social movement theory of collective action to study empirically the science movements in India, but he merely used it to perceive the phenomenon of science movement. But Krishna never clarified that the ASM was only a discursive movement. However, Krishna’s was the first articulation of ASM in India may be merely at a conceptual level. And later on in this paper he used Pierre Bourdieu’s notion of scientific field. He analysed both the counter-hegemonic movements as constituted by various science activists, groups agencies, individual actors (with critical narration) who exhibit societal knowledge interests, in which the issue at stake was the mobilisation of the resources and people to counter the hegemony of modern S&T. The field in its various ramifications reflects a great deal of heterogeneity and hybrid form of knowledge groups, institutions and so on that participate in exploring the dynamic relation between science and society.

Alternate Science Movement in India Ashis Nandy, a trained psychologist and post-colonial Indian intellectual of recent times, has contributed significantly to the sociology of science. Today he is well known as an anti- modern and anti-science scholar, of course, because of his critical writings on modern (Western) science. In order to understand Nandy’s formulation on modern science, we have relied on several of his papers published over a period, although the major one better known to the Western world was his edited book entitled Science Hegemony and Violence. Nandy’s criticism of modern science revolves around issues of scientific objectivity, monistic character of modern science, its domination, its misgivings or violence inflicted by it and an alternative science. Of course, all the said issues are interrelated ones.

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The value-free objective science refers to an almost nihilistic absence of any historical orientation. Almost all it creates is a moral vacuum wherein the value-free science promotes nothing more than an ideology of consumption, of belief in material wealth and of brute power over nature and other human beings as well as other living beings. Soon the power indiscriminately generated by science would suffice to destroy the natural harmonies so indispensable for life. At the same time, science can put itself in an advantageous position, when it can become the authority by itself (Nandy 1981b: 5). In such a situation, the ideology of science reigns supreme, leaving no room for values, morality and humility and science becomes a pure and simple means of exploitation, oppression and endless destruction. ‘Oppression diminishes, over time and space, but never ends. When one form of oppression ends another form emerges…. So when the contents of the oppression change: the basic line of the criticism also should change’ (Nandy 1981c: 18). This is how he began to militate against modern science. As a cultural aristocrat, Nandy was intolerant of a value-free science, and he rather advocated for a value-loaded science and a science rooted in values and traditions. To him, tradition had a broad meaning inclusive of both little and great traditions. The hiatus between facts and values as maintained by objectivity is in fact the cause of conflict between science and religion and it is only a Western experience. To him (1981c: 17), as pointed out to the authors of the statement on scientific temper (Haksar et al. 1981: 6–10), history of science in Asiatic as well as in modern India records no such instance of conflict and prosecution of scientists. Nandy’s strong defence for religion and his plea for counter criticism of science deserves a special mention here: ‘…. if science has a duty to criticize other systems of thought and cosmologies, the later have a duty to criticize science too’ (Nandy 1981c: 18). Defying scientific rationality and its supremacy, Nandy treats all forms of human knowledge as equals. But much before Nandy, this issue was raised by Paul Feyerabend who viewed science as just one of the many human traditions. He did not concede any better positions to science compared to other human traditions merely because of its rationality. To Feyerabend (1985: 27–28), traditions are neither good nor bad. They simply are. Rationality is not an arbiter of traditions, it is itself a tradition. A tradition assumes desirable or undesirable properties only when viewed by participants who see the world in terms of its values, which is subjective indeed. He believed

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in the plurality and equality of traditions. In case of a debate between science and other traditions (e.g. religion), Feyerabend suggests for an open exchange ensuring equality and respect to both the traditions (1985: 29–30). So did Nandy. The defence of culture against science, by Nandy, needs attention here. A culturally sensitive Nandy saw science encroaching upon other finer aspects of human life and wanted to put a check to this takeover of other peripheral consciousness by modern imperialistic science. The other point of contention for Nandy had been the universal character of modern science. To him, it is also a kind of science that is Western science and has been a companion to colonialism and exploitation in non-Western societies. And also it has been companion to militarism in post-colonial times. As Feyerabend puts, modern science as essentially an expansionist enterprise has banished its competing traditions, particularly the other forms of science that are non-modern with the help of its institutional support. Today science prevails not because of its comparative merits but because the show has been rigged in its favour (1985: 102). Similarly, noted Nandy, [T]he most totalizing element of modern science is its inability to recognize itself as one of the many traditions of science…. reluctant to include within the estate of science the non-modern traditions of science. Neither the classical nor the traditional sciences are respected as cultures of science having their own epistemologies and ethics. (1983a: 50–51)

Hence, there exists a hierarchy of knowledge systems. Nandy’s attack further continued against the epistemology of modern science: The common man has not only his folk science; he has a philosophy of science. It might be vague implicit and non professional but it has learnt from the experience of suffering. Such folk sciences and folk philosophies must be taken seriously. In fact we can hope to build an indigenous science only when such lost sciences and implicit philosophies are respectfully articulated by contemporary Indian scientists. (Nandy 1981c: 18)

It is here for the first time that Nandy revealed his social constructionist disposition. At the same time, as a post-colonial scholar, he looked for an alternative rationality. Having defied and branded rationality of modern science as merely Western and hence inadequate to

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understand the non-Western societies, Nandy formulated a notion of ‘Alternative Rationality’. To me, this is the most significant contribution of Nandy to sociology of science. Alternative rationality: As an anti-science scholar, Nandy argues that ‘science is not only a fully autonomous, rational and affectless pursuit; it too has its myths, magic, rituals and superstitions, not merely in its culture, as a context, but also in its core as a part of its text’ (1984: 163). While attacking science and its rationality, Nandy vaguely articulated the ‘rationality of irrationality’—in other words, an alternative rationality. Only at a few places, he gave hints (1984: 164 and 1983b: 196) of this conception, otherwise mostly he was reticent about its nature. If I have understood Nandy correctly, his alternative rationality has a twofold meaning. Firstly, that the myths and superstitions within science should be fought tooth and nail and, secondly, finding rational meanings in the indigenous ideas, which may often look irrational scientifically, but in fact have more humane and implicit rational tones. Whether the use of packed baby food, modern cosmetics, security through nuclear overkill and the like which are said to be indispensable are too superstitions held under the garb of science, technology and modernity. Nandy argues that ‘if one builds a billion dollar multinational corporation on Horlicks nobody says one is selling superstition, but everybody is after the village palmist cheating his client out of few rupees’ (1984: 164). Therefore, palmistry or astrology is mostly very small business; our priority should be to attack more powerful superstitions first. This is the example of first kind. The example of the second kind might be the belief in India in the notion of Punarjanma (rebirth). One could believe in Punarjanma because it also allows to work virtuously for the future on the basis of the belief that he will be there in the living universe in future in another form. But on the contrary, the modern Keynesian faith that ‘in the long run, we are all dead’ has contributed handsomely to consumerism and ecological disasters. Thus, by just changing our time perspective, we find that what looks apparently non-scientific becomes more humane and rational too. A similar example could be religion. It might be said to be a ‘reactionary ploy’ or an obscurantist and irrational force, but when understood as the sigh of the oppressed, it becomes more meaningful. Thus, by pointing out the rationality of the ideas of the oppressed majority of the developing world, Nandy retains the nativist (ethno) faith. And for standing by the

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interests of the majority in the underdeveloped world, Nandy too retains his basic commitment to humanity at the same time, which were central to his writings. Later Nandy had somewhat modified his epistemological position on science. To him, fortunately, India also happens to be a country where the intellectual tradition is truly cultural (unlike the west), that is scientific as well as cultural. He certainly refers here to the Indian intellectual tradition in which S&T are perceived (constructed) through the cognitive order/structures of Indian tradition and even assessed and criticised through such orders. It also meant an S&T that incorporated in or built upon Indian experiences of history. Through this articulation, Nandy was in fact referring to Indian traditional system of S&T. ‘Such indigenous knowledge systems may not have provided readymade solution to the present crisis of knowledge and power, but they have certainly become a part of the repertoire of the movements of science (1988: 12). Finally, Nandy pronounced that India ‘need not necessarily exercise the option that it has defensively rejected modern science in toto, and falling back upon the purity of its traditional systems of knowledge. It can instead choose to creatively assess the modern S&T, and then integrate its important segments to the traditional visions of knowledge (1988: 11).… The Indic civilization today straddling its two cultures, could reverse the usual one way procedure of enriching modern science, by integrating within it significant element from all other sciences, pre-modern, non-modern and post-modern, as further proof of the universality and syncretism of modern science (ibid.). However Nandy’s conception of science remained intriguing as he had rejected the positive science. It still remained a nebular question as to how he professed for integrating significant elements of modern S&T with the traditional Indian system of S&T, as both these traditions are distinct and have two different epistemologies (that he has already said). In this context, pertinent is the notion of alternative science that has been introduced and argued by Vandana Shiva (who is a physicist turned environmentalist). Her writings also become mention-worthy here for popularising the concept of ecofeminism among the Indian scholars. She has not only contributed and strengthened the concept by her theoretical input but also by contextualising the concept of ecofeminism to Indian situations/realities. She has explained how Indian

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women, who are still embedded in nature, are the worst affected lots in ecological destruction by modern S&T. Modern science, being a masculine enterprise, operates on nature for natural resources which is like a woman to be raped. Nature is construed as feminine as it has reproductive/regenerative powers. Science as a male venture subjugated both the female nature and female sex (which is dependent upon nature). This has resulted in polarisation of gender (1988: 17). Having conceived modern science essentially as a patriarchy project, Shiva also treats it as a (non-universalistic) ethno-science of the West (that of white middle-class men of 15th–17th centuries). The dominant stream of modern science, the reductionist or mechanical paradigm is a particular kind of response of a particular group of people (1988: 15) to interact with nature. The facts of the reductionist science are socially constructed categories which have the cultural markings of the Western bourgeoisie, and patriarchal system in the context of discovery and justification, noted Shiva (1988: 27). She further noted that the subjugation of the other traditions of knowledge is similarly a displacement of culturally constituted facts of nature by another, not the substitution of ‘superstition’ by facts. The cultural categories of scientific knowledge are not merely cognitive, they are also ethical (1988: 28). Thus, Shiva had a social constructivist or relativist view of science. Following Carolin Merchant, Brian Easlea, Paul Feyerabend (methodological anarchy) and others, Shiva found the eco-destruction capacity of science to be inherent in its epistemology as a modern science is said to be anti-ecological and reductionist. It is said to be reductionist because (i) it reduces the capacity of nature to creatively regenerate and review itself to its manipulable potentiality, and (ii) it sees all systems as made up of some basic constituents that are discrete and atomistic. Further, it assumes that all basic processes are mechanical. Nature and society have been socially reconstituted by mechanistic metaphors in contrast to organic metaphors in which concepts of natural order and power are based on interconnectedness and reciprocity. The mechanistic metaphor of nature is based on the assumption of its separability from man and separability and manipulability of its parts. The epistemological assumption of reductionism is related to its ontological assumption that allows the knowledge of the parts of a system to be taken as the knowledge of the whole and separability allows context-free abstractions of knowledge to create criteria of validity-based

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on alienation, non-participation, that is projected as objectivity (Shiva 1988: 22). Similarly, natural resources are treated as isolated, non-interacting collection of isolated resources. They acquire value only in the context of their marketability not otherwise. Only the properties of the resource system are taken into account which generates profits through exploitation and extraction; properties which stabilise ecological process but are commercially non-exploitative are ignored and eventually destroyed, even though they are functional to the ecology at large. Hence, the view that reduces nature to its parts, and takes no account of the relationship between parts and structure and function of the whole system, is reductionist. The exclusiveness of reductionist science is three fold: (i) Ontological (other properties are just not taken note of ); (ii) Epistemological (other ways of perceiving and knowing are not recognised) and (iii) Sociological (non-specialist is deprived of right to access and judge knowledge claims). Modern Western scientific knowledge, however, is distinct from indigenous knowledge system on three grounds: (i) modern science is reductionist and fragmental, (ii) modern technological systems are based on reductionist science and are more resource intensive and (iii) there are no criteria of rationality or technology choices to evaluate modern S&T on the basis of resource use efficiency or need satisfaction capability (1991: 41). Later on, in her next book (1991: 48), Shiva argued that ecology provides for an epistemological framework within which the alternative to reductionist S&T is possible. She goes to the extent of arguing that the ecological foundation of an alternative S&T differ from philosophies based on epistemological relativism. While epistemological relativism also includes the possibility of alternatives, it denies the existence of materialistic criteria of the rational choice of alternatives. The ecological foundation of an alternative S&T provide a materialistic epistemology for evaluating the rationality of knowledge claims on the basis of their materialist adequacy in guiding action (1991: 48). This is a somewhat modified position of Shiva on the conception of science. This is what she calls ‘Public Interest Science’. This is a tool which makes explicit the political nature of partisan science and makes it a factor located within environmental conflict. Public interest science, however, does not merely have a critical role in the politics of knowledge and the politics of the environment. It also has a constructive role in

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generating new paradigms of science and development based on the ecological principles, which ensures sustainability and justice (1991: 50). But the details of the methodological requirements of this alternative science was never explicated by Shiva. Claude Alvares, again an anti-science (freelancing) scholar, in fact, has taken a Luddite view of modern science. In view of the misgivings of modern S&T (violence inflicted through the development process), one may suggest to bring in a different epistemology other than the Galilean positivist keeping the content in tact (i.e. methodology), but Alvares argues that it is not possible to dislocate the physics of modern science from its metaphysics. While trying to do so, one destroys both. As both rose together in warm embrace, both must die the same cold death (1988: 71). Further, to him, the ‘Galilean science/modern science is a historically specific determined method’ (hence, meaning not universal, but only Western-ethno science) of acquiring specific forms of knowledge whose utility for a post-modern period is gravely debated (1988: 72). Because to him, modern scientific rationality, though excellent for limited and selected purposes, is not the primary epistemology for truth. Galilean method involved the elimination of all subjective elements, rendering suspect all qualities except the primary qualities. Only a fragment of man—the detached intelligence—and only certain products of that detached intelligence, such as scientific theorems and machines can claim any permanent place or higher degree of reality. Thus, objectivity was defined in a specific and distorted way and identified with modern science. Alvares having used two overlapping ‘Scales of restrictions’, one represents the continuum from pure experience to pure abstractions, the other from organism/nature to machine/science, argues that modern science today represents the end of the continuum where abstractions and machines predominate. Regrettably, modern science seeks to replace the experiential by the ahistorically abstract and the natural by the man-made. Hence, it denies the democratic participation (of non-experts) in the production, validation and evaluation of scientific knowledge. Alvares was obsessed with the abstract character of modern science and was seeking to replace it with historical experiences. To him, abstractions and restrictions are two sides of the same coin; in the process of abstraction, one restricts reality by abstracting certain features and ignoring others. Such a process only encapsulates only fragments of truth (and thus not holistic). It is ahistorical too. Because

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abstraction means zero history. The Galilean experiment or scientific rationality merely purified such abstractions further. The experiment ideally restricts its first elements of historicity. Scientific experiment is an exercise in pure abstraction and represents only empirical truth that appeals to resultant facts as final arbiter (1988: 75). But when we examine the nature of these facts, we discover a number of embarrassing epistemological lapses; the fact is not the ordinary event or object in itself, with the relevant historical forces acting on it at that moment. It is a theory-laden fact, a fact created under the direction of a specific metaphysics (1992: 65). The principal feature of the experiment, which is a tool to create scientific facts, is that it is devoid of historicity of uniqueness of time. To experiment one has to locate one’s facts within an area detected by certain postulates. These postulates are not supplied by the experiment. But these postulates are never rationally questioned as to why these are chosen over other postulates (because usually this is a matter of convenience to the scientist). A scientific fact is a historical event, stripped of its unique features…. The fact that on experiment distorts reality is no longer doubted, but such distorted realities are passed off as ‘facts’/objective knowledge (1992: 65). Further, Alvares alleges that science is not a supposition-less activity, although it pretends not to be. These suppositions are based on metaphysics which is relative. Therefore, the non-Western sciences of Chinese and Indian traditions are different. So by emphasising the need for the historicity of facts and arbitrary metaphysics that puts scientific postulates in a context, Alvares indirectly subscribes to the social constructivism of science. But at the end, Alvares might have proved to be a great critique of Galilean/modern science, but failed to explicate his own alternative concept of science which does not inflict any violence and reflects all the ideal characteristics spelt out by him. Extremely relevant in this context are two publications, one by Meera Nanda (1998) and the other by Roli Varma (2001), as these pertain to adding clarity to the great Indian debate on the epistemology of science. Although neither of these authors is a sociologist (neither by practice nor by training), but these expatriate Indian scholars, both products of the STS programme at the Rensellaer Politechnic Institute (RPI), had revived the unresolved issues of the great Indian debate of previous decades and the much needed clarity to it. Nanda (1998: 915) started off the great Indian debate on ‘scientific temper vs. humanistic

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temper’ triggered by Ashis Nandy that subsequently brought in a host of theoretical formulations, such as ethno-sciences, standpoint epistemologies and situated knowledge which pointed out that the modern science is sharply an ethno-science of the West, truth discovered by it are not any more rational and universal than any other local scientific knowledge of any culture. Based on the social constructivist theory, it is argued that scientific reasoning and the very context of science are all Eurocentric constructs and complicit with Western imperialism. This logic relativises the validity of scientific knowledge of the natural world, even the existent objects and properties of the natural world according to the prevailing social relations and cultural meanings. Instead of critically appreciating the role of social institutions, power relations and cultural meanings in bringing us closer to the facts of that matter, the constructivist claim to study how the social prejudices/relations of the day construct a scientific ‘fact’. The social does not interact and shape the scientific, but the social constitutes the scientific method and hence the scientific is social (ibid.). To Nanda, this view has been perpetuated by the academic left as it found to be a fertile field to germinate their own ideas. As expected, the left-oriented intellectuals and activists argued that modern S&T as a social construct of the powerful (Western, developed, male, white, etc.) is somehow progressive and is a gift to the poor (with a poison to control him) the non-Western others of the so-called Third World. Apparently, the idea was to empower the poor with his own scientific knowledge. Because once shown how power creates truth, the disempowered will no longer feel compelled to live by the dictates/gifts of the powerful. They will create their own scientific truth, their own scientific knowledge which would be more objective than the previous, because this truth would be grounded on their lives. Scientific knowledge from the ‘standpoint epistemology’ of the oppressed would have a stronger objectivity. However, to Nanda (ibid.), the intellectual left, by accepting the social constructivist approach to S&T as recipe for progressive critique of the prejudices and passions (projected as culture), is actually legitimising and privileging or, at the minimum, not challenging those parochial prejudices and passions. Thus, the intellectual leftist are indulging in a treason against truth. There may be biases in modern S&T but the biases do not make the S&T. To her, the left intellectuals have, in fact, misunderstood the modern S&T as the project enlightenment. By being emphatic about the epistemological rights of

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the poor people/non-Western others, the intellectual left has, in fact, opened a floodgate. It not only created ‘Science wars’ in the US, it facilitated S&T to be charged with nationalism/anti-nationalism; anti-imperialism; religious, cultural, gendered and Third World identities. Science wars thus proliferated and spilled out in the streets by some, in developing countries like India. Nanda is right to trace back the roots of ‘science war’ in US academics to New Delhi ‘scientific temper vs. humanistic temper’ debate. Because Nandy and allies like Vandana Shiva, Claude Alvares, S, Viswanathan, and so on, thereafter went ahead with their series of seminars, books that are highly acclaimed by the post-colonial and post-modern scholars of S&T. Nanda (1998: 916) continued her replies to the leftist as well as to the constructivists that S&T knowledge could be deconstructed only to the extent that it’s a rational critique of all oppressions. It is a vantage point for critical evaluation of our social context. The world is aware of the Western origin of the modern S&T and its legitimation of colonialism, racism and militarism. But the world has not taken the next self-defeating step that the social constructivist and post-modern and post-colonial scholars have taken: that is to say, the world never confused science as a social institution (act of collectivities in the interests of a larger collectivity) and science as a method of arriving at valid testable and best corroborated account of reality. Because the world does not make the very criteria of truth emergent of the admittedly patriarchal, Western colonial and capitalist institutions in which modern science was born and raised, the world was able to retain the critical potential of science (1998: 916). And regrettably, it is this critical dimension of alternative of science movements in India that has been silenced. By merely pointing its Western origin, these critiques could not undermine its validity and legitimate method of acquiring certified and useful knowledge. Instead of critically evaluating the role of our own socio-cultural forms, the protagonists of constructivist science have glorified our non-Western traditional knowledges (including dogmas and superstition regardless of their validity) as these are socially constructed. This tantamounts to celebrating nativism and rejecting reason and science under the pretext of Western modernity and colonial ideology. The new intellectual order as propounded by Nandy and allies followed: intellectuals speaking in the categories of thought shared by subaltern masses were to be seen as progressive and only they retain the right to speak for the masses. Any idea

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that clashes with the indigenous culture, the latter should prevail over. Shiva in particular, in her epistemological criticism of modern science went to the extent of claiming that ‘there were no criteria left to distinguish between the myths of traditional thought and metaphors of modern science and between folk deities and presupposed theoretical entities of modern scientists’. They combined modern science and modernity to attack for being hegemonistic and supporting traditional wisdom and knowledge, creating superstitions about itself, legitimising colonialism and legitimising Western model of development. Western science and modernity were damned as sources of all the problems in the developing world starting from environmental problems, through green revolution to big dams and development induced displacements. The only solution appeared to be deconstruction of the so-called reductionist modern science. Soon the social constructivist logic of post-colonial critiques of science fell into the Hindu right wing intellectuals under the rules of BJP in India, who grabbed it to canvass for Vedic astrology/ mathematics, or Hindu S&T under the logic of relativism. In the same way, making use of argument of relativism and standpoint epistemologies, appeared claims for Islamic science, feminist science, multi-cultural science and pseudo-radical Third World science and so on. Hence, Nandi-Shiva-Alvares combined claim for ethno-knowledge becomes a patriotic ploy merely where the left and right come together. The political left and right agree on this point to display their opportunism. Thus, the post-colonial science got transformed into post-modern science. To say in a nutshell, both hold that; the standard of evaluation of truth and rationality of knowledge and indeed reality itself, is constituted by a culture’s assumptions and ways of seeing the world. This is a rare situation indeed where reality itself, is constituted by a culture’s assumptions and ways of seeing the world. Cultural meanings being unique and hence incommensurate cannot be compared with each other. The validity of these knowledge are relative to their own cultural assumptions. They do not believe that science can break through the prevailing cultural assumptions and embedded traditional knowledge and give us reliable knowledge of the objective world. This knowledge even if supported by independent evidence is open to political refutation.… They deny that science can go beyond social biases and cultural meanings and bring us close to the objective world. To them it is a myth and scientific truth like any other ethno sciences, is nothing but a consensus that is obtained around dominant cultural meanings.

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Thus, culture is constitutive of what we see. So we should look at our knowledge based on our own cultural assumptions. The constructivists have heavily dwelled upon the influence of culture on our perceptions. Hence, they claim that social/cultural biases are built into the very criteria of validity themselves and that experimental methods of science are not capable of correcting these biases. Thus, they deny the process through which these cultural categories are themselves revised (through our changed perceptions of natural reality). Because the reality is denied to be independent of our perceptions. Thus, science is refused to be perceived as a self-correcting process. By insisting upon the dependence of truth on the social context and political/religious ideologies, these constructivists have not merely encouraged relativism in science but encouraged an ‘anything goes’ attitude. Thus, their act is less of science and more of politicking. Like Nanda, I also note that unless one is an ultra-positivist, one does not go to the extent of denying the cultural roots of modern science and even the role socio-cultural elements play in defining meaning. But that does not necessarily lead to cultural relativisation of science. Modern science, being independent of culture, can account for the cultural biases and influences. Even within the positivist frame of modern S&T, we question technocracy and scientism for their misgivings and take a critical view of self-regulation and look for solutions of course within. So we do recognise the traditional ways of relating to the world by the traditional communities as legitimate knowledge systems for such communities (of course on selective basis). Often these knowledge systems need systematisation and sanitisation of their oppressive demand, that is openness to correction. But these no way lead to the rejection of modern science. Even in the stock of S&T knowledge in ancient India there had been positivism and its epistemology as well as methodology are in agreement with the modern science and hence need not be branded as mere ethno-sciences, and hence relativistic. And those must not be perceived as methodologically different and parallel to the modern science. With regard to the question of equality and justice, these continue to be values within and for modern S&T. The Mertonian ethos of science has already pointed out the inbuilt prevalence of democratic principles and justice-based reward systems in science. The issue of justice and inequality in terms of access and benefits/delivery is because of the prevalent mode of social stratification.

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Thus, what is central to the relationistic or standpoint epistemology of science is a priority of content over context/belongingness (whose knowledge it is) over the universal truth (what is being asserted) and possibly ethno-methodology over the positivistic methodology (what method of enquiry is being used). I am surprised that Nanda does not raise the issue of content/method of enquiry of the constructivist. Because, if their epistemology differs, their method of enquiry is also to differ. By the own logic of the constructivist, as epistemology varies, the corresponding methodology also should vary. So I am reluctant to concede the methodology of positivist and modern science to the social constructivists for whom the objective world ceases to exist. But the neo-constructivist and feminist orthodoxy goes to the extent of arguing that the scientist and context of science are inseparable. Because the identity of the investigator (in terms of race, class, ethnicity and gender) make difference at all levels of scientific enquiry—all the way down (from the kinds of questions being asked to the kind of theories brought into the criteria of assessing if the evidences warrant our accepting the hypothesis. Thus, this scientific knowledge does not bring us closer to the empirically adequate, logically coherent and universally valid knowledge about a piece of reality, but only to a sort of knowledge (not necessarily objective and scientific) in any given social and cultural context. If one accepts this logic of the constructivists approach, then certainly its outcome would not be objectively verifiable facts, but facts of some subjective and predetermined kind. It is here the social constructivist and the relativist approach fails miserably when asked if the social constructivist theory of science explains adequately how science is actually practised by scientists in scientific institutions. Why scientific theories bring us closer to understanding the mechanism that actually operates in any given aspect of the natural world as it is? And if it explains how scientific knowledge grows? It may be easy to argue that in a Kuhnian sense, modern science is paradigm guided and hence moves in a pre-determined direction, but they fail to explain how the scientists at times change their preconceived assumptions about a theory/paradigm that they have been committed to. Thus, without a distinct methodology (which is usually accompanied by its corresponding tools and techniques) of its own and the external criteria of validity of its knowledge, the constructivist perspective to science appears to be a mere intellectual fad. May be it has been to

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certain extent successful as critique of modern science, but it has failed as a true alternative perspective to modern positivist science. Merely being equipped with a different epistemology may not be good enough because it only provides for a context and not a content for science. Without a distinct but alternative methodology of its own, this approach is not capable of discovering/producing verifiable facts/certified knowledge. But such knowledge is supposed to be based on a better, stronger, richer and more self-reflective objectivity than that of the so-called reductionist science. It seems to be more like an ideal-type construct, a kind of utopian perspective that is intellectually gratifying and ideologically fulfilling for its protagonists. It is also found to be an easy method of constructing one’s parochial identities. This perspective originated as the social constructivist approach to reality but was grabbed by the academic left to become post-colonial that later turned into post-modern because of its relativism, stays confined to the realm of social studies of science only and not subscribed by the practising scientists. Even agrees Varma (2001), the other expatriate Indian scholar, pertinent in this context. Having understood the basic problem of science wars in India, Varma (2001: 4796–02) first spelt out the fundamentals of science and the basic writings of the great founders that have led to the emergence of modern science and then fits the social constructivist perspective of science against it to provide a vivid account of the ‘science war’ in the USA. And while contextualising the ‘science war’ in India, Varma went back again to the great Indian debate on ‘scientific temper vs. humanistic temper’. Varma (2001: 4796) correctly argued that there is a myth about science wars in India because the two cultures’ problem suggests that the version of reality should be on either side in serious conflict, whereas the PSM works on the common platform. Without two sides that are diametrically opposed to each other and cannot reconcile, there cannot be science wars. Varma was, in fact, hinting at the compromising stand taken by the PSMO with regard to the epistemological question of science. To say that the concept of ‘science wars’ as evolved in the West is not applicable in India is to some the intellectual credits that are due to Ashis Nandy, Vandana Shiva and Claude Alvares. Although many of their ideas were borrowed from the west, meaning not original, but it is their re-artieulatations by these Indian scholars that have triggered the

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current science wars in the USA, which Meera Nanda has already explicated. But science wars in Indian academics did flourish in 1980s when Nandy, Shiva and allies were extremely vocal and verbose. They were already influential among the Indian academic left. The defenders of science in social sciences were soft spoken, then under the fear of being branded as reactionaries and non-radicals. And defenders of science in the profession of natural sciences/engineering did not pursue it seriously after a while with exception of P. M. Bhargava. And there were a few solitary and young defenders of science like myself and Meera Nanda who were ignored and given no hearing. Even my book on scientific temper was turned down by a Nandy follower as a referee from a major publishing house because I had taken up theoretical arguments with Nandy. This experience is now more than two decades old and I have amended my fences. Thus, it has been a prolonged war of science in India and the constructivists-turned-post-colonialist warriors have been in the losing trail for more than a decade now. But Varma was right to point out that science war in India seen in a dichotomy, that is scientific versus humanistic temper, is also a misplaced polarity because PSMs work on a common platform on the interface between science and society. PSM activists and the intellectuals stress on unity in science and society making it, science for social revolution. Varma is also correct in pointing out that PSMs in India have been found to be arguing for two apparently opposite cultures, that is taking the scientists’ S&T to the people and opposing the scientists’ S&T for the people. The contradiction is more apparent than real. Because the PSM intellectuals, as said earlier, do believe in the modern S&T and its methodology but are critical of the modern science for its misuse and attributed misgivings. Thus, they desired for a truly people-oriented science which can be regulated and influenced by the people through participatory methods. This never meant rejection of modern S&T and acceptance of the constructivist and so-called relativistic science as an alternative. Lastly, Varma (2001: 4801) also pointed out the limits of modern science by denying the massively emancipating role expected by Nanda, because science is not the solo player in this context. Nanda expected the modern science to liberate the oppressed people, oppose patriarchy, demolish caste system, ensure equality of human beings and free their minds from superstitions and fear of gods. Indeed, it is too much to expect science to be a panacea or a magic wand to solve all developmental as well as social problems by itself. It must have its functions limited to knowledge generation and enlightenment than delimiting to social reforms.

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Women in Indian Science (Gender Issues) Chanana (2000: 1015), based on all-India data (secondary source), pointed out the disproportionately low presence of women students in professional courses, like engineering, veterinary, agriculture and the like (which has been increasing over decades, of course). Even she referred to the existence of regional disparities in India (south being better placed) in this matter. Further, having pointed out the parental orientation responsible for the low ratio of women students entering into engineering education, Chanana (2000: 1018) observed the shifting trend of women students in their focus of entry into new faculties of learning in technical education like computer science and engineering/ IT, programming and allied management courses, of course because of post-liberalisation market demands. However, the most notable point of her paper was the ‘Great Barriers’, that is entry/access of women to higher education which is still dismal. Chanana (2000: 1020) explained out this phenomenon in terms of certain socio-cultural factors that could be treated as macro and micro. The macro-level factors are related to variables like caste, tribe, class and regional variations. But her point of emphasis was the micro-level factors that she treated as institutional and societal types. Some major aspects of the institutional arrangements are said to be gender stereotyping in course content and subject choice, discriminatory attitudes of teachers and administrators, absence of role models, reinforcement of traditional social roles in colleges and so on. The societal aspects of the macro-level factors are those emanating from cultural practices, behaviour patterns and social role expectations, association of women with private domain of household and so on. Further notable among these factors are parental choice between dowry and educational expenses, absences of role model at home, perception of education as consumption irrelevant to production, non-use and non-expectation of earnings of daughters, and so on (2000: 1020). In the context of studies on women in science in India, relevant becomes the study of Gupta and Sharma (2003: 279–309) which is one of the few sociological studies conducted among Indian women scientists. It investigates how the structure and ideology of patrifocality affect the lives and careers of women scientists in India. As this ideology is reflected in various social stereotypes about gender roles, the authors examined if the women scientists and their families have tried to

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overcome these stereotypes. The authors conducted their studies among a few leading Indian academic institutions of science and engineering. They have found (2003: 287) not only discouraging societal perceptions about women entering into science and engineering profession, but also lower societal expectations from women in terms of professional achievements in science and engineering. In their further investigation into details of patrifocal priorities and gender-based stereotypes such as; (i)  role of parents in pursuing a career in science and engineering, (ii) expectations of parents from daughters, (iii) selection of spouse in one’s marriage, (iv) age of marriage, (v) domestic work and role of the spouse, (vi) impact of joint family, and so on, the authors have found often mixed responses and, at places, very progressive and tradition-breaking trends (2003: 290–92) among women scientists and engineers. The authors have clarified elsewhere (2002) that patrifocal concerns need not be confused with patriarchy. If patriarchy implies dominance of men in all settings and in all situations, patrifocality refers to the family system, for instance, the mother-in law, not her son, may exercise more influence on her daughter-in-law’s career activities. Patrifocality is specific to hierarchical Indian society. With the help of same data, the authors have reported (2002: 904–06) elsewhere the three major problems encountered by the women scientists due to gender difference: (i) male dominance at work environment, (ii) feeling of isolation, (iii) experience of role conflict between being a woman and a scientist. A major finding of the authors pertains to the concept of dual burden among the women scientists. But the finding is almost revealing that ‘dual burden has not affected their careers and research/professional output. Most of them felt that it has been manageable for them to perform both their roles, domestic as well as professional. So in a sense there is an absence of dual burden in fact (2003: 293). But the authors have also reported existence of dual burden among the same sample women scientists elsewhere (2002: 908–10). The other major finding of this exercise pertains to the impact of patrifocality (2003: 300) on two important job indicators like job involvement and job satisfaction. The authors found, if not of very high level, reasonably good level of job involvement and a high level of job satisfaction to be present among the sample women scientists and engineers. It is also found that these scientists have redefined success, that is to be reasonably good in both the fronts like profession and home.

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Parameters of success are slightly differently defined in relation to male scientists. It is conceived as a balancing act (2003: 302). This, in fact, has emerged as a great coping strategy against work pressure. Thus, the women scientists and engineers, including their families, reflect through their actions and decision a process of embracing change and continuity of traditions. In another piece of research work, Gupta and Sharma (2001: 395– 416) in their study among women scientists in a few leading institutions of science and engineering in India have tried to explore the nature of ‘triple burden’ among women scientists in India. If the dual burden is perceived of work and family, the third burden is emergent of the gendered environment of work. While examining the phenomenon in depth, the authors found (2001: 405–12) some amount of perception of bias against women in; (i) appointment as well as promotions, (ii) allocation of research students (male students do not prefer female guides, fear that the female guide may proceed on leave at any time, etc.), (iii) funding of research projects (maintaining contact with industry and the government department is not easy for women scientists, not amenable to running around for funds for attaining conferences and seminars, etc.), (iv) mostly women scientists spend more time in teaching (but teaching is not often rewarding), (v) giving administrative responsibilities (e.g. HOD, Dean, etc.) and (vi) supportive facilities (absence of childcare facilities, adequate security in campus, etc.). It was also found that although the women scientists are aware of the importance of informal environment for sharing various important information about the opportunities, things to happen/are happening, relevant for career advancement, but still cannot be part of it because of their own inhibitions, family constraints and because evening chat and drinking sessions are male centric. Even these women hardly take part in the informal activities of the institute and be easily part of any pull to earn favouritism. With regard to the impact of triple burden, the authors found (2001: 412–14) that a vast majority of Indian women scientists noted the importance of marriage and motherhood in life, but at the same time, noted that motherhood leads to declining job involvement. Interestingly, marriage is found to be bringing positive result and making them more productive (because of social support). The crucial impact of career stress results in their compromises in career, lowering the success

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goals, exhaustion, identity crisis and social isolation. To counter the stress emergent of their ‘triple role’, the women scientists have developed certain coping strategies such as (i) compromises on career and giving priority to family responsibilities, (ii) postponing research and pursuing it vigorously at a later stage (i.e. till they reach the post-50 age group) and (iii) redefining success, pointed out the authors elsewhere (2002: 911). Another pertinent study was from Neelam Kumar (2001: 51–67) which was based on her study among women physical scientists located in a few CSIR laboratories and universities in four Indian cities. She pointed out the existence of a gender-based stratification in Indian science. The study offers empirical evidences of gender inequalities in the academic hierarchy as an important aspect of social organisation of Indian science. Where there was no statistically significant differences in terms of research productivity indicators (e.g. writing books and papers, filing patents, etc.), men and women scientists as two groups differ in terms of their academic rank achieved, claims Neelam Kumar (2001: 57–61). Similarly, the empirical data show no significant difference between men and women scientists in terms of recognition measures, such as awards received, membership of professional organisations achieved and so on, claims Neelam Kumar (ibid.). But in the ranking/ hierachy of organization positions women are duly placed. So gender-based discrimination becomes one of the obvious explanations to this fact, but Neelam Kumar goes a step ahead to identify a gender-based stratification system as a perspective to explain away this observation. Research performance appears to be unrelated to the differential ranking of men and women scientists, which points out an absence of universalistic criterion of promotion in those organisations. And this is also a reflection of gender-based discrimination and inequality prevalent in the wider society that is governed by feudal and authoritarian values, in the scientific establishment, subscribes Kumar (2001: 64).

Science Technology and Social Change in India S&T giving rise to class formation: In view of the profoundness of the question of social inequalities, Pattnaik (2012) tried to analyse (at a macro level) the role of S&T in India, particularly in relation to the system of social stratification both within and outside the system of S&T in India. As a socio-historical analysis based on the secondary data and findings,

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the paper articulated a few original formulations on the role of S&T in post-independent India, particularly pointing out how it contributed to class formation in India in the context of major trend developments (in different decades) like; (i) modernisation of S&T in India, (ii) green revolution–induced technology-intensive agriculture, (iii) development as a triage causing massive displacements and loss of livelihoods and (iv) ICT revolution in India. Although the four trend developments are postindependence phenomena, they have their time frames too. 1. During the modernisation phase of Indian S&T soon after independence (during 1950s to 1970s), the structural inequalities observed were; (i) artificial elitism in science when the colonial and Indian scientists educated in the West could not relate their R&D to Indian society, (ii) emergence of Big S&T in India that created stratification within the Indian S&T establishment and disenchantment with Nehruvian S&T causing rise of PSMs and so on, (iii) stratification within Indian academic science (emergence of major and minor centres for research, Mathew effects and accumulative advantage effects, (iv) import substituted industrialisation causing technological dependence, brain drain, and so on, policy of self-reliance and subsequently created large institutional base in Indian S&T. The net result was the rise of Indian scientific community as part of great Indian middle class. 2. Green revolution induced by technology-intensive agriculture during the 1960s and 1970s immensely benefited the big farmers and caused depeasantisation among small and marginal farmers. Thus, green revolution technology had handsomely contributed, along with other factors, towards class formation in rural India. 3. S&T-based development as triage (from 1980s onwards): (i) the theories of the underdevelopment pointed out that development at one place causes underdevelopment elsewhere, as both are causally related. Hence, India faced serious environmental problems, (ii) large-scale developmental projects caused massive displacement and loss of livelihoods to local people. Both gave rise to large-scale protest movements in India. Because of the technology-intensive character, development projects benefitted people unequally. 4. Even the ICT revolution in India (1990s onwards) is marked by serious implications for social stratification in India. Apart from the digital divide of the first as well as the second type, IT and subsequent ICT revolutions in India have given rise to a new class of transnational capitalists who were the beneficiaries of ICT revolution in the West and acted as the torchbearer of Indian IT/ICT industry. Later on, the ICT revolution gave birth to a new class of elite workforce known as the IT professionals and the Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) employees who display a class consciousness.

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In a more recent publication, Pattnaik (2013: 39–62) expanded and analysed in greater details the socio-cultural impact of the ICT revolution in India. His emphasis is on theorising the trend developments about this elite workforce in India’s ICT industry. Pattnaik located the emerging new sub-culture among the ITES-BPO employees (otherwise known by a contemptuous term like ‘cyber coolies’) because of their changing lifestyles and a process of identity formation. The author identified the process of identity formation among the ITES-BPO employees through a debate that they had taken up with the Indian left-wing intellectuals and trade unionists who attributed to them the contemptuous (identity) term ‘cyber coolies’. Based on further analysis of their working conditions, service conditions and so on, the author found that the ITES-BPO employees in India are placed in a dilemma of being a class in itself or class for itself. Although these knowledge workers have all the requirements of being a class in itself, they lacks the much required subjective consciousness of being a class for itself. It is found that these employees have a conflicting perception of identity (as they consciously refuse to be identified with the working class and form/join trade unions rather desired to form associations/forums usually formed by professionals). This conflicting perception of identity is said to be because of a false consciousness developed among the ITES-BPO employees as they drew a parallel between themselves and the software professionals. In an attempt to explain away this phenomenon, Pattnaik (2013: 59) used Goldthrope’s concept of ‘embourgeoisement’. To him, this class of knowledge workers has undergone a process of embourgeoisement of somewhat different kind, because of its class-based cultural capital and because of the systematic inculcation of managerial values by their managements. The author defined cultural capital among these knowledge workers in terms of their; (i) higher education through English, (ii) distinct consumption habit anchored on mall-culture, (iii) westernised etiquettes, mannerism and dress sense and (iv) high self-esteem. And the author defined the acquired managerial values by these knowledge workers in terms of their; (i) strong work culture, (ii) a sense of competitiveness, (iii) practice of informal collegial relationship devoid of hierarchy, and (iv) optimum performance at work. Impact of globalisations: It is needless to reiterate that India’s globalisation process is now more than two decades old. The impact of

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globalisation is felt in terms of introducing long-term policy changes (in all the sectors of economy as well as social sector) and institutional changes in India. S&T enterprise in India has also responded to the changing requirements of neo-liberal economy unleashed by the globalisation process. Pattnaik in the recent past (2005: 63–82) has articulated some of the key features of the institutional changes that the system of S&T in India has undergone owning to the unleashing of globalisation process. Such institutional changes in S&T in India are perceived under three contexts like; (i) re-orientation of the industrial research laboratories (particularly the public-funded ones), (ii) reshaping scientific and technological research in Indian academics and (iii) adoption to the competition through technological changes in Indian industry. In the context of re-orientation of industrial research laboratories, the author pointed out (2005: 64–67) the changing attitude of scientists, that is emphasising the need for commercialisation of their services and products under the condition of open market (without subsidy/policy support). Later, in the context of scientific and technological research in Indian academics, the author (2005: 67–71) pointed out the changing trends in Indian academic institutions, such as: (i) developing institutional mechanism to be increasingly self-supportive financially, (ii) developing mechanism to institutionally incorporate alumni support, (iii) changing pattern of campus placement in engineering institution (body-shopping), (iv) diversification of academic research activities (e.g. filing patents, technology transfer, spin-offs, industry-related short-term courses, etc.). Lastly, in the context of adopting to competitive market situations, the author brought home the following distinct developments: 1. Changing pattern of foreign collaborations (foreign direct investment [FDI] based) wherein the Indian firms are better placed in terms of technological acquisition/gains (unlike the collaborations of 1960s and 1970s when collaborations used to be technologically prohibitive and financially exploitative). 2. Emergence of MNC-based R&D centres in India that; (i) create great opportunities for Indian qualified engineers and scientists, (ii) revolutionise the patent culture, (iii) enhance the skill of Indian R&D managers and (iv) enhance global credibility of Indian R&D personnel. 3. Making industrial in-house R&D more innovative and market oriented. 4. Catering to the outsourcing requirements of Indian IT/ICT sector: (i) acquisition of ISO9000 certification and other quality certifications by

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Binay Kumar Pattnaik Indian IT/ICT firms and (ii) entering into the high-value embedded software.

Cognitive Elements in Production of Scientific Knowledge Studies on the role of the cognitive elements in the scientific knowledge production (particularly commercial ones) in India are, in fact, very rare. The only notable contribution to this area has been by E. Haribabu. In two different studies, Haribabu has brought out the role of cognitive empathy and meaning combined with interest in knowledge production. This work of Haribabu (2000: 323–30) is a social study of the process of rice in bio-technology research among Indian scientists. This is an effort to understand the social process of knowledge creation and its application in relation to the improvement of the rice crop. Further, this is a context in which scientists trained in the sub-disciplines of biology such as molecular biology, plant breeding and pathology were engaged in ‘reconstructing’ the rice plant in terms of a relatively new paradigm and were trying to evolve associated breeding practices. The cognitive process that the author referred to involved a collective reconstruction of the problem domain to generate knowledge and propose solutions that were both scientifically feasible and socially acceptable (2000: 324). This process of reconstruction is somewhat close to the social constructivist approach of sociology of science. But the author’s emphasis here is on ‘cognitive empathy’, a sociological method founded by Max Weber, otherwise known as Verstehen. This empirical exercise included a sample of 33 research groups, of which 14 were led by molecular biologist and remaining 19 by applied scientists like plant breeders. In order to achieve the product goal, the interaction between pure scientist, that is molecular biologist, and applied scientists, that is plant breeders, undergoes three phases: (i) translating the language of molecular biologist into that of the plant breeders, (ii) conceptions of craft skill and (iii) different assessment of their professional roles. This interaction is a difficult one because the problem of translatability is deeply rooted in the process of socialisation of scientists in their own disciplines. Because the paradigm that guides the research in every

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discipline inculcates a different culture, a methodology and particular tools of communication that are typical to the paradigm. But the product goal demands a set of mutually understood symbols. Hence, the author observed that when the biologists and breeders have different perceptions, world views and preferred strategies of intervention, there exists an absence of a shared language (2000: 327). This is where Verstehen/cognitive empathy method comes into picture. Cognitive empathy means simply to put oneself in the shoes of the other. And this is the first step to break the disciplinary boundaries. It paves the way for viewing the phenomenon from a mutually shared perspective. The author (2000: 328) also found that discipline-based socialisation, organisational mandates and anxieties of individual scientists inhibit the cultures as well as interdisciplinary research collaboration. In another paper, Haribabu (2004: 65–78) brings out the role of interests and associated meanings in knowledge production. In India controversies over genetic engineering technology have become sharper even as attempts are being made to allow field trials and commercial release of some genetically modified (GM) crops, claims Haribabu (2004: 65). Having drawn insights from sociology of science, the author argues that production of knowledge and its application through institutional arrangements in the case of genetic engineering is a sociotechnical process that involves a complex interplay of several conflicting interests and systems of meanings. The author (2004: 69–71) states that with the emergence of science–industry–state nexus, by virtue of the provisions of World Trade Organization (WTO) and legal provisions of 1970, private firms are allowed to enter into hybrid seed development. This also created space for the role of farming communities and consumers in the resolution of conflicts over the interests and meanings through the involvement of all stakeholders. This has become a precondition for continuation of research and utilisation of the output of research by the firming communities. Because the meaning, unless resolved, gives rise to tension (i.e. tension between the traditional seed variety and that of GM seed variety). The meaning is contingent upon goals. But goals vary among various stakeholder groups. So groups attempt to mobilise consent of other groups for sharing the meanings contingent on their goals associated with genetic engineering. However, it is the goals, interests and associated meanings of powerful groups (stakeholders) that get privileged in the absence of resistance by other groups, concludes Haribabu (2004: 69).

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Institutional and Cultural Moorings of Knowledge Production in Science The paper by Mallick (2009: 628–54) on the new intellectual property rights (IPR) regime and the changing structure of research in India examines the actual and potential impacts of the global trend towards a stronger protection of IPR on a developing country like India. It tries to capture the changing scientific practices, cognitive and political, in the wake of this new IPR/institutional regime. At the outset, it briefly discusses the organisation of scientific research in post-colonial India and then reflects on the shifts in the nature and scope of scientific research in India and the associated practices that are contingent upon the WTO provisions on the IPR. Further, this is illustrative of the new scenario that is emerging with regard to the participation of developing countries like India in international collaborative research in S&T. The scientific community in India is confronted with the dialectic of resistance and accommodation under the new stringent norms of IPR regime. Two remarks are worth making in this context. First, the contributions of the reviewed theoretical work to understand the impact of stronger IPR on developing countries require a critical appraisal. Though these models have been useful to analyse the issues of intellectual property in an international context, future work modelling the impact of IPR on developing countries should consider the dimensions in which developed and developing countries radically differ. Network or local externalities should be accounted for. Economic and institutional barriers preventing a high elasticity of technological activities relating to IPR protection in developing countries should be made explicit and, ideally, explained. Differences in access to scientific knowledge on the part of technology developers in the two regions—developed and developing— should also be directly addressed. The second remark addresses S&T policy-making in developing countries in the face of international changes in IPR. Parallel to the trend towards a stronger appropriation of knowledge, a change in the attitude of developing countries has taken place. Certain apparently unsuccessful experiences such as the ‘market reserve policy’, adopted in the 1990s by India, showed the limits of this type of nationalist economic development policy. A variety of pressures, most of them

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connected with debt or with the possibility of trade sanctions by WTO and with difficulties encountered in building coalitions during international negotiation rounds, prompted a shift from proactive technological and development-oriented intellectual property policies towards the explicit or implicit acceptance of stronger IPR in these countries. In some cases, the negative effects of that trend on the development of the developing countries have become more apparent and understandable. However, there is no doubt that certain S&T policies of developing countries have the potential to counter the perverse effects of a tighter appropriation of knowledge worldwide. A few examples show that a favourable insertion of their industries in this new international context is possible. The re-conversion of the pharmaceutical sector of Italy is often cited as an example of successful adaptation to changes in intellectual property rules. Brazil is trying to follow a similar path with some discontinuities and varying degrees of success. But local institutional problems in developing countries often lead to a low-level equilibrium trap, where the interests of government, industrialists and researchers do not converge in effective development and innovation systems building. The new IPR regime has brought about a new set of interests, meanings, values, norms, and so on, that have a potential to influence the practices of the scientific community in India. The research community in plant molecular biology, which is no exception to this, seems to be increasingly influenced by considerations of the potential of research for attaining patents. In the light of this, we attempt to capture the emerging institutional framework of scientific research that is contingent upon the protocols of the IPR and changing scientific practices. Particular attention is paid to the views of scientists in India engaged in research in plant molecular biology on genetic engineering, agroclimatic specificities (as well as transgenics) and the changing relationship between scientists and boundary organisations. This new regime is marked by the advent of the customer–funder–policy-maker nexus as a prominent element in science forcing the plant molecular biologists to (re-)negotiate scientific boundaries. The commodification of scientific research alters the idealised identities of science and scientific community. The author discussed the way changes in society and culture, structural organisation and funding in contemporary scientific research are

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creating situations in which boundary work involving science becomes more likely to be undertaken by the practising research scientist. The findings of this paper suggest a number of conclusions. The advent of the customer–funder–policy maker, as a prominent element in science since mid-1990s in India, seems to have forced scientists to (re-)negotiate scientific boundaries and to do some of the delicate boundary work. The challenge for scientists is to bring science ‘close enough’ to politics and policy demonstrating social accountability, legitimacy and relevance. But to avoid either science or politics overextending into the other’s territory is a prospect that is evidently disorienting and poses serious threats to idealised identities of science and the scientific community. Scientists very often refer back to selected traditional norms of science in order to (re-) orient what is described above as the experiences of the scientists negotiating the customer–funder–policy boundary nexus. Their awareness of the effects of commodification in science is narrated as though first-hand experience of this new terrain is the most reliable information and/or knowledge they have of it. They often use the ‘old maps’ to establish a legitimate way of working in the seemingly unstable terrain of more commodified research. Through the radical changes in science funding and policy-orientation in India since the mid-1990s, ‘scientists seem to be vigorously mapping out the cultural spaces for science’ (Gieryn 1995: 416) and for their own identities as forming the scientific community (Waterton 2005: 443). In this context, scientists in the present study are not actually in the process of (re-) classifying a satisfactory version of ‘science’ and ‘policy’ through their work. Instead, they are engaged in multiple versions of actively negotiated science–policy boundaries, many of which seem to have different attributes and make different demands on them as researchers/scientists. The changed and changing situations emerging in institutionalising scientific research do reflect a lack of properly designed institutional norms and practices appropriate in the culture of scientific research in India. In this context, boundary organisations are required to enable scientists to reconcile with the changing context of knowledge production. Thus, boundary organisations of various forms seem to be increasing in number and significance in carrying out scientific research in contemporary times. It would be pertinent to reflect

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openly, not just as a scientific community, but as a society, about some of the ambivalences scientists seem to have about their current research practices. The fact that scientists seem to be clinging on to perhaps somewhat obsolete Mertonian notions of ‘good science’ does not necessarily imply that they are harking back to a golden past. Rather, it may imply that it is time to reinvent some appropriate norms and ideals of ‘good science’, appropriate for today’s much more complex relationship between science and society. The interdisciplinary research initiatives should start from identifying the real-world problems and various facets of the problem. It is imperative that the disciplines that can contribute to map different dimensions of the problem should collaborate to identify a shared perspective and suggest workable or deliverable solutions. In a similar but another paper based on the study of knowledge production in Biotechnology, Mallick (2011: 46–54) tries to bring out the importance of networking of R&D organisations in the context of innovations. Needless to note here that the 21st century marks a significant change to the context in which knowledge is produced. The new institutional arrangements that seek to protect knowledge and its applications—through the possible global networking of organisations and global flows of knowledge—have changed the context of knowledge production. Some developing countries like India have built impressive R&D institutions in the latter half of the 20th century, attempting to seize opportunities in the new context of R&D. There has been a changed culture of innovation in India after the product patent regime was adopted by the GoI in January 2005. Two case studies in the area of the pharmaceutical biotechnology and agricultural biotechnology help illustrate the networking of R&D organisations for innovation in India. These developments also raise larger questions relating to equity in access to innovations in India. The two case studies suggest that networking may involve a variety of R&D institutions with different mandates. For example, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) is a public R&D institution that networked with a private firm, Shantha Biotech, and with DRR, another public R&D institution, for the development of a vaccine. It is understood that in different collaborations, the partners can bring different perspectives. For example, Shantha Biotech realised that the ‘technical ambience’ and the strength of CCMB in basic science were

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extremely useful to the Shantha Biotech scientists who interacted with the CCMB scientists during the development of the vaccine. The second case study on Marker Assisted Selection (MAS) (non-proprietary technology) that involved a partnership between CCMB and DRR reveals another kind of collaboration, one that involves knowledge sharing and validation. The two case studies indicate that the networking between private industrial R&D institutions and public R&D institutions work in different ways than networking between public R&D institutions. The reason for the successful outcome of the networking between public R&D institutions is that both institutions are mission-oriented public R&D institutions mandated to do research with an application potential and the eventual transfer of technology to entrepreneurs for commercialisation. The first case study indicates that the collaboration between the biotech firm and the scientists at Osmania University did not progress to the satisfaction of the firm as the university scientists seemed to be reluctant to change their academic values. Resistance to change on the part of the university scientists, as shown by the case study, may be attributed to their perspective on the functions of the university system, which emphasises basic research and discipline based education to the students. The industry-sponsored research was seen as changing the orientation of the university by bringing in commercial values, entangling university researchers with proprietary interests and constraints, thus changing the traditional image of the university. However, in the present-day context, in areas like biotechnology, the culture of university research is moving towards applied research, even though in developing countries there are some reservations on the part of the scientists. In India, such changes are found in the universities, some of which have begun to enter into memoranda of understanding with other public R&D institutions and with private industrial R&D organisations. The papyrocentric culture of the university scientists may clash with the industry’s insistence on non-disclosure of research to third parties to protect the patent potential of the research. As networking becomes institutionalised, the different interests of scientists in different kinds of R&D institutions will continue to be an issue. A critical issue in the first case study was that an industry’s primary interest was to produce a new product as early as possible to establish its monopoly in the market. The second case study reveals the predicament

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of public R&D institutions. Though the partnership between DRR and CCMB resulted in developing an improved rice variety on the basis of the cutting-edge genomics research, they are not in a position to commercialise the variety as their institutional mandate does not seem to allow their involvement in industrial and commercial activities. In this way, public R&D institutions are made to depend on private industry to commercialise their products. The R&D efforts of the public institutions have the potential to provide context-specific innovations that are accessible to poor farmers at an affordable cost. A Bird’s eye view of the literature and the book: These selected and valuable contributions reviewed here certainly go towards building a strong SST within Indian sociology. Most of these studies are thematically scattered and one does not find more theme-centric research output, for the obvious reason that the research lacks a focus in the absence of a research agenda. And it is obvious that a research agenda in SST would have been in place if there were strong centres of studies devoted to teaching and research in SST. Hence, in the absence of such organisational impetus to studies in SST, a scattered output is nothing but obvious. However, this exercise has brought out the dominant perspectives and themes of research prevalent among Indian sociologists. The most striking feature of this review is that it epitomises the great Indian intellectual debate on the epistemological issues of science rooted in the ‘scientific temper vs. humanistic temper’ debate and articulates the resultant ASM (discursive) in India. It too pointed out that the three conventionally wellknown and influential theoretical perspectives, such as the structural functional (Mertonian), the social constructionist and the Marxian, have found their place in the research in SST. Even micro-perspectives like the role of ‘cognitive empathy’ and ‘interest associated meanings’ in the production of scientific knowledge have made their presence felt. That apart, theories of social movements have crept in through the studies of science/technology movements. This is not too surprising as these perspectives have been in circulation for decades in Indian sociology as such. What we find here is a kind of contextualisation of the social movement theories to a relatively new area of study, that is SST, making each of the studies a novel exercise. Likewise, the dominant concepts/ themes of research that have surfaced through this exercise are social change (globalisation), issues of social stratification (facilitating class formation), scientific communities (invisible college), scientific

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productivity and creativity, PSM, science popularisation movement, AT movement, gender issues in the profession of S&T (e.g. dual burden, triple burden, patrifocal concerns, etc.), institutional and cultural moorings of knowledge production (e.g. IPR related), and so on. These themes have been in perfect match with the dominant themes of research in Indian sociology over last few decades. Even the 12 articles that make this volume almost thematically correspond to these dominant themes of research in SST in India. Of the 12 articles, two articles, such as those by Mavalankar (1958) and Patel (1975) are theoretical by nature and pertain to the role of science in the context of society in general and the profession of science in particular. The scholarly article by Mavalankar has a historical touch, meaning he traced the origin and development of modern science to medieval Europe through its liberating role from the dark ages of sorcery, black magic, witchcraft, and so on, and through its emancipating role from the bondage of feudalism and so on. But the author emphasised the rationalising role of modern science and subsequent triumph of scientific method in fighting human problems like disease and poverty. The other paper by Patel (1975) neatly summarises and explicates the underlying structural functional perspective of the Mertonian formulations in sociology of science. These are, of course, fundamental as well as seminal contributions by R K Merton which Patel puts under three headings, such as the social origin of scientific knowledge, interdependence between science and social structure and, lastly, the normative structure of and reward system of science. Of course, since the original papers of Merton were scattered and scarce, much later all the important writings of Merton on sociology of science have been published in one book under the title The Sociology of Science: Theoretical and Empirical Investigations, from Chicago University Press (1973). In this book the other set of articles by Krishna (1991) and Haribabu (1999) pertain to the theme of scientific community. Krishna, in his article, traced the growth of Indian scientific community from colonial science when it was highly discriminatory racially and divisive socially. Through a nationalistic orientation, the then Indian scientific community grew, which the author perceived, through the formulation of scientific specialist groups, institutions, professional societies and associations. Haribabu in his article looks into the core of the Indian scientific community of course through the Mertonian perspective. To him, although there exists a very large scientific community, it is indeed very fragile

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being lose. Because it lacks the set of proper evaluation practices that are normally carried out through a strong and effective peer review system. Similarly, the next set of three articles, for example those by Pattnaik (2003), Haribabu (1999) and Adhikari (1991) pertain to products of scientific research activities and, interestingly, the three articles talk of three different types of products. Pattnaik empirically studied the intellectual products of academic scientists (and their variations) that are soft and mostly non-commercial by nature, and are publicly owned. Haribabu’s article was about the intellectual products too (i.e. intellectual properties) which are again soft but commercial by nature. These are privately owned products. Haribabu’s central concern here was the changing trend in the culture of science, from the Mertonian puritan type to the market orientation, by which scientific knowledge slowly moved from public domain to private. And Adhikari talked of almost all kinds of scientific products that are intellectual as well as non-intellectual products (services and tangible goods) and are commercial by nature. These are privately owned scientific goods and services that Adhikari referred to. The products of scientific work embodied in the ever-increasing stock of scientific knowledge are also increasingly acquiring the characteristics of goods. This process may be called the ‘scientification’ of industry/agriculture/services, noted Adhikari. Here she tried to present an understanding of this ascendant trend in India. Likewise, the subsequent set of three articles, for example those of V. K. R. V. Rao (1976), Aurora (1991) and Sooryamurthy and Shrum (2004) come under the theme of social change. Rao’s analysis of social change induced by S&T is twofold, such as; (i) how S&T in India has shaped the social processes like sanskritisation, westernisation, urbanisations, industrialisations and so on and (ii) how S&T has influenced the structural features of traditional Indian society like caste, religion, joint family, marriage and so on. The article of Aurora is a case of inappropriate use of agricultural technologies (due to improper sociological understanding) which fails to bring the desired socio-economic change. On a slightly different pitch, Sooryamurthy and Shrum studied the process of social transformation of a research community in Kerala with the help of longitudinal data and visualised the possible emergence of a knowledge society in Kerala. The last two articles by Rajan (1991) and Sodhi (2006) also involved social change. Rajan in his article dealt with social change at village level through people’s participation. But to ensure people’s participation, he

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saw the role of voluntary agencies and attaining the change through people’s science (that is local indigenous knowledge which is culturally and environmentally embedded), not modern agricultural S&T. Notable in this article is the role of voluntary agencies (e.g. NGOs). Sodhi, in her study among traditional potters, found that the potters have responded positively to modern technical innovations (rejecting the notion that potters are averse to technological change). To her, this process of change has been participative, voluntary and gradual. Here people’s participation again turned out to be the key to technological changes.

References Aurora, G. S. 1989. Scientific community in India: Government sponsored scientific institutions. Bombay: Amrita Prakashan. Alvares, Claude. 1992. Science, development and violence. Oxford University Press. ———. 1988. ‘Science colonialism and violence: A Luddite view’, in Ashis Nandy (ed.): Science hegemony and violence (68–112). The United Nations University and the Oxford University Press. Baber, Zaheer. 1998. The science of empire, scientific knowledge, civilisations and colonial rule in India (2–52). New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Bourdieu, Pierre. 1975. ‘The specificity of scientific field and social condition of the progress of reason’, Social science information, 14 (6): 19–47. Chanana, Karuna. 2000. ‘Treading the hallowed halls: Women in higher education in India’, Economic and political weekly, 35 (12, 18–24 March): 1012–22. Dhal, Debajani and Binay Kumar Pattnaik. 2012. ‘Appropriate technology movement in India: An emphatic drift’, Sociology of science and technology (Thematic special issue guest edited), 3 (3): 73–115. Feyerabend, Paul. 1985. Science in a free society. New York: Verso. Gaillard, J., V. V. Krishna and R. Waast. 1997. Introduction, in J. Gaillard, V. V. Krishna and R. Waast (eds.): Scientific communities in the developing world (11–47). New Delhi: SAGE Publications. Gieryn, Thomas F. 1995. ‘Boundaries of science’, in Sheila Jasanoff, Gerald Markle, James C. Peterson and Trevor Pinch (eds.): Handbook of science and technology studies (393– 443). Thousand Oaks/London/New Delhi: SAGE Publications. Gupta, N. and A. K. Sharma. 2001. ‘Triple burden among women scientists in India: A sociological study of women faculty at some reputed centers of higher learning and research’, in Social action, 51 (4, Oct–Dec): 395–416. ———. 2002. ‘Women academic scientists in India’, Social studies of science, 32 (5, Oct– Dec): 901–15. ———. 2003. Patrifocal concerns in the lives of women in academic science: Continuity of the tradition and emerging challenges, Indian journal of gender studies, 10 (2): 279–305. Haraway, D. 1998. ‘Modest witness @second_millennium’, in Donald MacKenzie and Judy Wajcman (eds.): The social shaping of technology Press (2nd edn, 41–49). Buckingham: Open University.

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Haribabu, E. 2000. ‘Cognitive empathy in inter-disciplinary research: The contrasting attitudes of plant breeders and molecular biologist towards rice’, Journal of bioscience, 25 (4, December): 323–30. ———. 2004. ‘Interests and meanings: The socio technical application of bio-technology to crop improvement in India’, International journal of biotechnology, 6 (1): 65–78. Indiresan, P. V. and N. C. Nigam. 1993. ‘The Indian Institute of Technology: Excellence in Peril’, in Suma Chitnis and P. G. Altach (eds.): Higher education reform in India: Experiences and perspectives. New Delhi: SAGE. Jairath, Vinod K. 1984. ‘In searching of roots—The Indian scientific community’, Contribution to Indian sociology (n.s.), 18 (1): 109–29. Krishna, V. V. 1997a. A portrait of scientific community in India: Historical growth and contemporary problems, in J. Gaillard, V. V. Krishna and R. Waast (eds.): Scientific communities in the developing world (236–80). New Delhi: SAGE Publications. ———. 1997b. ‘Science technology and counter hegemony—Some reflections on the contemporary science movements in India’, in T. Shinn, T. Spaapen and V. V. Krishna (eds.): Science and technology in a developing world (375–411). Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Krishna, V. V. and Binod Khadria. 1997. ‘Phasing scientific migration in the context of brain gain and brain drain in India’, Science technology and society, 2 (2): 347–85. Mahanti, Subodh et al. 1995. Scientific communities and brain drain: A sociological study. New Delhi: Gyan Publishing House and NISTADS. Mallick, S. 2009. ‘The intellectual property rights regime and the changing structure of scientific research in India: Lessons from the developing world’, Perspectives on global development and technology, 8 (4): 628–54. ———. 2011. ‘Knowledge production in biotechnology in India’, IEEE technology and society, 30 (2): 46–54. Mallick, S. and E. Haribabu. 2010. ‘The intellectual property rights regime and emerging institutional framework of scientific research: Responses from plant molecular biologists in India’, Asian journal of social science, 38 (1): 79–106. Morehouse, Ward. 1971. Science in India: Institution building and the organizational system for R&D. Popular Prakashan. Mulkay, M. 1980. ‘Social inequality’, Current Sociology (Special issue on the sociology of science in east and west) 28 (3): 23–42. Nanda, Meera. 1998. ‘Reclaiming modern science for third world progressive social movement’, Economic and political weekly, 33 (16, 18–24 April): 915–22. Nandy, Ashis. 1981a. ‘Dialogue on the traditions of technology’, Development: Seeds of Change, 3/4. ———. 1981b. ‘Science, authoritarianism and culture’, Seminar (261, May). ———1981c. ‘Counter statement on humanistic temper’, Mainstream, 10th October. ———1983a. ‘Science in utopia: Equity, plurality and openness’, India international center quarterly, (1, 10 March). ———1983b. ‘Toward a third world Utopia’, in Eleonara Masini (ed.): Visions of desirable societies. Pergamon Press. ———. 1984. ‘Interview with Ashis Nandy (by Smitu Kothari)’, The Book Reviews, (Jan/ Feb). ———. 1988. ‘Introduction: Science as a reason of state’, in Ashis Nandy (ed.): Science hegemony and violence. New Delhi: The United Nations University, Japan and Oxford University Press.

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Pattnaik, Binay Kumar. 1992. The scientific temper: An empirical study (278). Rawat Publications. ———. 1994. ‘Science, technology and quality of life in the developing world: A critical perspective’, The Indian journal of social work, (July): 391–404. ———. 2003. ‘Scientific productivity: Sociological explorations in Indian Academic Science’, Sociological Bulletin, 52 (2): 199–220. ———. 2005. ‘Impact of globalization on the technological regime in India: Aspect of change’, Perspective in global development and technology, 4 (1): 63–82. ———. 2007. Career choice and research performance: A Study among Indian academic scientists, in Samuel A Kugel (ed.): The Problems of scientists and scientific group activity (82–96). St Petersburg: St Petersburg State Polytechnical University. ———. 2012. ‘Science technology and social stratification in India: A critical perspective’, Sociology of science and technology, 3 (2): 21–50. ———. 2013. ‘Globalization, ICT revolution in India and Socio-cultural changes: Sociological explorations’, The Polish sociological review, 1 (181, March): 39–62. Pattnaik, Binay Kumar and L. Chaudhury. 2001. ‘Research performance of scientists in academic institutions in India: An empirical exploration’, Science Technology and Society An International Journal Devoted to the Developing World (Sage Publications), 6 (1, Jan– June): 61–76. Pattnaik, Binay K. and Sahoo Subhasis. 2006. ‘The science popularization movement in Orissa, mid-twentieth century onwards: A sociological analysis’, International journal of contemporary sociology (Special issues, science knowledge and society), 143 (2, October): 211–44. Ramasubban, Radhika. 1977. Towards a relevant sociology of science for India, in Stuart Blume (ed.): Perspectives in sociology of science (155–93). John Wiley and Sons. Sahoo, Subhasis and Binay K. Pattnaik. 2012. ‘Understanding the science peoples movement in India: From the vantage of social movement perspective’, Sociology of science and technology (Thematic special issue), 3 (3): 8–71. Shiva, Vandana. 1986. Staying alive. New Delhi: Kali For Women. ———. 1991. Ecology and the polities of survival. UN University Press and SAGE Publication. Saxenian, Annlee. 2002. ‘Brain circulation: How skilled immigration makes everyone better off’, The Brookings Review, 20 (1). ———. 2005. ‘From brain drain to brain circulation: Transnational communities and regional upgrading in India and China’, Comparative International Development, Fall Issue. Sukhatme, S. P. and I. Mahadevan. 1988. ‘Brain drain and the ITT graduate’, Economic and political weekly, 23 (25, 18 Jun.): 1285–87, 1289–93. Varma, Roli. 2001. People’s science movements and science wars? Economic and political weekly, 36 (52, 29 Dec.–4 Jan.): 4796–802. Waterton, Claire. 2005. Scientists’ boundary work: Scientists’ conceptions of the boundaries between their own research and policy’, Science and public policy, 32 (6): 435–44. Woolgar, Steve. 1988. Science: The very idea. London: Tavistock. Yearley, Steven. 1988. Science technology and social change. London: George Unwin and Hyman. Zachariah, Mathew and R. Sooryamoorthy. 1994. Science for social revolution? (187). New Delhi: Vishal Publications.

PART I Role of Science (Theoretical)

1 The Role of Science in Modern Society N.A. Mavalankar

O

urs is an age of science. It is also known by other names such as the “Age of Anxiety1” or the “Unsuccessful Age”. But all such names derive principally from the ‘Scientistic’ character of our times. It is the birth and progress of modern science that has raised all our questions and created all our anxieties. Since the times of Bacon, science has been making continual progress. That this has resulted in man’s mastery over nature has been wellknown and obvious to everybody. The application of science to industry has also resulted in raising the material standard of the people. The world today has a bigger population at a higher standard of life than at any time in the past. But, as has been well said, in changing nature men change themselves. In the process of establishing new relations with nature, men alter their relations with one another. This latter change has largely been unconscious in character. Men were so absorbed in studying the secrets of nature, that they had neither the time nor the inclination to study changes in their social relations. The story of the transition from medieval to modern times has often been told. Laski treats of it in his scintillating essay on The Rise of European Liberalism. The medieval society was essentially a static, more or less homogeneous society. It was other-worldly in character dominated by visions of life after death. Customs and traditions and the injunctions of the Church ruled men in every sphere of their life. Status determined a man’s rights and duties with respect to those of other men.

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Everyone had his fixed role to play in the social order. There was no social ladder and everyone had to stay where he was born. From the cradle to the grave every important occasion in life had its appropriate rules and regulations. The birth of modern society is marked by a complete overthrowing of this authoritarian order. With the decline of the authority of the Church by the end of the 13th century, and the subsequent flowering of the Renaissance and the Reformation a veritable revolution took place. The Humanists preached a new view of life. Men rediscovered a fresh joy in life. This earth was good and worth living for. Scepticism was abroad and men began to question old values of life. Everything was subjected to the test of reason. To this restless spirit of enquiry are to be traced the beginnings of modern science and philosophy. Within a couple of centuries, the old authoritarian, traditional, conservative order was replaced by a dynamic aggressive society, making every new experiment with its growing powers. The impact of the progress of science on modern society may be summed up in one phrase: the emancipation of the individual. The discovery of the New World and the Industrial Revolution with their unlimited possibilities of exchange and production made a secular view of life imperative. The possibilities could not be exploited to the full unless subsistence production gave way to unlimited production, production for the market. The Church could not be allowed to stand in the way of the pursuit of worldly gain Indeed, worldly success was proof positive that He approved of the ways of His flock. Religion after all was entirely a personal affair between man and his Maker. The individual was thus left free to pursue his happiness unhampered by the restrictions of the Church. The rapid and phenomenal progress of industry was due to the initiative and enterprise of the private capitalist. The medieval rules and regulations governing trade and industry had speedily become obsolete. The era of guilds was at an end. Free competition became the necessary condition of progress. The State which had stepped into the seat of authority vacated by the Church was confined within the narrowest limits by the rising capitalist class. Adam Smith gave characteristic expression to the optimism of the 18th century when he asserted that the individual left free to pursue

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his own self-interest would as by an indivisible hand promote social good. The best government was thus that which governed least. Thus the authoritarian structure that had cribbed, cabined and confined the individual during the middle ages slowly gave way as science transformed religion, industry, politics and social life. But there is another side to this picture. Men win freedom only to become slaves to new masters. Freedom sometimes is a greater burden to bear than the humiliations of slavery. We must understand the dialectical nature of individual freedom and social progress to realize the full significance of the role that science has been playing in modern society. It is no doubt true that science freed the individual from spiritual, economic and political bonds; it is, however, equally true that it has reduced him to the position of an atom, swayed hither and thither by the vast, impersonal, incalculable forces which he is unable to understand, much less to control. While medieval society restricted a man’s freedom, it gave him a secure and unquestioned place within its structure from the moment of his birth. So long as a man performed the duties which belonged to his status, he was also guaranteed his rights. The individual today has freedom to worship God according to his own conscience; but he must face him all alone, without any protective guidance or fellowship. Economically speaking, a man is free to make millions by his cunning and deftness, his initiative and enterprise. But if he fails to make way he has himself to blame. He has a vote and feels himself master of his political destiny, but in reality he is a victim of the huge party organization and its propaganda machinery. Economic emancipation of women has led to broken homes and neglected children, to the disintegration of the family, the last resort of the shattered, frustrated individual. Freedom to the modern man spells isolation and moral loneliness. This phenomenon characteristic of modern society, has been called ‘spiritual civilization’ by Ropke. According to him, “during the last hundred years, society has disintegrated into a mass of abstract individuals who are solitary and isolated as human beings, but packed tightly like termites in their role of social functionaries.”2 Men living like competitive ants in giant urban ant-heaps as complete strangers to one another, can hardly form a community. There is no warmth of direct human relationships, no sharing of purposes, feelings or actions. It is this lack of human fellowship, of the consolations of religion, of the support of the

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men of their caste or guild that makes the men of our time yearn for many of the values of medieval society. We yearn for the continuities, securities, certainties of that humbler time which now seems lost for ever. A similar process of disintegration has affected the world of thought as well. The fundamental unity of medieval life had informed men’s thinking of the scene. It was not possible to understand economic or political events without studying their interrelations as well as their connections with religion, art, morality etc. The only way to get a knowledge of anything was to see it in relation to the polydimenaional structure of the whole social process. With the destruction of medieval homogeneity, the thinkers of the modern era quickly adjusted themselves to the new life pattern. The different sciences developed as independent disciplines. The world of thought was divided into water-tight compartments and there came into being a pure science of economics, a pure system of psychology, of ethics, of political science etc. This process of specialization undoubtedly contributed greatly to the progress of the individual sciences. But this progress has not been achieved without paying its price. While each group of specialists is engaged on the study of its special subject, it is no one’s business to study the hinterlands that divide any two separate disciplines. It is a kind of no scholar’s land in the world of knowledge. One result of this has been the increasing remoteness and irrelevance of each specialized discipline to the immediate urgencies of our life. This is one of the principal causes of the present crisis in the world of thought. It raises the scientist’s dilemma: should he carry on his good work of scientific investigation and research when its foreseeable consequences are war and the destruction of civilisation? Are the economist’s solutions politically practicable? Is the politically expedient morally right? There is hardly any one competent to resolve these dilemmas. But science has been responsible for more dangerous consequences still in the field of social sciences. Max Scheler has distinguished three kinds of knowledge: Beherrschungswissen, Bildungswissen and Erlosungwissen.3 Physical science has all along been the first kind of knowledge, knowledge for the sake of control, power or action. It has been essentially instrumental in character. It is not an exploration in the field of values but a technique for better and fuller realization of whatever values happen to exist. It has taken long strides in the understanding and control of physical nature but is unable to meet Lynd’s challenge,

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Knowledge for What?4 Western man has been so absorbed for the last few centuries in the pursuit of knowledge for the sake of controlling nature that he has almost lost the faculty for spiritual experience of any kind. That is the tragedy of modern Western civilization which Rabindranath Tagore has symbolised in the picture of the giraffe. The phenomenal success of physical science and its consequent prestige have led to a mechanical and uncritical application of its methods in the study of social sciences with disastrous consequences. It is this procedure which Hayek has called scientism.5 It must be remembered that Science itself had to fight in its early stages against the anthropomorphic interpretations of natural phenomena. It could make progress only when it studied objective facts independently of what men thought about them. The same procedure was uncritically adopted in the social sciences and facts were studied, emptied of all their meaning and value. Some social scientists show the same preconception with the means and the neglect of values characteristic of physical science. Grandiose projects have been designed for controlling human behaviour by planning the growth of reason and of the human mind itself. Fascist totalitarianism was the last word in the latest technique of social control for enchanting the individual mind adrift from its medieval moorings. Such is the tragedy of the modern individual which victorious science and its methods have brought about. In making use of the discoveries of science we must never lose sight of the fact that ultimate value lies in the freedom and happiness of the individual mind. If we bear this in mind and alter our habits of thinking in accordance with the new material environment science has created, there is still no need to despair. The medieval unity was imposed from above; it was secured by repressing the individual personality in the interests of society. It is idle to hope that the individual freed from the medieval shackles, will once again submit himself to be suppressed even in order to tide over a great crisis in the society of which he is a member. Fascism tried that reactionary experiment and failed ignominiously. What we wish to achieve is a fresh synthesis, a conscious integration of the individual and society. Science has been creating the material conditions in which such a new type of equilibrium will be possible, when individual fulfilment will also be the fulfilment of the society. ‘By triumphing over time and distance it has constituted the different countries into one world. While the relative independence of the countries cannot be denied, the fundamental fact is that of interdependence. Peace and Prosperity, it is increasingly

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being realized, are indivisible. Poverty and crisis anywhere threaten the whole world. The scramble for raw materials points to the necessity of a world communism of resources. Hence also the various plans for the development of backward economies. To translate this fact into the daily life of individuals, two things are necessary: We must change our habits of thinking and we must build appropriate institutions for the new behaviour pattern of individuals living in an interdependent world. According to Mannheim there are three stages in man’s thinking, viz. chance discovery, invention and planned thinking. We have now to make transition from the second stage to the third, “from the deliberate invention of single objects or institutions to the deliberate regulation and intelligent mastery of the relationships between objects . . . . . . . .At the second stage the pattern of thought is a linear one; it takes the form of a circular flow where the first elements in the causal chain are in our new model of thought supplemented by further elements, the movement of which tends towards an equilibrium, and in which all the factors act upon each other simultaneously instead of in an endless succession.”6 It is this lack of interdependent thinking which is responsible for many of our problems today. It was thought in the 19th century that the device of the vote would solve all the problems of political society; it has led, as we now see, only to ‘the private ownership of government by business’. As already noted, technological progress has led to spiritual and moral atrophy. For every problem solved, half a dozen fresh ones have arisen. It is the aim of interdependent thinking to take into account the multidimensional structure of society and to realize and provide for not merely the immediate effects of individual actions in single spheres, but also their long-run effects affecting society as a whole. It is of course of the utmost importance to organize institutions for this new type of behaviour pattern of individuals. So far the philosophy of Liberalism, characteristic of the modern scientific age, has only served to destroy certain medieval institutions; it has done nothing to construct new ones in their place. When the state takes over the functions of the family, or of the caste or guild, it is necessary to link the individuals to the larger social unit through 01 organizations involving new habits of behaviour. It is no use merely condemning the caste or the family as being parochial or even nationalism as the nucleii of anti-social loyalties; the problem of supra-national unity, or of an interdependent world is

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just the problem of building up appropriate interrelations between the people of the different nations as at present exist between the people of the same nation. It is clear that a competitive capitalist economy has no place in such a world. In such a community the individual will is free just because it is blind to the total result of the actions of many millions of separate wills. A farmer is free to produce what he wishes, just because he does not know the final state of the supply in relation to effective demand. As every one knows, the assumption of perfect knowledge renders choice illusory. We may ask ourselves how far we would have felt ourselves free to make the choices we did in 1918, had we foreseen even vaguely in advance their consequences in the present state of the world. In an individualist economy, the individual is only ‘functionally rational’. He knows only so much of the total social process as is necessary for the efficient progrime of his own function; he has very little knowledge how his function dovetails with those performed by the other individuals in the community so as to form a complete social whole. He is not ‘substantially rational’. It is the function of interdependent thought and action to make men as far as possible conscious makers of their own history. What we have to create is a new functional, homogeneous society, without the rigidity of the caste and guild system. And in place of the medieval sanction of religion, which repressed individuality we must substitute the conscious cooperation of the ‘substantially rational’ individuals. Our hope lies in the growth of intelligence and radius of foresight of the common man. It is when we succeed in forming new habits of such cooperative endeavour that the individual will lose his sense of moral isolation and realize the freedom secreted in the recesses of human fellowship. In such a second Renaissance, bread will lose its present inflated significance and free will will attain its true meaning of self-realization.

References 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Eucken, This Unsuccessful Age, Hodge, 1951. W. Ropke, The Social Crisis of Our Time, p. 10, Hodge, 1950. Quoted by Fritz Machlup, What Do Economists Know? in American Scholar. Lynd, Knowledge for What?, Princeton University, 1945. Hayek, Scientism and the Study of Society, Economica. Mannheim, Man and Society, p. 153, Kegan Paul, 1940.

2 Robert Merton’s Formulations in Sociology of Science* Pravin J. Patel

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ociology of science, broadly speaking, is concerned with the construction of logico-empirical propositions about the dynamic interdependence between science and society. In this sense it is a branch of sociology of knowledge, since the latter studies different types of idea systems (science, religion, philosophy, ideology etc.) and their relations with various societal factors. Merton’s formulations in sociology of science may be considered as centred around the following main themes: (i) Social origin of scientific knowledge. (ii) Science and the environing social structure. (iii) Normative structure and reward system of science.

These themes will form the main rubrics of our discussion here. We will discuss them one by one without suggesting, however, that Merton’s views are formulated in this sequence.

(i) Social Origin of Scientific Knowledge Since the adherents of structural-functional theory in sociology consider man’s behaviour as a response to certain functional problems, man’s response to science is also seen as a response to his need to generate

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adjustive knowledge about the environing empirical world (Barber, 1968: 92). Thus science is considered as a social product rather than the product of a few gifted individuals. Being a functionalist, Merton also subscribes to this view. In support of his stance, that science is a social product, like Ogburn and Thomas (1922), he also refers to the strategic phenomenon of multiple independent discoveries, which is quite common in all sciences and at all times (Merton, 1961). Multiple independent discoveries are those discoveries which are made by several scientists (at the same time or at different times). For example, many of the discoveries by an eminent scientist like Cavendish were made independently by other contemporary scientists or those who came later. The proof of this lies in the fact that Cavendish’s discoveries were not known to them, as they remained unpublished for a pretty long time (Merton, 1961: 478). In collaboration with Barber, Merton has intensively examined 264 such multiples, out of which 179 were doublets; 51, triplets; 17, quadruplets; 6, quintuplets; 8, sextuplets; 1, septuplet; and 2, nonaries. Moreover, it is ascertained that 20 per cent of these discoveries occurred within an interval of one year and some of them on the same day or in the same week; another 18 per cent occurred within a twoyear span; and 34 per cent involved an interval often years or more (Merton, 1961: 483). Merton has come to the conclusion that, by and large, every discovery is a multiple, either potentially or in actuality; multiple is a rule rather than an exception (1961: 475–482). While explaining this phenomenon Merton observes that certain social needs of a society, demanding urgent solutions, pressurise the men of science to do scientific research, which in turn is facilitated by the prevailing culture of the society, accumulated knowledge, scientific methods, interaction among the scientists etc. Therefore, a number of scientists come to the same discoveries simultaneously (Merton, 1961: 470–75). While, he refutes the excessive claims made by the greatman theory, which overemphasizes the role of the scientific geniuses, like Kelvin or Newton, Merton does not completely dismiss the role played by them. For, scientific genius single-handedly discovers so many scientific truths, which otherwise require a sizeable number of lesser talents. For example, Kelvin, the great scientist, made at least 32 such discoveries which were

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simultaneously made by an aggregate of 30 other scientists. Thus, it required the labour of 30 scientists to contribute what Kelvin alone contributed. Similar was the case of Freud (Merton, 1961: 485); and the same is true in the case of Galileo, Newton, Clerk Maxwell, Hooke, Cavendish and many others, including most Nobel laureates (Merton, 1968a: 60). However, this does not mean that in the absence of great scientists science would not have advanced. Because, most of the discoveries of such scientists are always rediscovered, as they are generally involved in many-fold multiple discoveries. Therefore, Merton says, if any scientist, including the great one, had failed to make a discovery it would have been made by other scientists, involved in such multiples. Thus, a number of lesser talents are a functional equivalent to the great scientist. In this sense, though geniuses do play an important role in enhancing science, they are not indispensable. Thus, Merton has enlarged the conception of scientific genius by construing him sociologically, rather than psychologically, and thereby muted the false controversy over the issue of social determination of scientific discovery versus the role of individual men of scientific eminence (1961: 483–85).

(ii) The Interdependence between Science and the Social Structure The above theory of the social origin of scientific discoveries can explain universal occurrence of at least the modicum of scientific knowledge. But the variation in the growth of such knowledge from society to society, time to time, and discipline to discipline, still remains to be explained. Posing this problem Merton has observed that in order to explain such variation it is necessary to understand the reciprocal relationship between science and other social constellations1. Agreeing with Max Weber’s proposition that definite cultures, and not nature, produce faith in scientific truth, Merton adds that sometimes science is opposed by certain socio-cultural structures (1938: 591). Therefore, he has examined the dynamic relationship between science and other social institutions at two levels: (1) the functional interdependence between science and other social institutions and (2) the sources of strains between the two.

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(1) The Functional Interdependence Merton’s analysis of functional interdependence between science and society is mainly based on, what he calls, the middle range theory of the interdependence of institutions (1968: 63, 68) on the one hand, and, on the other, empirical data of the seventeenth century England. Espousing the hypothesis suggested by Max Weber about the significant influence of Calvinist puritanism, the ideal typical expression of “Protestant ethic”, on the development of science and technology Merton has examined the growth of science in the seventeenth century England (1936: 628–670)2. Through content analysis of various historical documents, he established that interest in scientific study was steadily increasing in the seventeenth century England. Then he tried to explain this phenomenon by showing value integration between science and Puritanism. Again through content analysis of various theological writings, sermons, and books of moral guidance for laymen he came to the conclusion that Puritanism embodied following values: (a) Rationalism. Men chosen of God, alone possess reason. Reason constrains the passion. Experience and reason must be the bases for action and belief. (b) Empiricism. The observation of nature, and unravelling its mysteries by discovering the order in it, is an effective means of promoting the glory of God—the Creator. (c) Utilitarianism. Social welfare and public service were prescribed as God’s greatest service. (d) Secularism. Systematic, methodical labour and constant diligence in one’s calling were emphasized. (e) Scepticism and Free Inquiry. Libre-examen was considered not only a right but also an obligation. Even Bible as final and complete authority was subject to the individual interpretation.

All these values of Puritanism were obviously in harmony with the institutional values of science. However, this shows only a certain probability of the connection between Puritanism and science. But it is not a sufficient verification. Therefore, Merton sought the crucial test of his hypothesis in the following behavioural evidences. (i) The norms of Puritanism wore deeply internalized and consciously expressed in their writings and behaviour by Puritan scientists like Robert Boyle, John Ray, John Wilking, John Wallis, William Oughtred etc.

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Pravin J. Patel (ii) The Puritans had greater prosperity for science and technology as against Catholics in proportion to their total population. For instance (a) out of the ten initial members of the ‘invisible college’, the prototype of the Royal Society of London, seven were decidedly Puritans; only one was nonPuritan and about two no information was available regarding their religious orientations and (b) these Puritan scientists played a very important role in the Royal Society of London. Out of sixty eight listed members of the Royal Society for the year 1663, whose religious background was known, forty two were clearly Puritans. Thus, the Puritans formed the hard core of the scientific corps of the seventeenth century England, though they were a minority in the total population. (iii) The inclination of the Puritans for science and technology was likewise manifested in the type of education introduced and fostered by them. They established new universities and academies with a pronounced stress on realistic, utilitarian and empirical education. (iv) At other places (i.e. U.S.A., France, Germany and other European countries) and at other times (i.e. even after the seventeenth century) where and when Puritanism or its variant religion (e.g. Pietism) was effective, its relationship with science was also found intact. Thus, the elimination of other extraneous or non-religious factors, like political regime or economy, further confirms the hypothesis about the functional interdependence between science and the Protestant ethic.

By mustering all this evidence Merton has cogently demonstrated that the ethos of Protestantism induced its members to form socially favourable attitudes for science, and thereby enhance the growth of scientific knowledge. This also explains that in the medieval era when these values were absent science did not develop as rapidly as it did later on. But, it would be incorrect to presume that there was perfect integration between Puritanism and science. For instance, as Gillispie (1951) has observed, some of the geological discoveries (e.g. the concept of geological uniformitarianism) were opposed by the Puritans, since these came into conflict with Biblical ideas of Puritanism. Though Merton has paid attention mainly to the positive relationship between the two, he is not unaware of such conflict. Therefore, he has added the following necessary qualifications to the proposition. First, the favourable consequences of Protestantism for science were not intended by the initiators of “that ethic. For example, Luther, Calvin and others, from whose teachings Protestantism emerged, paradoxically did not approve of the scientific activities of their contemporaries. Thus, the increased interest in science among Protestants was the unintended consequence of a

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manifest commitment to the Protestant ethic. Second, the mere fact of an individual being nominally a Catholic or Protestant has no bearing upon his attitudes toward science. It is only when the tenets and implications of the religious teachings are deeply imbibed by its followers, the religious affiliation becomes meaningful. Third, the supporting values of science tended to be secularized as time passed and science acquired its autonomy with its proven utility. Therefore, it has continued to thrive, even after the weakening of the theological base of the religion which supported science (Merton, 1936: 660). Further, it must be noted that Merton construed the relationship between science and religion in the seventeenth century England in conjunction with other societal factors. For instance, England’s insular position, its nascent capitalism, widening markets and military warfares caused a remarkable expansion of both mercantile as well as military marine. However, the increased economic and military sea voyages, in turn posed a series of problems such as finding out longitude and latitude, determining the time of tides, preservation of timber, development of effective fighting warships etc. All these problems created a pressure on the scientists to solve them. Moreover, scientific achievements which promised profitable application were applauded by the leading men of the society, including the King, and thereby enhanced the status of scientists. Therefore, the curious men of science were also socially motivated to do scientific investigations in order to solve contemporary problems. As a result the field of astronomy, geography, mathematics, mechanics, botany, hydrostatics, hydrodynamics etc. developed fast in the seventeenth century England (Merton, 1939: 661–681). But, Merton notes that just as there are certain social and cultural factors which support science, similarly there are certain factors which oppose it. Interaction between these two sets of contrary forces account for the lopsided development of scientific knowledge in different societies, times and disciplines. Though, Merton’s analysis of the forces producing strains and tensions between science and the social-structure is not based on any systematic empirical study, it suggests a few significant hypotheses which can be mentioned as follows. (a) Value-dissensus between sciences and the socio-cultural structure produces strains between the two. When other constitutent parts of

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the social structure try to expand their control and encroach upon the autonomy of science then strains and tensions develop. In a liberal social order, where limited loci of power are vested in several domains of human behaviour, other non-political institutions, including science, enjoy considerable autonomy. But in a totalitarian or a dictatorial social structure, where power is centralized in political institutions, science and other social constellations are not given much freedom (Merton, 1938: 591–594). For example, in the Nazi Germany of the 1930’s it was believed by the ruling party that, only those persons having ‘Aryan’ ancestry, and not others, were capable of undertaking scientific activities. In accordance with this dogma of race purity the ‘non-Aryan’ scientists were driven out of the German universities and scientific institutions. Even the cooperation with a ‘non-Aryan’ scientist or acceptance of his theory was considered as a symbol of political disloyalty and hence frowned upon. The latent function of this racialist purge was that the growth of science was adversely affected in Germany, since many eminent ‘non-Aryan’ scientists were considered as ‘outcastes’. Thus the demand for primary loyalty to racialistic, nationalistic, ideological or religious dogma of a dominant institution contradicts the important values of science like rationalistic utilitarianism and universalism, and thereby hampers the development of scientific knowledge. Similarly, science values scepticism by advocating explicit questioning of certain bases of established routine, authority, procedures and the realm of the ‘sacred’. This may be considered by other organised religious, political or economic groups as encroachment of science into their respective institutional domains, since science subjects them to detached scrutiny. This leads them to revolt against science. According to Merton, in the past such resistance mainly came from organised religion. But now as the locus of power has shifted from religious to economic and political institutions the source of revolt against science also has changed. Another source of tension is a conflict between the value of communication and the value of secrecy. In modern competitive states (both totalitarian and democratic) secrecy is valued, particularly in the field of military and strategic research. Besides, certain industrial organizations in capitalist countries also keep some of their formulae as business secret. Even a patent is a device to maintain the exclusive use or often non-use, of invention. This value of privacy is at variance with the

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value of science that knowledge should be freely communicated. Thus it does not accelerate the accumulation of certified knowledge. However, Merton does not mention the methodological difficulties involved in observing and measuring the exact damage done to science by secrecy. One more barrier to the growth of science is the social pressure to ‘deliver the goods’. Too many utilitarian demands upon science also affect the growth of science, since its pure branches are neglected in favour of applied ones. In Nazi Germany, for instance, financial support was given to those applied scientific researches which had immediate practical utility. As a result pure sciences suffered very badly and the growth of science as a whole was hindered in the long run. (b) Another important surmise by Merton is that the dysfunctional consequences of science and technology are also responsible for the social resistance of science (1947: 616–627). Especially, if the effects” of scientific knowledge are considered as socially undesirable then, rightly or wrongly, science becomes the target of social revolt. For instance, processual or technological innovations stemming from scientific inventions require the workers to give up their old work habits as they become obsolete. Besides, specialization is also increasing and this leads to changes in work routine, meaning of work, social relations and consequently work satisfaction. Moreover, unplanned introduction of such innovations also has some adverse consequences. For instance, the introduction of labour-saving automatic machines at the time of economic depression may render many workers unemployed and many of them may be reduced to the status of unskilled workers. This creates an atmosphere of anxiety, uncertainty, distrust and fear, which may naturally invite a hostile reaction. Merton feels that such dysfunctional consequences are partly due to the overcommitment of the scientists to the values of pure science and disinterestedness. Nevertheless, it may be mentioned that scientists are not always indifferent to such dysfunctional consequences of science. As many scientists have expressed their deep concern about the use of poisonous gas, germs and, above all, the atom bomb in war. Besides, their concern about air-pollution, water pollution etc. is also well known. (c) Thirdly, it is conjectured by Merton that the esoteric nature of  science is also a source of tension between science and society (1938: 600–601).

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Each scientific discipline has developed its own special language. As a result, the gap between science and the lay man is ever widening. Thus in the garb of scientific jargon new mysticism has developed which helps the business and political propagandists. The borrowed authority of science becomes a powerful prestige-symbol for unscientific doctrines produced for the consumption of the intellectually unsophisticated laity. This creates distrust even in truly scientific statements and thereby weaken the social support for scientific activity. Here again Merton has ignored, or perhaps he is not concerned with the methodological problems involved in measuring the damage done to the status and consequently to the growth of science by its esoteric nature.

(iii) Normative Complex and the Reward System of Science While discussing the normative complex of science he has pointed out that the norms of science are moral as well as technical prescriptions. They are binding to the men of science because they are considered to be technically efficient and morally right. For example, it is the technical prerequisite for sustained, true and systematic prediction that evidences should be adequate, valid, reliable and logically consistent. Generally, scientists follow these standards, not only because they are a technical prerequisite but also because the deviation from these standards is morally condemned, since they are institutionalized norms (Merton, 1942: 604–615). Some of the important institutional imperatives which, according to Merton, comprise the ethos of modern science are as follows:

(a) Universalism A scientific statement should be evaluated according to the established impersonal criteria of science and not according to the particularistic attribute of the individual who has made the statement.

(b) Communalism In science collective ownership of knowledge is emphasized. Intellectual product is not a private property. Therefore, scientists should freely exchange and communicate their scientific findings. In order to avoid

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ideological connotations Barber prefers to call it “communalism” (1952: 9, 268”).

(c) Disinterestedness A scientist should examine the worth of scientific research with detach objectivity and without emotional involvement.

(d) Organized Scepticism No scientist is supposed to accept any idea or belief, how-so-ever popular or sacred it may be, without freely testing it—both logically and empirically.

(e) Originality A scientist is expected to contribute something original in the already existing fund of scientific knowledge. In addition, humility, intellectual honesty, integrity etc. are also the cherished norms of the institution of science. Since these norms are transmitted by precept and example, and reinforced by operative sanctions, they have not remained merely as normative prescriptions but have also become institutionally patterned motives. Moreover membership group of scientists is also their reference group, because they consider their peers as significant others. Therefore they always try to conform to the accepted norms of their group and thereby gain status among their own group members. Nevertheless, they are not equally internalized by all the scientists. In this connection it may be noted that in order to understand the variation in internalization of values it would be interesting to examine the socialization process of the scientists in different disciplines and in different societies. However, Merton expounds that these effectively loaded norms of science are functional because they facilitate the continuity of science as a large scale social activity. But, he adds that they have some dysfunctional consequence too. Especially because, like other social institutions, science also has a hierarchy of values, by which certain values are considered as more important and therefore highly emphasized in comparison

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to other less important values. For example, originality is more important a value and hence more fully rewarded. Because the main function of originality is to give an impetus to science with every new discovery or invention. Therefore, there is a greater cultural emphasis upon it. The manifestation of this cultural emphasis is found in an elaborate and graded reward system which is developed to motivate talented persons in a given population to do some original scientific work (Merton, 1957: 642–646). For instance, the eponymy is the highest kind of reward given to a scientist by which his name is associated with a scientific era (e.g. Newton’s age), or with a science as its father (e.g. August Comte is considered to be the father of sociology3) or with a law or a theory (e.g. Einstien’s theory of relativity) or a method (e.g. Bogardus scale), discovered by him. Thus his name is remembered for ever in human history and thereby he gets ever lasting fame. In addition to eponymy there are other rewards also, though less prestigious than the former, such as: Nobel prize, other medals or prizes, honorary membership of a scientific society, or honorary degree conferred by a university. Besides, the historians of science also support this reward system by correcting the errors in giving (or not giving) the reward and thus putting the record straight. The function of this elaborate reward system is to encourage original scientific research and thereby to advance science. (Merton, 1957: 658). But, this very emphasis on the value of originality has some dysfunctional consequences too. These dysfunctional consequences pointed out by Merton, can be classified in two categories: (1) related to the deviant behaviour of scientists and (2) related to the opportunity structure of science.

1. Deviant Patterns of Scientists’ Behaviour Since the social organisation of science allocates highest rewards for originality, the individual scientist is always motivated to get such reward. But often this leads to the deviant patterns of behaviour also. One such pattern is found in the form of priority conflicts (Merton, 1957). These conflicts are centered around the issue of the priority of one scientist over the other for a discovery, and hence to get social recoggnition for the same. Even the great scientists like Galileo, Newton, Hooke, Civendish, Watt, Darwin, Freud, Comte, and Sorokin, to mention only a few, were involved in such conflicts. Merton considers

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this as a repetitive and regular pattern because the history of science is full of such bitter disputes over priority; they are found in all sciences and in all times (1969; 1971). Hence it requires explanation. However, Merton rejects the psychological explanation which considers the egotism of scientists and their quarrelling nature as responsible for these conflicts. Because, he contends all scientists, who are involved in priority contests, do not have such quarrelling nature. As a matter of fact, some like Darwin or Cavendish or Watts were very modest and shy persons and yet they got involved in such conflicts. Besides, instead of the affected scientists themselves, sometimes, their friends and colleagues have fought the battles for priority who had obviously nothing to gain personally out of these conflicts. As for illustration, it happened in the case of Wallaston, whose friends, rather than the distinguished scientist himself, involved him in a priority conflict with Faraday about the experiments on electro-magnetic rotation. Similar was the case of Cavendish and-Watts-conflict over the water-controversy. Moreover, another lacuna of this psychological explanation is that it does not explain the priority conflicts between the scientists of different nations putting forward their national claims for the priority of a discovery or invention. As Merton observes, from at least the seventeenth century, Britons, Frenchmen, Germans, Dutchmen and Italians have urged their countries’ claims for priority; a little later Americans and Russians also joined this race (1957: 637–642). In place of this psychological explanation, therefore, Merton has proposed a more adequate sociological explanation, which can stand the empirical test. For this he seeks the clue in his own theory of deviant behaviour. He considers the priority conflict as a form of deviance from the another important value of science i.e. humility or modesty. To explain this he argues that because of the phenomenon of multiple independent discoveries and because of the institutional emphasis on originality, the scientists involved in such a multiple discovery are putting forward their claims for recognition. This competition for social recognition leads to claims and counter-claims, asserting the priority of one scientist against the other over a discovery or an invention. Because there is a cultural pressure on the scientist to prove his originality and because, the only right of a scientist over his intellectual property is the right of recognition, (when it is lost he has nothing more to lose) the scientists caught in such multiples, contest their claims with intense emotional involvement.

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This is further complicated by two other factors: eureka syndrome and cryptomnesia. Eureka syndrome means socially reinforced elation that comes with having arrived at a new and true scientific idea or result. Therefore, there is a deep concern about establishing priority or at least the independence of one’s discovery. Cryptomnesis means unconscious plagiarity. Sometimes, a seemingly creative thought of a scientist is based on his past reading or discussion. But it is not recalled by him and hence he takes the idea as new and original. This further complicates the already complex emotions related with multiple discoveries (Merton, 1963a: 270–282). Thus, according to Merton the culturally induced motives for original contribution and the phenomenon of multiple independent discovery along with eureka syndrome and cryptomnesia explain the priority conflicts in science and not the psychological dispositions of scientists. However, these conflicts have led to a variety of institutional innovations designed to cope with the strains caused by them. Among these, following are specially mentioned by Merton: (a) to report the discovery in the form of anagrams, (b) to publish the abstracts of one’s original ideas before publishing the detailed account of the same, (c) to deposit sealed and dated manuscripts with scientific academies while working on it, (d) to print the date of receiving a manuscript along with the article published by the scientific journal and (e) some personal expedients like to write personal letters detailing one’s own ideas to one’s potential rival, or to circulate preliminary and confidential reports of one’s work to the select few or to keep meticulously dated personal records of one’s research (1957: 654). Moreover, the strains caused by such dysfunctional conflicts on the social structure of science also have been responsible for some changes in the behaviour of scientists. As Merton and Elinor Barber have found, there is a gradual decline in the number of priority conflicts. For example, as many as 92 per cent of the multiples were subjected to conflict before 1700 A.D.; 72 per cent in the eighteenth century; 74 per cent in the first half of the nineteenth century and 59 per cent in its second half; whereas only 33 per cent of the multiples were subjected to the contest for priority in the first half of twentieth century. (Merton, 1961: 483). This shows that there is an increasing recognition by the scientists that multiples is a fact; that they can be anticipated, or their contemporaries may arrive at the same result at the same time; and that others can be truly independent in their discoveries.

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Another trend which indicates change in the social organisation of scientific research is registered in the form of publications. As evidences show an increasing tendency is found for joint-authorship in research papers. Besides, proclivity for team research is also remarkably increasing. Of course, the extent of this change varies from discipline to discipline (Merton, 1963: 94–95; Merton, 1963a: 278–279). But, there should not be any misgiving that the value of originality or even individual work has become less important, or that the scientists have become large-hearted and broad-minded. Furthermore, in some of the sciences the concern about originality has either led to intense conflicts or to extreme secrecy (Kaplan: 857–60). Even Merton accepts that priority conflicts are still prevalent (1971), and that, in the collaborative works the individual scientists are concerned about the recognition of their own contribution in the total work (1963: 95; 1963a: 279). However, priority conflict is not the only form of deviant behaviour found among scientists. Merton has observed certain other patterns also (1957: 649–658). The use of fraud to obtain credit is one such active pattern of deviant behaviour. It is observed that the pressure to demonstrate the truth of a theory or to produce a sensational discovery has some times, motivated some scientists to produce fake evidences. For example, Paul Mammerer, the biologist who was offered a chair in the university of Moscow had created fake specimens to prove Lamarkian thesis experimentally. But, when it was exposed, he attributed the fraud to his research assistant and committed suicide. Another instance of such fraud was revealed recently when it was found that the skull and the jaw from which the existence of piltdown man was inferred were nothing but a carefully contrived hoax. Similarly, cooking of evidences, triming closely guarded secrecy of one’s research, plagiarity or even the false charges of plagiarity are the instances of this type of deviant behaviour. These patterns of deviancy can be classified as ‘innovation’ according to Merton’s paradigm of deviant adaptations. Because, in this type of behaviour some illegitimate, or socially disapproved, means are accepted to achieve the goal of successful recognition of originality. There are some passive forms of deviant behaviour also found among the scientists. One such form of behaviour is ritualism, which is expressed in the behaviour of those scientists, who continuously publish just for the sake of publication. Thus publication becomes a ritual. Here the means becomes the end. Another passive form of deviancy is found in the form of retreatism. That means, to abandon the cultural goal of originality and

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Pravin J. Patel

also to abandon the means useful to achieve the goal. Here, the scientist withdraws from the field of scientific research. Either he gives up the scientific pursuit itself or he accepts another alternative role, such as teaching or administration. Moreover, in certain cases the scientist’s ambition becomes too high to be realized and it results into apathy imbued with fantasy. In such instances, a scientist nourishes, of course secretly—the hope of making some great discoveries some day in future. Nevertheless, Merton observes that though there are some such instances of deviant behaviour in the institution of science it is not a dominant pattern. Rather, such instances are exceptions from the general rule of conformity (Merton, 1957: 657–658). Because, other institutional norms of science, like, humility, disinterestedness, communism, intellectual honesty and integrity curb the deviant tendencies. Merton notes that sometimes these other norms do produce ambivalence among the scientists. For example, it is found that scientists often contest the claim of priority with painful feeling of dislike for such conflicts. Because they are caught in the conflict between the value of originality on one hand, and the value of humility on the other. But the contest between these two values is unequal, as originality is more important and more fully rewarded than the value of humility (great modesty may elicit respect, whereas great originality may promise immortality). Therefore, even very modest persons (like Cavendish or Watts or Darwin) are dragged into such conflicts. But as they also value humility they hate or dislike their own behaviour. Thus this ambivalence shows that the scientists are contemptuous of the very attitudes acquired by them from the institution which they support. In addition, motivated neglect to recognize the fact of priority conflicts, or not expressing the ambivalence (Merton, 1957: 647–649; Merton, 1962).

2. Normative Complex and the Opportunity Structure of Science Merton observes three more consequences of the graded reward system of the institution of science: (a) the phenomenon of the 41st Chair4, (b) The ratchet effect5, and (c) The Mathew effect6 (1968a). (a) The phenomenon of the 41st Chair. This is an outcome of the limited positions at the top of the ranking system. Particularly in a more productive era quite a few of the talented individuals are likely to be excluded from the top positions who may be

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possibly superior to the ‘tops’ of the low productive era. Of course, there are other rewards also but because of their low ranking they do not enjoy the same prestige as Nobel prize or its equivalent. (b) The Ratchet Effect. Second consequence of the reward system is the ratchet effect. A belief that ‘once a Nobel laureate, always a laurete’ tends to induce continued effort on the part of a Nobel laureate or, an equally honoured scientist. As more and more is expected from him, it creates its own measure of motivation and stress. Merton concedes that this social pressure keeps the eminent scientists continuously at work; and hence it is functional. But, partly as unintended consequence, this affects the “class structure” of science by providing honoured scientists some enlarged facilities for further work. Thus, the scientists are located in varying positions within the opportunity structure of science which is favourable to some and unfavourable to others. (c) The Mathew Effect. Third consequence of the reward system in science, which partly stems from the above two, is the Mathew effect. That is, the eminent scientists get disproportionately great credit for their scientific contributions, whereas comparatively less known scientists tend to get disproportionately little credit for their comparable contributions. This pattern of recognition, which is more favourable to the established scientists, is revealed in collaborative works and also in the case of multiple independent discoveries. When a Nobel laureate or an equally eminent scientist writes in collaboration with less known scientists the entire credit generally, though not correctly, is given to the former because of his reputation. Similarly when the same discovery is made independently by various scientists of distinctly different ranks the more eminent scientists get the recognition of the discovery and the unknown scientists are deprived of it. According to Merton, this Mathew effect has both functional and dysfunctional consequences. It is functional for the system of communication. As an eminent scientist is involved in a collaborative writing or in a multiple discovery, the visibility of that writing or invention tends to be heightened. However, it has some dysfunctional consequences too, particularly for the careers of the young scientists as they are deprived of social recognition in the early stages of their development when they want it the

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most. As for illustration, many young or unknown scholars’ articles or books are not published by established journals or publishers, in the beginning of their careers, because they are not considered as capable to contribute something significant. Similarly, the centres of demonstrated scientific excellence are allocated far larger resources for scientific research than the centers which have yet to make their mark. In turn the high reputation of established centers attracts a disproportionately higher share of the truly talented and promising students. These processes of social selection help the concentration of research funds, facilities and scientific talents in the reputed centers and create problems for the growth of new centers of scientific excellence. Thus, the Mathew effect sometimes violates the norm of universalism and hinders the growth of science, particularly when it is transformed into an idol of authority.

Concluding Remarks According to Merton, science is a societal product which requires social support for its continuity and development. Therefore, variation of the growth of scientific knowledge depends upon the dynamic relationship between science and the social structure. Neverthless, once science proves its utility, it becomes autonomous and acquires its own institutional imperatives along with operative sanctions. However, like the normative complex of science its reward system also has functional and dysfunctional consequences, which necessitate some organizational innovations. It is clear from the foregoing that Merton has consistently used his theoretical frame of reference to formulate a series of propositions regarding science and the behaviour patterns of scientists. However, a few words are in order with reference to his theoretical stance. 1. Since he uses functional approach, his propositions share some of the limitations inherent in this approach. For instance, he does not consider Protestantism as the cause of the growth of science in seventh century England. His contention is modest. He considers that the growth of science at that particular time and place was the latent consequence of protestantism. Thus, religion is neither a sufficient nor a necessary condition for the growth of science.

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Therefore, at the outset he begins with Waber’s hypothesis about the interrelationship between Protestantism and science but finding it inadequate he has to clarify that “Puritan ethic . . . . . . . . . . . . constitute one important element in the enhanced cultivation of science” (1936: 628) and has to add other antecedent variables also viz. economic and military needs of the society, accumulation of scientific knowledge, opportunities for sustained interaction between scientists, development of techniques and methods of research, reward system of science etc. (1935, 1939, 1961). 2. The growth of science reveals following empirical diversities: (a) Substantive and methodological growth of science is not monolithic (Kaplan, 1964: 854). The natural sciences are more advanced than social sciences. Even among natural sciences some are pretty well developed than the others. Besides, various sub-branches of a particular science also may not be equally developed. (b) The “normal” growth of science is different from its “revolutionary” growth (Kuhn, 1962) as was the case of the seventeenth century England. The same type of scientific revolution may be said to have occurred in twentieth century U.S.A. and post-revolutionary Russia. (c) Even among the societies sharing almost the same type of cultural background, the rate of scientific growth is uneven. For example, the contemporary U.S.A. is much more productive in scientific activities than the contemporary Europe. (d) All sciences do not enjoy the same degree of autonomy in all times and places. Perhaps, as Marx has observed and Mannheim has reasserted (Barber, 1956: 92–94) the natural sciences are more autonomous than their social counterparts in almost all societies. (This also raises a methodological question: is it possible to measure the exact degree of autonomy of a science at a given time in a given society?)

Perhaps, realizing some of these problems Merton has emphasized that it is necessary to find out the types, extent and processes of the non-scientific determinants of science in different social structures (1939: 661; 1968: 589). 3. Kaplan (1964: 855) feels that the four institutional imperatives of science formulated by Merton (1942) have not remained uncharged ever since their early origins. This is a debatable hypothesis. But it must be mentioned that Merton does not consider science as a perfectly integrated social institution (1963: 77–80). Besides, he has perceived the changes taking place in the organization of science indicated by the

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form of publication, priority conflicts etc. which also suggest that values do change from time to time. 4. Merton’s use of anomie paradigm to explain some of the deviant behaviour patterns of the scientists (1957) confirms his assertion that the middle range “. . . . . . theories are sufficiently abstract to deal with differing spheres of social behaviour and social structure. . . . . . . . .” and that “These theories do not remain separate but are consolidated into wider networks of theory. . . . . .” (1968: 68). 5. Merton very often rejects, in true Durkheimian tradition, the psychological explanations, and proposes alternative sociological ones. But his approach is not that of a reductionist. In his sociological explanations he generously incorporates the psychological facts and concepts. For instance, he tries to explain the growth of science in the seventeenth century England by showing the value-integration between puritanism and science. Yet he frequently states that the puritan values were internalized by the scientists; that the consciously expressed motivation was provided by this ethic; that this ethic produced favourable attitudes for science; that eureka syndrome and cryptomnesis (unconscious plagiarity) play very important role in the priority conflicts; that psychological processes of creative work and psychological traits of the scientists also are significant in scientific activity etc. Thus, his propositions become socio-psychological, instead of purely sociological ones.

Notes * This is a revised version of a paper presented at the research seminar, on September 4, 1974, in the Department of Sociology, M. S. University, Baroda. I am grateful to Professor Robert K. Merton for providing the reprints of a number of his articles on sociology of science which induced me to write this paper. I am also indebted to Professor K. C. Panchanadikar and Dr. (Mrs) J. Panchanadikar for their valuable comments on the basis of which the earlier drafts of this paper were extensively revised. However, the final responsibility of the views expressed and errors that might have crept in, is mine. 1. Although Merton accepts that psychological traits, and the psychological processes of the creative work along with the interpersonal relations in the formal organization of scientist’s work-place do affect his scientific activity, he asserts that outstanding scientists tend to be ‘cosmopolitans’ rather than ‘locals’ and that the scientific behaviour is not merely the result of the idiosyncratic characteristics and the local ambiance of the scientists. The influence of the wider social and cultural structure is not insignificant (19636: 239–243).

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2. Merton’s earliest formulations regarding this are found in his “Science, Technology and Society in Seventeenth Century England” in George Sarton (ed.) Orisis, 4: 2, Bruges, Belgium, 1938, pp. 360–632; which are aptly summarized in his “Puritanism, Pietism and Science” (1936), and “Science and Economy of 17th Century England” (1939). 3. Though Merton considers eponomy as the highest reward given to a scientist he does not agree with the belief based on biological metaphor, that a science can be fathered by one person. He says, polygenesis is the rule in the realm of science (1968: 2). 4. This concept is based on the example of French Academy which earlier decided that only a group of 40 could qualify as its members and thus emerge as immortals. As a result, some equally competent persons, excluded from the Academy, have become immortal by occupying the ‘41st Chair’. 5. Ratchet means a set of teeth on edge of bar or wheel in which a pawl engages to ensure motion in one direction only. 6. According to Gospel, St. Mathew puts it this way: “For unto every one that hath shall be given and he shall have abundance, but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath” (Mathew, 25: 29, The New Testament).

References Barber, Bernard. 1952. Science and Social Order. Glencoe, III.: The Free Press. ———. 1956. Sociology of Science: A Trend Report and Bibliography. Current Sociology 5(2). ———. 1959. “The Sociology of Science”. In: R. K. Merton, L. Broom and L. S. Cotrell, Jr. (eds.) Sociology Today: Problems and Prospects, pp. 125–288. New York: Harper Torchbooks. ———. 1968. “The Sociology of Science”. In: David L. Sills (ed.) International Encyclopedia of Social Sciences 14: 92–100. New York: The Macmillan and the Free Press. Gillispie, Charles C. 1951. Genesis and Geology. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Kaplan, Norman. 1964. “The Sociology of Science”. In: R. E. L. Faris (ed.) Handbook of Modern Sociology, pp. 852–881. Chicago: Rand McNally and Company. Kuhn, T. S. 1962. The Structure of Scientific Revolution. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Merton, R. K. 1935. Science and Military Technique. Scientific Monthly 44(37): 542–545. ———. 1936. “Puritanism, Pietism and Science”. In: R. K. Merton Social Theory and Social Structure, pp. 628–660. New York: The Free Press, Enl. ed., 1968. (Hereafter referred to as STSS). ———. 1938. “Science and the Social Order”. In: R. K. Merton, STSS, pp. 591–603. ———. 1939. “Science and Economy of 17th Century England”. In: R. K. Merton, STSS, pp. 661–681. ———. 1942. “Science and the Democratic Social Structure”. In: R. K. Merton, STSS, pp. 604–615. ———. 1947. “The Machine, The Worker and the Engineer”. In: R. K. Merton, STSS, pp. 616–627. ———. 1957. Priorities in Scientific Discovery: A Chapter in the Sociology of Science. American Sociological Review 22(6): 635–659. ———. 1961. Singletons and Multiples in Scientific Discovery: A Chapter in the Sociology of Science. Proceedings, American Philosophical Society 105(5): 470–486.

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Merton, R. K. 1963. The Ambivalence of Scientists. Bulletin of the John Hopkins Hospital 112(2): 77–97. ———. 1963a. Resistence to the Systematic Study of Multiple Discoveries in Science. European Journal of Sociology IV: 237–283. ———. 1968. STSS, op. cit. ———. 1968a. The Mathew Effect. Science 159(3810): 56–63. ———. 1969. Behaviour Patterns of Scientists. The American Scholar 38(2): 197–225. ———. and R. Lewis. 1971. The Competitive Pressures (1): The Race for Priority. Impact of Science on Sociology 21(2): 151–161. Ogburn, W. F. and D. S. Thomas. 1922. Are Inventions Inevitable? Politcal Science Quarterly 37(32): 82–98.

PART II Scientific Community

3 The Emergence of the Indian Scientific Community1 V.V. Krishna

T

he growth of science organized in terms of specialist groups or small communities sharing a set of ‘social’ and ‘cognitive’ values to explore and advance systematic knowledge is a recent historical development.2 The centrality of science in the transformation of modern societies was, to a large extent, the result of what Ben-David (1971) refers to as the growth of professionalization associated with the emergence of effective scientific communities. Even though science appeared in its institutionalized form from as early as the late 16th and 17th centuries, the transformative role of science did not come about until the emergence of professionalized communities in 19th century Europe and 20th century North America. When we speak of a scientific community, the size of professional grouping becomes more meaningful in terms of what Whitley (1976) defines as disciplines, specialities and research areas, which may hold together between three or four to a few dozen scientists. The drive towards professionalization and the emergence of scientific communities in 19th century Europe shows that these developments have come about in a somewhat ‘organic’ mould catalyzed by the prevailing political structures. Even though the Euro-centred investigation of Ben, David and others offers little insight into the understanding of non-Western cultures such as India, the social context mapped by them is not without relevance in so far as the development of institutional factors are concerned. Despite the implantation of modern

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science from about the 18th century onwards, colonial structures separated institutionalization from professionalization. So far, some sociologists in India have mapped the growth of modern science but have not paid adequate attention to the emergence of an Indian scientific community.3 Did the advent of modern science in India entail the advent of professionalization and the formation of specialist groups? What was the social character of science under colonialism? What were the social identities of scientists at large? And, how did the Indian scientific community emerge? These are some of the issues raised in this paper. The period chosen for study is instructive for two main reasons: the emergent nationalism, among other economic issues, opened a discourse for the first time on the role of modern science and made it an integral part of the struggle for independence; and, the period witnessed a significant break from the phase of colonial scientific enterprises as a result of the indigenous participation of resources in science and educational infrastructure.

The Goals and Social Character of Colonial Scientific Enterprise Some historians have defined the practice of research in the colonies after the mid-19th century as colonial science (MacLeod 1975, 1987 and Kumar 1986). Colonial science by definition meant a ‘derivative’ science identified with ‘fact-gathering’ activity. When viewed from the metropolis it was a ‘low science’. MacLeod adds psychological connotation to science in colonies as the work ‘done by lesser minds working on problems set by savants in Europe’.4 The way science was organized in the colonies was indeed a planned activity from the metropolis, the periphery being assigned the subordinate task of ‘data gathering’, while the actual theoretical synthesis (pure or fundamental research) took place in the metropolis. Devoid of its intellectual essence, the goal of scientific practice in the colony was not the advancement of science but the exploration of natural resources, flora and fauna (Mukherjee 1989) to feed the intellectual and industrial ‘revolutions’ in the metropolis. As argued elsewhere (Krishna 1992), the definition of colonial science fits well with the activity undertaken by scientific enterprises such as the geology, education and survey departments. The Asiatic Society of Bengal cooperated with the British Geological Society to promote

THE EMERGENCE OF THE INDIAN SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY

35

Table 1 The Composition of the Scientific Staff in Colonial Scientific Enterprises in 1920 Imperial Grade Name of the Service

Average Pay in Rs.

European

Indian

European

Botanical Survey

2

0

1000

0

Geological Survey

16

0

1010

0

Zoological Survey

Indian

3

1

970

700

38

5

1000

460

9

1

1040

660

Medical and Bacteriological Service (on civil employment)

24

5

1220

520

Indian Munitions Board

11

1

780

300

Meteorological Dept.

10

2

970

770

Veterinary Dept. (civil)

2

0

1100

0

Educational service

34

3

910

470

Indian Trignometrical Surveys*

46

0





195

18





Agricultural Service Forest Service

Note: All of these officers except one were Royal Engineers and held military ranks. The provincial service, also highly paid, consisted of 112 officers, of whom 80 per cent were Europeans and Anglo-Indians without any academic qualifications. Source: P. C. Ray (1920).

Indian resources development. The data gathered and sifted from the colonies not only enhanced the horizons of British geology but served as an important basis for colonial policies on minerals, coal mining, agriculture, transport surveys and communications (Stafford 1990). One notable feature of the colonial scientific enterprise was that it was entirely government controlled: scientific personnel were employed by the East India Company (before 1857) or by the British government from both military and civil services. Undue preference was shown to scientific personnel of European origin both in the recruitment and promotion to higher positions (Kumar 1983). The organizational basis for the emergence of a scientific community therefore, greatly depended on the flexibility of the scientific organizations. As late as 1920, P. C. Ray, the doyen of chemistry in India, presented figures on the scientific

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personnel employed in scientific enterprises. Out of eleven scientific services, including the educational service, P. C. Ray could count only eighteen Indians out of 213 scientific personnel.5 Highly qualified and deserving Indian scientists were discriminated against and relegated to positions below their entitlement. Whereas the Europeans employed in the education department were placed in the elite Indian Educational Service (IES), Indian scientists were placed in the Provincial Educational Service (PES), and given half the salary of their counterparts in the IES. The first and perhaps only Indian who found a berth in the IES was J.  C. Bose, but his monthly emoluments too were half those of a European’s salary in the IES. P.C. Ray on his return from England in 1888 with a Ph.D. in Chemistry had to wait for one year to be employed in the PES, whereas British chemists with similar qualifications and experience were immediately placed in the IES by the Secretary of State. Ray’s complaint against the unequal treatment evoked the retort, ‘there are other Walks of life open to you. Nobody compels you to accept this appointment’ (Ray 1958: 65). H. B. Medlicott, Head of the Geological Survey of India (GSI) held that ‘Indians are incapable of any original work in natural science’. He wanted to wait till the scientific chord among the ‘natives’ was touched and added that, ‘if indeed it exists as yet in this variety of human race so let us exercise a little discretion with our weaker brethren and not expect them to run before they can walk’.6 The most glaring example of applying discriminatory policies in the GSI was that of P. N. Bose. In 1903 T. Holland superseded P. N. Bose for the position of Director of GSI even though Holland was ten years his junior in the service. In protest against the injustice meted out to him, Bose retired from the service the same year.7 A small section of Indian scientists associated with colonial scientific organizations resorted to struggle from within against this blatant racial discrimination. By the last quarter of the 19th century, due to these inherent tensions the social organization of colonial science showed definite cracks. Towards the turn of the century, pressures towards professionalization of science and scientific autonomy were struggling to find expression as part of the emerging Indian national consciousness. A small section of the scientific and political intelligensia set an agenda to fight colonial science, on the one hand, and to create alternative structures to professionalize and integrate modern science within the framework of nationalism, on the other. This development

THE EMERGENCE OF THE INDIAN SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY

37

led to divisions within the scientific establishment as a whole and as the size and social consciousness of Indian scientists grew, the division came into sharp focus with a clear-cut agenda.

Social Divisions among Scientists and Their Orientations From the sociological point of view, one can identify three categories of scientific and technical personnel and associated institutions from about the third quarter of the 18th century. The first category relates to the transplanted or settler scientists employed by the British government. The scientific and technical personnel belonging to this category identified themselves with the colonial administration. They were basically the ‘gate keepers’ of colonial science who controlled and regulated research strategies to serve colonial ends. They promoted discrimination against native Indian scientists as exemplified in the instances cited earlier, operated on several fronts—in education, industry, finance and science departments. In the second category were scientific and technical personnel who were called upon by the colonial administration to execute specific tasks. They had no commitment to the promotion of scientific disciplines or scientific societies, and their goal was limited to the accomplishment of their assigned tasks. When these British scientists completed their assignments or attained the age limit, they returned to their country taking with them a vast treasure of experience. They can be referred to as ‘scientific soldiers’. In the whole Empire, as MacLeod (1975: 348) observes, ‘the adventures of Indian civil servants and “scientific soldiers” gave them experience second to none in the lessons of administrative organisation and coordination’.8 As a product of continuing British colonial policies, particularly discrimination in science, the third category of scientific personnel became prominent after the 1870s. They were mainly native Indian scientists supported by a small group of Western settler scientists, missionaries and Jesuits, who relentlessly worked towards the professionalization of science in India. Their numbers run into a few hundreds; to mention a few important personalities: David Hare, Father Eugene Lafont, William Carey and Marshman of Serampore missionaries, P. C. Ray, J. C. Bose, C. V. Raman, M. N. Saha, Ashutosh Mukerjee,

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M. L. Sircar and Visvesvaraya. Basalla (1967) and many other historians club together Medlicott, O’Shaughessy and J. C. Bose as colonial scientists. Sociologically, the three categories of scientists each had their constituencies, their goals, network of relationships and scientific programmes. While scientists in the first two categories were part and parcel of the colonial scientific enterprise and shared with and benefited from the colonial structures in science, the third category struggled against these structures. The term ‘struggle’ acquired an important place in the scientific discourse although its meaning and implication for action differed from one individual to another. At the national level, however, these scientists widely shared the national obligation to transform colonial structures of science and create alternative support structures with the necessary autonomy to embark on an independent scientific status.

Support Structures and Nationalist Orientation in Science Indian scientists with the support of a small group of missionaries and British scientists embarked on a programme to professionalize science in  India within a national perspective. An important objective of the programme was the constitution of specialist groups and small communities in various scientific disciplines. The Indian intelligentsia realized that the success of this objective greatly depended on a series of institutional support structures. The first organized effort in this direction was the creation of the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS) on 15 January 1876. The person behind this venture was Mahender Lal Sircar (1833– 1904), a man trained in modern science but a staunch advocate of homeopathy. Sircar stated that ‘the object of the Association is to enable natives of India to cultivate science in all its departments with a view to its advancement by original research, and (as it will necessarily follow) with a view to its varied applications to the arts and comforts of life’.9 Independent of the government and with a modest collection of Rs. 61,000, Sircar pleaded that ‘we should endeavour to carry on the work with our own efforts, unaided by the government. I want it to be entirely under our management and control. I want it to be solely native and

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39

purely national’ (IACS 1976: 9). Within a few years of its establishment, seven sections in general physics, chemistry, astronomy, systematic botany, systematic zoology, physiology and geology were organized. Until the turn of the present century the greatest contribution of the IACS was the propagation of nationalism in the cultivation of science. A direct spin-off from IACS was the creation of at least four institutions to promote technical education with a national perspective.10 Satishchandra Mukherjee, a leading educationist of Bengal, launched the Dawn Society in 1902 to promote the idea of national education. The society’s magazine, The Dawn, provided an important forum for Indian scientists to promote science and literature and popularize science.11 In 1903 and 1905 Curzon’s attempt to control technical education and exclude advanced research from its definition evoked sharp reactions from the protagonists of national education. The Dawn Society transformed itself into the National Council of Education (NCE) in 1906 with a membership of ninety-six intellectuals to organize a parallel structure of scientific and technical education ‘on national lines under national control’ (National Council of Education 1956: 3). Two schools of thought emerged in the NCE over the emphasis to be placed on scientific and technical education. Tarak Nath Palit and others launched the Society for the Promotion of Technical Education in 1906 which established the Bengal Technical Institute to promote technical education. The other group of the NCE involving Satish Mukherjee and others established the Bengal National College and School in the same year to promote science along with literary courses both at school and university. In 1907 there were a total of 270 students, out of which 223 were in the school section, ninety-eight at the intermediate level and the rest at the degree and diploma levels. There were eleven national schools under ninety-eight the NCE in different districts of Bengal with a total enrolment of 731 students. In 1910 the rival camps joined hands again giving birth to the nucleus of the present day Jadavpur University and the University College of Science of the Calcutta University. This research centre received Rs. 24 lakhs from Taraknath Palit and Rash Behari Ghosh and the assets of the Bengal Technical Institute, which, by the turn of the century, immensely contributed to the advancement of science.12

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The national education movement was however not confined to the Bengal intelligentsia. The Poona Sarvajanik Sabha’s demand of 1882 to strengthen higher technical education was taken up by the Indian National Congress after 1885. The Congress passed a Resolution at its third session in Madras in 1887 stating that ‘it is desirable that the government be moved to elaborate a system of technical education’, which was repeated in different forms in the succeeding years. In the princely state of Baroda, Maharaja Sayaji Rao Gaikwad III established Kala Bhavan in the 1880s, the biggest technical institute established by native Indian states at that time. The significance of Kala Bhavan is that the present-day technology and engineering faculties of M. S. University, Baroda, owe their origin to it.13 Between 1870 and 1920 the native Indian and missionary contribution to the establishment of colleges and initiation of science teaching exceeded British efforts. In the nine universities established between 1857 and 1918—Bombay, Madras and Calcutta (1857), Allahabad (1887), Punjab (1882), Banaras (1916), Mysore (1916), Patna (1917) and Osmania (1918)—the Indian contribution was substantial. By 1907, forty-five affiliated colleges were established in the three presidency regions where ninety-one lecturers, most of them of Indian origin, taught B. A. and M. A. subjects in science and engineering.14 Between 1910 and the 1920s, Indian universities including those in the presidency towns awarded 2,134 degrees in all the sciences (Mahalanobis 1971: 221). A major break with colonial science teaching set in with the efforts of M. L. Sircar, Nilratan Sircar and J. C. Bose which resulted in the setting up of the Science Degree Commission in 1898.15 This Commission recommended the introduction of separate science courses. When Ashutosh Mukherjee took over as the Vice-Chancellor of Calcutta University in 1912, he sought to give a new lease of life to post-graduate science teaching and research. The colonial government however refused to finance post-graduate research in science at the Calcutta University. The donation of Rs. 24 lakhs by Taraknath Palit and Rash Behari Ghosh made it possible to establish the University College of Science at Calcutta University. This initiative, the establishment of the Indian Institute of Science (1909) through the efforts of Jamsetji Tata and the princely state of Mysore, the efforts of Father Lafont at St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta, of P. C. Ray and J. C. Bose at the Presidency College (after 1885) and of J. C. Bose at the Bose Research Institute (1917), laid firm institutional foundations for systematic science by 1920. As the encouragement from

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Table 2 Publications on Science in Indian Languages in the Provinces of India between 1875 and 1896 Provinces

Medicine

Mathematics

Natural Sciences

Total

Bengal

472

180

124

776

Madras

83

35

43

161

Bombay

210

101

102

413

Punjab

264

183

17

464

NWP, Oudh

116

174

20

310

1145

673

306

2124

Total

the government in the form of scholarships to train Indian students in India and abroad was not forthcoming, a number of scholarships and endowments were instituted by wealthy Indians.16 Parallel to the establishment of scientific institutions and scholarships for advanced research, popularization of modern science and translation of science literature into local languages received attention from the Indian intelligentsia for the first time. Following the initial efforts of the Serampore missionaries in the 1820s and the Delhi College in the 1830s, Bengal provided the lead in the late 19th century for vernacular publications of magazines and books in science. Between 1868 and 1910, ten journals and magazines in science alone and forty-seven in technology were reported from Bengal.17 Efforts invested in creating a base for modern science in Indian languages were however not confined to Bengal. These activities extended to other parts of India, as is evident from Table 2.18 In 1875 the Calcutta Book Society (formed in 1817) contained 1,544 titles out of which 333 were its publications on science and technology (Bhattacharya et al. 1989). Between the University College and specialized institutions, there were half a dozen societies whose main objective was to popularize science and create a base for modern science among Indians. Besides the Dawn Society (1904), there were the Aligarh Scientific Society founded by Syed Ahmad in 1864, the Bihar Scientific Society, Muzaffarpur, founded by Syed Imdad Ali in 1868 and the Punjab Science Institute, Lahore, established in 1886. The main thrust of the activities of these societies was in creating a base for modern science in the vernacular language, i.e., Urdu.19

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Construction of Specialist Groups: Genesis of an Indian Scientific Community With J. C. Bose and P. C. Ray joining the Presidency College in 1885 and C. V. Raman joining the LACS a little later on a part-time basis, the ‘cultivation’ of science was transformed into the ‘advancement’ of science. Father Lafont at St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta, established an excellent observatory for spectro-telescopic investigations. Together with these centres, the Indian Institute of Science (1909), University College of Science, Calcutta University (1913) and Bose Research Institute (1917) constituted research programmes to give a new ‘identity’ to Indian science. In advancing modern science, Indian scientists resolved to struggle on two fronts. Whilst the existential circumstances compelled them to struggle against colonial structures, the goal of advancing science was also to revive the rational and experimental tradition. The assertion that the method of science is Western and hence alien to our Indian tradition was rejected as baseless by J. C. Bose and others. P. C. Ray’s two volumes on the History of Hindu Chemistry (Calcutta 1896) and Binoy Sarkar’s Hindu Achievements in Exact Science (New York 1918) are examples of this orientation. Thus, advancing science meant giving a new status both to the self and to the national prestige. J. C. Bose’s work on micro-wave (1895) and plant physiology (1900) earned him world-wide recognition and he was elected to the Royal Society in 1920. On radio receivers, Patrick Geddes, biographer of J. C. Bose, accords him priority over Marconi who patented it. P. C. Ray in 1896 discovered mercurous nitrite and C. V. Raman who entered the IACS in 1907 published about fifty-eight papers by 1920. The research programmes initiated by J C. Bose, C. V. Raman, P.  C.  Ray, Father Lafont and others were not individual-based programmes. They constituted, for the first time, the embryo of the Indian scientific community. At St. Xavier’s College, Father Lafont was instrumental in organizing a research group on spectro-telescopic investigations and in contrast to the data-supply scheme of colonial science, he set up facilities for undertaking basic studies. During the transit of Venus, Lafont collaborated with the famous Italian astronomer P. Tacchini in the astronomical investigations in Madhupur, Bihar. Four miniature observatories with revolving cupolas were constructed and Lafont recorded the total time of transit. Impressed by the

THE EMERGENCE OF THE INDIAN SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY

43

value of solar observations in the cloudless Indian sky, Tacchini persuaded Lafont to erect a spectro-telescope at St. Xavier’s College. Lafont brought a number of instruments from Germany and France by raising private donations (Biswas 1989, Kochhar 1991). Mathematician-cum-astronomer, Father Alphonse de Penaranda, joined Lafont in 1876 on an astronomical programme until his death in 1896. Father Penaranda regularly contributed to the column on ‘astronomical occurrences’ in the weekly periodical 77ie Indo-European Correspondence, launched in 1865 by the Catholics of Calcutta. Father V. de Campigneulles joined Lafont in 1882–83 and continued the work on spectro-telescopy. He published two books based on studies of the famous total solar eclipse of 1898 by a team of Jesuit scientists of St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta.20 Several international teams too came to India for the study of this famous total eclipse. After serving Presidency College for thirty-eight years P. C. Ray joined the University College of Science in 1916. For the first time, what is known as the Indian School of Chemistry emerged by the 1920s. Referring to the 126 papers contributed to various societies such as the Chemical Society (London), Journal of the American Chemical Society and others, Nature in its 23 March 1916 issue observed: ‘some of these papers are of very considerable value and interest, and indicate enthusiastic work on the part of this newly created school’ (Ray 1958:150). Rasik Lal Datta, Nilratan Dhar, Jnanendra Chandra Ghosh, Jnanendra Nath Mukherjee, Pulin Behari Sarkar, A. C. Ghosh, P. C. Bose, G. C. Chakravorti, to name a few, were part of the School constituted by P. C. Ray as shown in Table 3. By 1920 the active publishing community of chemistry was around fifty and about 160 papers were published. The credit for the first advance in research in physical chemistry goes to N. R. Dhar who also made original contributions to electro-chemistry. J. C. Ghosh’s theory (1918) on the abnormality of strong electrolytes created a stir in the international community when it was first published. Similarly, the credit for initiating advanced research on  colloidal chemistry in India goes to J. N. Mukherjee. The school of chemistry under Ray contributed immensely to the development of chemistry departments in Indian universities. This school contributed to at least four generations of chemists. The base for the Indian Chemical Society (1924) was given by the students of P. C. Ray. Besides Ray, J. C. Ghosh, J. N. Mukherjee and S. S. Bhatnagar were involved in planning the organization of the society in its initial year. (Bhatnagar 1928).

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Table 3 The Indian School of Chemistry in the 1920s Main Researcher

No. of Collaborating Researchers

Period of Activity

No. of Publications

P. C. Ray

1894–1920

107

37

E. R. Watson

1910–1924

25

12

P. Neogi

1907–1917

14

3

J. J. Sudborough

1912–1925

30

24

R. L. Datta

1912–1918

28

14

J. N. Rakshit

1913–1917

12

3

B. K. Singh

1913–1926

17

12

S. C. Jana

1914–N. A.

1

2

H. K. Sen

1914–1915

5

2

A. C. Sircar

1915–1926

12

9

J. L. Simonsen

1915–1926

27

4

N. R. Dhar

1913–1917

18

4

S. Dhar

1916–N. A.

1

1

P. C. Ghosh

1917–1920

4

2

J. C. Ghosh

1914–1918

7

4

P. C. Mitter

1918–1926

4

4

B. N. Ghosh

1918–1920

7

3

B. B. Dey

1911–1918

5

3

Source: Ray (1918, 1958) and Guay (1986: 82).

In physics, C. V. Raman, J. C. Bose, S. N. Bose and M. N. Saha constituted the Indian School of Physics, but it was C. V. Raman who gave the lead during the first quarter of the present century. The centenary volume of the IACS recognizes this as the ‘school of Raman’. A.  Dey, S. K. Banerjee, S. Appasamyar, S. K. Mitra, D. N. Ghosh, D.  Banerjee, T. J. Chinmayanandan and K. S. Rao are some of the scientists who constituted Raman’s School of Physics.21 Under the leadership of Raman, for the first time physics acquired a professional status at the IACS. Raman and his associates published in reputed foreign journals like Nature and Philosophical Magazine, but soon the IACS launched its own Bulletin of the Association from 1909,

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which became a vehicle for publishing original Indian contributions. With the coming of Raman and the increase in research activities, the IACS held regular scientific meetings around three sections viz., physico-mathematical, chemical and biological. Geology was added in 1916. The scientific meetings graduated into the Annual Science Convention, the first of which was held in 1917 in which nine papers in physics, four in chemistry and seven in the biological sciences were presented. Surveying the work of physics in Calcutta from 1907 to 1917, Raman observed, ‘a real school of physics has grown up in Calcutta the like of which does not exist in any other Indian university and which even now will not compare very unfavourably with those in European and American universities’ (IACS 1976: 30). Raman in this meeting also gave a list of twenty-five original papers from the School of Physics in Calcutta which included the works of S. K. Banerjee, S. K. Mitra and M. N. Saha. Around 1918, the Calcutta Physical Society was established under the auspices of Calcutta University. To provide a publication outlet of the annual meetings of the IACS, the Proceedings of the IACS was launched from 1917. K. S. Krishnan, the first Director of the National Physical Laboratory, joined Raman after 1920. The most spectacular advances in optics were carried out by the Raman school which later won world recognition for the Raman Effect. In theoretical astrophysics, Saha’s theories of thermal ionization and radiation led to the physical theory of stellar spectra by the 1920s. Saha produced thirteen papers between 1917 and 1920, including the work on ‘ionization in the solar chromosphere’ (1920). Saha provided the base for the ionospheric school at Allahabad University in which he spent seventeen years of his life. Saha’s basic work was further advanced by S. Chandrashekar, D. S. Kothari and Majumdar who studied problems connected with the atmosphere of stars, application of Fermi-Dirac statistics to elucidate the internal structure of stars and Kothari’s theory of pressure of ionization (Mahanti 1990; Prasad 1938; Sen 1954). S. K. Mitra’s research programmes in the 1930s on radio science, wireless research and chemical physics devoted to the interpretation of absorption spectra owe much to the initial impetus in physical sciences given at the turn of the 19th century. Another group which became active between 1900 and 1920 was the group on plant physiology under J. C. Bose. Following his paper in 1900 on the ‘Generality of Molecular Phenomena Produced Electrically in Living and Non-living Matter’, Bose published four monographs

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through Orient Longman: ‘Response in the Living and Non-living’ (1902), ‘Plant Response as a Means of Physiological Investigation’ (1906) with 315 experiments, ‘Comparative Electro-physiology’ (1907) with 321 experiments; and ‘Researches on Irritability of Plants’ (1913). With this base, J. C. Bose organized a research group at his Bose Research Institute from 1917. N. N. Neogi, S. C. Das, Gurupadaswamy Das, Jyotiprakash Sircar, S. C. Guha and Lalit Mohan Mukherji worked with J. C. Bose and published about twenty papers on various facets of plant physiology. In all J. C. Bose published ninety-seven papers from 1895 to 1920 and collaborated with nine colleagues in a quarter of these publications. From 1917 the Bose Research Institute launched its own journal called the Transactions of the Bose Research Institute. All the twenty papers in plant physiology referred to above appeared in this journal (Science Today 1983; Sen and Chakraborty 1986). In mathematics, the Calcutta Mathematical Society was established in 1908 with Ashutosh Mukherjee as President. Little known about Ashutosh was his original contribution to differential equations, known as ‘Mukherjee theorems’. Ashutosh became a member of the London Mathematical Association and the University of Cambridge honoured him by including his theorems in their curriculum.22 Through the efforts of V. Ramaswami Iyer the ‘Analytical Club’ at Fergusson College, Poona, was upgraded as the Indian Mathematical Society in 1911. In 1914, the Rash Behari Ghosh Chair of Applied Mathematics was created at the University College of Science, Calcutta, and Ganesh Prasad the first D. Se. of Allahabad University was appointed to it. After the establishment of Benaras Hindu University in 1918 by M.  M.  Malaviya, Ganesh Prasad founded the Benaras Mathematical Society. Prasad’s main contribution was in applied mathematics. His discourse with professionals in this area appeared as a memoir entitled, ‘Constitution of Matter and Analytical Theories of Heat’, published by the Royal Society of Sciences of Gottingen (1903). The other area of his interest was in the theory of real variables mainly on Fourier Series published in the late 1920s. The constitution of specialist groups in the university centres and specialized institutions such as the IACS and the Bose Research Institute enabled Indian scientists to assign a distinct national identity to science in India by the 1920s. These achievements, which remained a dream during M. L. Sircar’s lifetime, were a significant departure from the era of colonial science. Indians could hardly publish eighteen papers in the journal

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of the Asiatic Society during 1836 and 1895. The European (mostly British) scientists on the other hand accounted for 1,021 papers (Viswanathan 1985: 27). In the next twenty-five years research output from the Indians alone accounted for over 350 papers, the bulk of it concerning original investigations.23 Another major step in the professionalization of Indian science during the 1920s was the creation of a common forum for scientists in different parts of the country through the establishment of the Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) in 1914, mainly due to the efforts of two chemistry professors, J. L. Simonsen and P. S. MacMohan. Beginning with a membership of sixty scientists in 1914 the ISC quickly expanded to 300 members in 1916, and 360 in 1920. In 1914, thirty-five papers were presented in different scientific disciplines which gradually increased to 120 for the successive years upto 1920. The Science Congress served as an important platform to catalyze community consciousness as well as unify the scattered specialist groups on a national scale during its annual conventions which took place in different parts of the country.24 During its formative period, especially after 1917, the Congress attempted to organize scientific associations in different disciplines through the formation of sectional committees. The specialist groups provided a base for the formation of all-India societies in every scientific discipline. Beginning with the establishment of the Indian Botanical Society (1920), the professionalization of science entered a new phase. During the fifteen years up to 1935, seventeen more societies or associations were constituted on an all-India basis covering all major scientific disciplines.

Conclusion For countries such as India, colonial experience is important in considering the social processes of professionalization of science and the emergence of national scientific communities. Colonial science or scientific work in colonial enterprises had little to do with the emergence of the Indian scientific community in its emergent period (1900 to 1920). After the 1870s it becomes sociologically meaningful to speak of three categories of scientific personnel, ‘gate keepers’ and ‘scientific soldiers’, who were part and parcel of the colonial scientific enterprises, and native Indian scientists and their missionary supporters who constituted the third group. The major conclusion of this paper is that the third category of scientists for the first time made organized attempts to undertake basic or

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fundamental research by the 1920s. Specialist groups, schools and institutions were constituted in physics, chemistry, mathematics, biological sciences and astronomy by the early decades of this century. By the early 1940s the Indian scientific community made its intellectual presence felt in the international scientific world. There were at least nine fellows of the Royal Society as well as a Nobel Laureate in physics. An Indian scientific community was created which notwithstanding its limited sphere of influence, regarded advancing the frontiers of knowledge as a means by which an Indian national identity could be established at the international level of science. Emerging nationalism after the 1870s and the ‘ideological’ position of Indian scientists were in no small measure unconnected to their struggle to achieve international recognition. The support structures created through indigenous initiatives from the 1870s onwards gave a new meaning to the career structure in science. These scientists espoused professionalization by remaining outside the colonial enterprises and worked against the prevailing discriminatory practices in recruitment. Even though the scientific community of this era, as with any other international group of scientists, interacted with the Western metropolis, the research agenda and social goals in advancing scientific research came from their nationalist orientation. During 1900 and 1920 the Indian scientific community was by no means large enough to reflect an ‘all-India’ character. It was mainly concentrated in some pockets of the Indian ‘metropolis’, particularly in the Bengal Presidency. The Indian encounter with modern (Western) science has evoked considerable sociological debate. This paper differs from Shils’s observation that: the Indian intellectual’s feeling of alienation, of unconnectedness with his society, is in some measure a result of a desire for a complete immersion, a complete renunciation of his modern intellectual identity and its replacement by complete ‘Indianisation’ (Shils 1961: 69).

It is argued in this paper that the Indian scientific community was certainly committed to the Indianization of science in the country but this drive did not imply a complete renunciation of its modern intellectual identity. P. C. Ray, J. C. Bose, C. V. Raman and others never resented being part of the modern intellectual world in science. Rather, they struggled to establish an Indian identity in the world of science. The dichotomy between Indianization and the modern intellectual identity implied by Shils is not founded among the Indian pioneers of modern science in the late 19th century. They were certainly alienated from

THE EMERGENCE OF THE INDIAN SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY

49

colonial scientific enterprise, and for the greater part of their intellectual careers lived with a feeling of unconnectedness with that structure. Their substantial efforts made to popularize science by translating modern science into local languages negates Shils’s thesis. True, some of the leading Indian scientists had deep religious orientations. J. C. Bose and P. C. Ray started as Brahmo Samajists and C. V. Raman was a religious person. But Bose did excellent work on electromagnetic waves around 1894 within the modern scientific ‘paradigm’ and pursued basic work in plant physiology, and later went on to build the Bose Research Institute in the image of a temple (Nandy 1980: 54). Jairath’s (1984: 127) characterization of P. C. Ray’s monumental work on the History of Hindu Chemistry as a revivalist streak is questionable. P. C. Ray undertook this work in response to the French chemist, Berthelot’s similar work, L’ Alchimstes Grecs, for the middle ages. In this work Ray tried to trace the rational and experimental tradition in modern chemical sciences in Indian (Hindu) history—signifying a project to link the modern sciences with the relevant domain of Indian tradition. He wrote: ‘If the perusal of these lines will have the effect of stimulating my countrymen to strive for regaining their own position in the intellectual hierarchy of nations, I shall not have laboured in vain’ (Habib and Raina 1989: 63). As with J. C. Bose, Ray’s orientation in the historical examination of Indian science since antiquity was to revitalize our own rational tradition. The experimental orientation of Indian scientists has, of late, been incorrectly underplayed by some scholars. For instance, Raj (1991: 123) holds that Hindu knowledge was clean in contradistinction to Western science which is linked to laboratory and experimentation and which entails soiling one’s hands. Referring to the orientation of scientists in mathematics, algebra, astronomy, optics, hydrostatics, etc., Raj concludes that ‘it is in the old image of knowledge qua clean knowledge that the Bhadralok sought those aspects of western science that would best correspond to it’. Such an observation certainly cannot be stretched to an extreme ‘cultural determination’ mould for the simple reason that scientists such as J. C. Bose, C. V. Raman, P. C. Ray and others established their laboratories by constructing much of their own apparatus. Even though C. V. Raman claimed to have spent only about Rs. 200 for the equipment on his Nobel Prize winning work, his work was not theoretical. In 1930, awarding the Hughes Medal of the Royal Society, Lord Rutherford observed that ‘Raman’s effort must rank among the best three or four discoveries in experimental physics in the last decade’ (Bhagvantham 1972: 32). J.  C. Bose for instance did not only write books on plant physiology

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containing descriptions of about 636 experiments, but is also credited with developing 100 ‘sensitive and experimental instruments for investigating plants’. In the realm of chemistry P. C. Ray notes, ‘the fact that Hindus had a very large hand in the cultivation of the experimental sciences is hardly known’. Works on chemistry in the Rasendra Chintamani by Ramachandra and Rasa—Prakasha Sudhakara by Yasodhara are referred to by Ray as testimony to the tradition of experimentation and observation in India. C. V. Raman in a different vein drew our attention to the ability of the Indian mind in his own words: I can assert without fear of contradiction that the quality of the Indian mind is equal to the quality of any Teutonic, Nordic or Anglo-Saxon mind. What we lack is perhaps courage, what we lack is perhaps driving force which takes one anywhere . . . we need a spirit . . . that will carry us to our rightful place under the sun . . . as inheritors of a proud civilization (Venkataraman 1988: 504).

In their efforts to revitalize the tradition of science, Indian scientists did not attempt to selectively glorify all that was ‘good’ in the past. In his own words, J. C. Bose observed that ‘it is a false patriotism to assert that our ancestors knew everything and that we have nothing further to learn . . . the real golden age is not the past but in the future . . . advancement of positive knowledge and the method of experimental verification is most essential’ (Sen 1989). Indian scientists denounced the social forces which caused the downfall of experimental and inductive sciences in the middle ages and in doing so cautioned against the prevailing social and political conditions in early 20th century India. As noted earlier, nationalism provided an ideological base for the emergence of the scientific community. Advancing scientific research formed an important object of their ‘ethos’. As Visvanathan (1985: 31) implies, ‘ethos’ has both the ‘cultural’ and ‘economic’ versions. Some connections between science and economic growth through technological progress were apparent both in practice and in intellectual discourse. However, as far as practice was concerned it was in no way comparable to early 20th century Germany and America or even to later decades of Japan.

Notes 1. I have gained immensely from discussions held with Deepak Kumar, Irfan Habib, Dinesh Abrol and Shiv Visvanathan at various points. I also wish to acknowledge the support of SUD, ORSTOM, Paris for providing the opportunity to interact with a

THE EMERGENCE OF THE INDIAN SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY

2. 3.

4.

5. 6. 7.

8.

9.

10.

11.

51

number of researchers working on scientific communities in developing countries. Thanks are due to J. Gaillard, R. Waast, R. Arvantis, Y. Goudineau and Y. Chatelin. I also thank Dr. Ashok Jain and Prof. M. N. Panini for their suggestions in the finalization of this paper. See Whitley (1974) for ‘cognitive’ and ‘social’ institutionalization. For a critical review of these concepts see Blume (1974) and Bourdieu (1975). Visvanathan (1985) is, however, an exception. Adhikari (1987) deals at length with growth patterns of science in terms of ‘extractive and servicing mode’, ‘intelligensiagenerated mode’ and ‘state-organized mode’ which I share with her in so far as I am talking in terms of colonial science and non-colonial independent tradition in science (see also Krishna 1992). However, given Adhikari’s objective to specify its (science) different organizational modes of existence and their social dynamics of growth and change, the interaction perspective was not specifically directed to establish the emergence of an Indian scientific community. Jairath (1984), on the other hand, relies too much on Basalla’s model and falls short of informing us about the emergence problem within the colonial context. There is another aspect of Jairath on which I differ which is taken up in the concluding section. The ‘colonial’ phase of Indian science in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, covering industrial, agricultural and university-based education and research is discussed at some length in Ramasubban (1977: Ch. 3). Ramasubban and Singh (1987: 166) rightly imply the development of the Indian scientific community in its embryonic stage with the formation of the Indian Science Congress in 1914. In this paper I go on to establish its origins much earlier, in the late 19th century, sharing their idea of the scientific community as ‘young’ in its historical growth by the 1920s. While I do not accept this connotation given by MacLeod, I am in general agreement with scholars on colonial science in so far as it is considered one among other phases of science in India for the period up to the late 19th century. The colonial phase could be considered a dominant phase of science in India but all other scientific activities including local, indigenous traditions cannot be subsumed under the umbrella of colonial science. P. C. Ray’s Presidential Address to the Seventh Indian Science Congress (ISC). Ray (1920). See Review of Agriculture survey No. 25, September 1830 as quoted in Kumar (1986). Bagal (1955) in an illuminating biography of P. N. Bose also records that Bose played an important part in the creation and expansion of Tata Iron and Steel Works through his discovery of iron ores in Gurumahishini, Durg district. Biographical details on some of these ‘soldiers’ are available in the excellent work of Armytage (1961). It may be noted that my usage of ‘scientific soldiers’ is somewhat different from MacLeod’s (1975), although I owe the term to him. Mahender Lal Sircar’s address to the provisional committee of the LACS. The Committee consisted of twenty-five members with Father Lafont as Chairman and Sircar as Member-Secretary. See IACS (1976: 9). P. N. Bose, member of the IACS, launched the Indian Industrial Association in 1891 which organized popular lectures on coal and fibres. The Association for the Advancement of Scientific and Industrial Education was founded by J. C. Ghosh in 1904; it sent many students abroad for higher education in science. See also Sarkar (1977). Sircar, J. C. Bose and many leading Indian scientists contributed articles on physical and biological sciences in The Dawn. The magazine launched in 1897 continued till 1913. In 1905 The Dawn had about sixty members.

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12. Some eminent scientists were on the faculty of the University College of Science. C. V. Raman and P. C. Ray were the first Palit Professors. Ashutosh Mukherjee invited a group of brilliant scientists like J. C. Ghosh, M. N. Saha, J. N. Mukherjee and S. N. Bose as lecturers. 13. For further details on Kala Bhavan see The Dawn, Calcutta, from September 1910 to February 1911. 14. K. R. Kirtikar in The Modern Review, Calcutta, 1907, in a five-part series dealt extensively on the native contribution to the development of science education in affiliated colleges (see also Kirtikar 1907). 15. From the communication of D. Bose, Member, Governing Body of the Bose Research Institute and member of J. C. Bose Trust. See Science Today (1983: 21). 16. The famous Premchand Roychand offered five scholarships of Rs. 1,400 per year from an endowment of Rs. 2 lakhs in 1879 to Calcutta University. The Rajabhai Tower and Library at Bombay University were established by the generous grant of Rs. 400,000 given by Roychand. Dadabhai Naoroji offered Rs. 50,000 and collected Rs. 1.75 lakhs for Canning fellowships at Bombay University. J. N. Tata’s contribution of Rs. 30 lakhs and Sheshadri Iyer, the Mysore Dewan’s offer of 300 acres plus Rs. 5 lakhs for the establishment of the Indian Institute of Science had no parallel. The Association set up by J. C. Ghosh in 1910 raised Rs. 1 lakh per year to provide scholarships for higher education in science and engineering. See also Visvanathan (1985) who traces at length the professionalization of science accomplished by a group of Indian scientists. 17. Vigyan Rahasya (1871). Vigyan Vikas (1873), Vigyan Darpan (1876), Sachitra Vigyan Darpan (1882), Chikitsa Darshan (1887), Tatwabodhini Patrika and Bengal Spectator are some of the important periodicals in Bengali dealing with science and technology. 18. An excellent survey of writings in science and technology between 1800 and 1950 is reported by Bhattacharya et al. (1989). This Table and information on sciences in Bengali literature is taken from this source, and Ray (1918). 19. See Report on Industrial Education, Pan II, National Archives of India, New Delhi, 1903. This report covers some details on the Punjab Science Institute, Lahore. For details on the Aligarh and Bihar Scientific Societies, see Habib (1985). 20. These books are: V. de Campigneulles and H Josson. 1898. The Total Solar Eclipse— January 22, 1898. Calcutta: Thacker, Spincie and Co., 1898, and V. de Campigneulles, Observations Taken at Dumroan, Bihar India During the Eclipse of the 22nd January 1898. London: Longmans Green and Co. (Biswas 1989). 21. C. V. Raman himself refers to the work on physics as the ‘school of physics’ at Calcutta: see IACS (1976) and Venkataraman (1988). 22. From the biographical account of Ashutosh Mukherjee. See Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee Memorial Volume Calcutta: Aronodaya Art Press (published by J. N. Samaddar). 23. This figure is only the conservative estimate made from different sources. The actual figure could cross 600. 24. The Association, as early as 1911, made explicit reference to the equality principle in its statement of the objective the proposed Association sought: ‘to give a strong impulse and more systematic direction to scientific enquiry, to promote the intercourse of societies and individuals interested in science in different parts of the country, to obtain a more general attention to the objects of pure and applied science and the removal of any disadvantages of a public kind which may impede progress’. See Science and Culture, December 1937, HI (6): 307.

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References Adhikari, K. 1987. ‘Science, society and the Indian Transformation’. Philosophy and Social Action, XIII (1–4). Armytage, W. H. G. 1961. A Social History of Engineering. London: Faber and Faber. Bagal, J. C. 1955. Pramatha Nath Bose. New Delhi: P N Bose Centenary Committee. Basalla, G. 1967. ‘The spread of Western science’, Science. 156 (3775), 5 May. Ben, David, J. 1971. The Scientists Role in Society. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. Bhagvantham, S. 1972. Professor C V Raman: His Life and Work. Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh Academy of Sciences. Bhattacharya, D. P. et al. 1989. ‘A survey of Bengali writings on science and technology’. Indian Journal of History of Science, 24 (1), 8–66. Bhatnagar, S. S. 1928. ‘Presidential Address (Chemical Section) 15th Indian Science Congress, January, 1928’, Proceedings of the Indian Science Congress. Calcutta: Asiatic Society of Bengal. Biswas, A. K. 1989. ‘Reverend Father Eugene Lafont and the Scientific Activity of Saint Xavier’s College, Calcutta (1860–1910)’. Paper presented at a seminar on Science and Calcutta, BITM, Calcutta, 21–23 December. Blume, S. S. 1974. Towards a Political Sociology of Science. New York: The Free Press. Bourdieu, P. 1975. ‘The Specificity of the Scientific Field and the Social Conditions of the Progress of Reason’. Social Science Information (14). Guay, Y. 1986. ‘Emergence of Basic Research on the Periphery: Organic Chemistry in India’. Scientometrics, 10 (1–2): 77–94. Habib, Irfan. 1985. ‘Institutional Efforts: Popularisation of Science in the mid 19th Century’. Fundamenta Scientae, 6 (4): 299–312. Habib, I. and Raina, D. 1989. ‘Copernicus, Columbus, Colonialism and the Role of Science in Nineteenth Century India’. Social Scientist, 17 (3–4): 190–91. IACS. 1976. A Century. Calcutta: IACS (centenary volume). Jairath, V. K. 1984. ‘In Search of Roots—the Indian Scientific Community’. Contributions to Indian Sociology (n. s.) 18 (1). Kirtikar K. R. 1907. ‘The “colonial” model and the Emergence of National Science in India: 1876–1920’. Paper presented at the International Colloquium on Science and Empires, April 2–6, 1990, UNESCO/CNRS: Paris. Krishna, V. V. 1992. ‘The Colonial “Model” and the Emergence of National Science in India, 1876–1920’, in P. Petifjean, C. Jami and A. M. Moulin (eds), Science and Empires: Historical Studies About Scientific Development and European Expansion, Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Kumar, D. 1983. ‘Racial Discrimination and Science in 19th century India’. Indian Economic and Social History Review, XIX (1). ———. 1986. Science Policy of the Raj: 1857–1905. Ph. D thesis, Delhi University. Kochhar, R. K. 1991. ‘Astronomy in British India: Science in the Service of State’. Current Science, 25, January. MacLeod, R. M. 1975. ‘Scientific Advice for British India: Imperial Perceptions and Administrative Goals’. Modern Asian Studies, 9 (3). ———. 1987. ‘On Visiting the Moving Metropolis: Reflections on the Architecture of Imperial Science’, in N Renigold and W Rosenberg (eds.), Scientific Colonialism: A Cross-cultural Comparison, pp. 217–49. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press.

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Mahalanobis, P. C. 1971. ‘Recent Developments in the Organisation of Science in India’, in A. Rahman and K. D. Sharma (eds), Science Policy Studies. Bombay: Somaiya Publications. Mahanti, S. 1990. ‘S K Mitra (1890–1963)—A Pioneer in Radio Physics’. Science Reporter, (October). Mukherjee, A. 1989. ‘Indian Botanic Garden, Howrah and the Agri-Horticulture Society of India—A Probe into Colonial Science’, Paper presented at a seminar, Calcutta and Science, BITS. Calcutta: December 21–23. Nandy, A. 1980. Alternative Sciences: Creativity and Authority in Two Indian Scientists. New Delhi: Allied Publishers. National Council of Education. 1956. National Council of Education, 1906–56. Golden Jubilee Volume, Calcutta. Prasad, B. (ed.). 1938. The Progress of Science in India During the Past 25 Years. Calcutta: Indian Science Congress Association. Raj, Kapil. 1991. ‘Knowledge Power and Modern Science: the Brahmins Strike Back’, in D. Kumar (ed.), Science and Empire. New Delhi: Anamika Prakashan. Ramasubban, R. 1977. Science and Society: A Sociological Analysis of the Development of Science and Technology in India. Unpublished Ph. D. disertation, Bombay University. Ramasubban, R. and Singh, B. 1987. ‘The Orientation of the Public Sciences in a PostColonial Society: the Indian experience’, in S S Blume, et al. (eds.), The Social Direction of the Public Sciences, Sociology of the Sciences Year Book, XI. Dordrecht: Reidel. Ray, P. C. 1918. Essays and Discourses. Madras: G A Natesan & Co. ———. 1958. Autobiography of a Bengali Chemist. Calcutta: Orient Book Company. ———. 1920. ‘Presidential Address of Seventh Indian Science Congress Association, 1920’. Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, New Series. Sarkar, S. 1977. The Swadeshi Movement in Bengal 1903–1908. New Delhi: People’s Publishing House. Science Today, 1983. Special issue on J C Bose. 17 (9), November. Sen, D. 1989. ‘J. C. Bose and Science in India’, Paper presented at a seminar on Calcutta and Science. BITS, Calcutta, December, 21–23, 1989. Sen, D. and A. K. Chakraborty. 1986. J.C. Bose Speaks. Calcutta: Puthipatra. Sen, S. N. 1954. Meghnad Saha: His Life, Work and Philosophy. Calcutta: Meghnad Saha 60th Birthday Committee. Shils, E. 1961. The Intellectual Between Tradition and Modernity: The Indian Case. The Hague: Houton. Stafford, R. A. 1990. ‘Annexing the Landscapes of the Past in British Imperial Geology in the Nineteenth Century’, in John M. Mackenzie (ed.), Imperialism and the Natural World. Manchester: Manchester University press. Venkataraman, G. 1988. Journey into Light: Life and Science of C V Raman. Bangalore: Indian Academy of Sciences. Visvanathan, S. 1985. Organising for Science: The Making of an Industrial Research Laboratory. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Whitley, R. 1976. ‘Umbrella and Polytheistic Scientific Disciplines and their Elites’. Social Studies of Science, 6. ———. 1974. ‘Cognitive and Social Institutionalization of Scientific Specialities and Research Areas’, in R. Whitley (ed.), Social Process of Scientific Development. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

4 A Large Community but Few Peers: A Study of the Scientific Community in India1 E. Haribabu

Introduction

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n almost all societies of the contemporary world modern science is recognized as a legitimate social activity and various levels of public support are extended to it because of its perceived role in socio-economic transformation. Comparative analysis of science in different societies would illuminate specific features of the structure and organization of science, values and norms guiding the cognitive activities of the communities of scientists and interaction between science on the one hand and economic and political power structures of a given society on the other. In the context of underdeveloped countries, linkages between members of their scientific communities on the one hand and their counterparts in the advanced Western countries on the other should be studied. It is important to understand such interactions based on shared interests including cognitive orientations. This paper is an attempt to understand the Indian scientific community by focusing on the pattern of evaluation of scientific work.

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Studies in the Western Context Merton’s pioneering contributions to the sociology of science within the framework of functionalism facilitated several empirical studies of scientific communities in Western countries. According to Merton, science is a social institution with extension of certified knowledge as its goal. Four sets of institutional imperatives—universalism, communism, disinterestedness and organized scepticism-are derived from the technical methods and the goal of science (Merton 1973a: 270). These four sets of imperatives constitute the ethos of science. A scientist’s role is to advance scientific knowledge by making genuinely original contributions. High quality role performance (original contributions) brings recognition and rewards to individual scientists. Whether or not a scientist has made an original contribution is evaluated by competent peers in the community of scientists. Peer recognition is a testimony of the extent to which a particular scientist has conformed to the institutional norm of originality. Thus, quest for peer recognition is a motive derived from institutional emphasis on the norm of originality (Merton 1973b: 293). Hence, peer recognition is more important than other rewards. Journals are the vehicles of communication among members of a scientific community. Evaluation of manuscripts submitted for publication is institutionalized through the referee system. Referees are status judges charged with the responsibility of evaluating the quality of role performance of scientists (Zuckerman and Merton 1973: 460). Similarly, assessment of research proposals for grants is made by peers or experts. Recognition and rewards in science are highly stratified and are concentrated almost entirely among a relatively small number of recipients-a few scientists, laboratories and universities get the lion’s share (Zuckerman 1988). Studies conducted within the Mertonian paradigm attempted to show that universalistic criteria are employed in evaluation of the scientific work, allocation of recognition as also rewards and research funds. Cole, Rubin and Cole (1977), Cole, Cole and Simon (1981), and Mullins (1985) observe that-universalism in the form of peer judgement has been adjudged to be the most important determinant of their acceptance or rejection; universalism has been shown to govern the evaluation of manuscripts for publication (Zuckerman and Merton 1973). Kuhn’s (1970) influential work has opened up possibilities of alternative conceptions in the sociology of science. Mulkay’s (1979 and

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1980) critique of the Mertonian paradigm has brought out the epistemological basis of Merton’s functional analysis and the difficulties involved in accounting for the behaviour of scientists in terms of the Mertonian ethos of science. Mulkay (1980: 50) argues that Merton’s claim of the existence of strong moral consensus on the goal of science and Mertonian norms of science may be challenged on the grounds that scientists may seek goals other than the Mertonian one and there is no satisfactory empirical evidence for assuming commitment or high rates of conformity to these norms. He further argues that the system of allocation of recognition and rewards in science may be far from universalistic in the absence of a universal equality of opportunities for producing scientific work. Merton’s perspective accounts for differentials in productivity in terms of differences in individual abilities. Mulkay (1980), however, argues that productivity differentials are socially produced. This alternative line of analysis views productivity differentials in science both within a country and across nations in terms of variations in the availability of training facilities, research resources, cultural capital and informal access to information about current developments at the frontiers of knowledge (Mulkay 1980). Published productivity and citation practices, generally taken as measures of the research performance leading to allocation of recognition and rewards, do not give the overall picture. As mentioned above, equal opportunities to produce are not universally available. Furthermore, not enough is known about the citation practices of scientists to facilitate an estimate of the extent to which they might result from particularistic or localistic judgements (Zuckerman 1988). Latour and Woolgar (1979: 200–08) challenge Merton’s claim that the quest for peer recognition is more important than are material rewards in accounting for the motives of scientists in making contributions. They propose a credibility cycle model. They argue: ‘If . . . we suppose that scientists are engaged in a quest for credibility we are better able to make sense both of their different interests and of the process by which one kind of credit is transformed into another.’ The notion of credibility ‘makes possible the conversion between money, data, prestige, credentials, problem areas, argument, papers and so on.’ In other words, scientists ‘invest’ their credibility in problems which they think will further enhance their credibility, which in turn: (i) helps them get more support for their work; and (ii) allows them to realize their career aspirations.

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Comparative analysis of science in different societies presupposes variation over time and space in norms and goals of scientific communities and motives of scientists in making scientific contributions. What are the distinguishing features of the scientific community in India? This paper attempts to throw some light on the scientific community in India by focusing on the pattern of evaluation.

The Scientific Community in India In the Indian context, the observation made by Aurora and Kumar (1985) that sociologists have so far paid scant attention to the sociology of science holds true to a large extent even today. There are very few systematic studies on the Indian scientific community and fewer still on the evaluation system in science. However, attempts were made to examine the specific features of the organization of science. Bhabha (1966) and Shils (1968) examined the implications of the decline of support for academic and basic research and hence for the constitution and growth of research groups in the universities. It is also argued that science in India is largely administered by the government and an independent scientific community is unable to develop under the auspices of the government (Seshachar 1972). Although in numerical terms the scientific community is large, it is fragile (Shiva and Bandhopadhyay 1980). Jairath (1984) raises a fundamental question as to whether we have a scientific community in the sociological sense of the term. Indian culture has been shown to be incompatible with values of modern science (Parthasarathi 1969a, 1969b; Rahman 1970). It has been argued that one of the reasons for the crisis in Indian science is its linkages with international (Western) science and that for the Indian scientific community the western metropolis is still the centre (Visvanathan 1985). Very few researchers have focused their attention on the system of evaluation in Indian science. Krishnan and Visvanathan (1987) analyzed the impact of Indian science and technology journals and found that over 50 per cent of Indian scientific output is published abroad. Indian journals, according to them, do not serve as an effective medium of communication among Indian research workers in science and technology. They further observe that the fact that ‘we do not give the better of our research output to our own journals is not merely the consequence of our journals being poor, it is the very cause of it.’ They also note that lack of proper and rigorous referencing is one of the problems

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faced by Indian journals. However, they do not explain why there is no proper review of the papers submitted to Indian journals.

Objectives of the Study The present study explores the following questions: Given the location of the Indian scientific community in its specific socio-cultural context and its historical interaction with international (Western) science, how does it operate with reference to the evaluation of scientific contributions? Does a peer review system exist? If it does exist how effective is it? How do we account for the preference to publish their research abroad?

The Setting and Method Data for the present study were collected from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, is one of the premier institutions of scientific education and research. Many scientists who worked here or were associated with it received national and international recognition. At present, the institute has the largest concentration of scientists who have won national awards such as the S. S. Bhatnagar Award and the Young Scientist Award. The author spent nearly four weeks at the IISc during May and August 1990 collecting data. Primary data from the scientists were collected through in-depth interviews. In addition, bio-datas of the scientists were collected to look at the pattern of publication and choice of journals for publishing their research output. A group of nineteen scientists were selected for the present study. The scientists were selected from departments/units where they were engaged in research in ‘frontier’ areas. Eight scientists from the Molecular Biophysics Unit (MBU), four from the Biochemistry department, and seven from the Solid State and Structural Chemistry Unit (SSCU) were selected. The SSCU and MBU were relatively small units with full-time scientists numbering eight and twelve respectively. Because of the size, all the scientists available at the time of the study were selected. In the case of the Biochemistry department, the number of scientists was over thirty. Hence, one scientist from each area of specialization was selected for interview. The major objective of the MBU is concerned with ‘explaining biological activity in molecular terms’. In the case of the SSCU, solid state chemistry, surface chemistry, amorphous materials and theoretical

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chemistry are the major areas of specialization. Research on superconductivity was initiated nearly five years ago. In the Biochemistry department, the four major areas of specialization are developmental biology, bio-energetics, reproductive biology and molecular biology. Out of nineteen scientists interviewed for the study, ten were professors, two were associate professors and seven were assistant professors. One of the scientists was a woman holding the rank of assistant professor. The scientists’ bio-datas show that they are highly productive. Most of them have achieved national and international recognition and a majority have received national awards. Seven have received the S. S. Bhatnagar Award, three the Young Scientist Award of the CSIR and another three recipients of the Young Scientist Medal of the Indian National Science Academy (INSA). In addition, some have received awards from the UGC and other agencies. Eleven scientists have received more than one award. Seven are members of the INSA and the Indian Academy of Science. The scientists in our study participated in evaluation both as contributors and as referees. That is, as contributors they subjected their work to be evaluated by others. Many of them, as referees, evaluated the work of other scientists in the form of papers meant for publication or as proposals submitted to grant-giving bodies. Each of the scientists was asked to respond to the following questions: Does he/she think that peer review exists in: (i) the evaluation of manuscripts communicated to Indian journals; and (ii) the evaluation of research proposals sent to funding agencies in India? Since the number of scientists interviewed for the study was very small their responses are not tabulated here. Excerpts from the interviews are presented to indicate the pattern of responses. The names of scientists are not mentioned so as to maintain confidentiality.

Findings and Discussion Eighteen of the nineteen scientists mentioned that peer review does exist in Indian science but it is not satisfactory because of various factors. A young scientist specializing in theoretical chemical physics and the winner of two national awards said: Peer review does not exist in our country. Big professors review my work. They are not critical. I review papers for foreign journals not for Indian journals.

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Another scientist holding the rank of professor, who achieved international recognition for his work on DNA and won the Bhatnagar Award, stated that peer review does exist in some form now. But, he said: It may not exist after some time because mediocrity will be the order of the day in the absence of a conscious attempt to develop excellence.

The scientist is obviously concerned about the increasing ‘mediocrity’ in Indian science. Another internationally recognized scientist of the SSCU who won several national and international awards including the Bhatnagar Award mentioned that ‘peer review succeeds where good science is done’. In his assessment peer review is not ‘sufficiently good’ in our country. Responses of other scientists indicate various factors that affect the peer review system in Indian science. From this at least four factors were shown to affect the peer review system in a significant way: (i) a very small number (scarcity) of peers in research areas; (ii) lack of professionalism and rigour; (iii) a preference for seniors as status judges; and (iv) scientists’ association with governmental work. 1. Scarcity of competent peers. Eighteen out of the nineteen scientists mentioned that the peer review system is not satisfactory because there is no objectivity in the reviews. They related lack of objectivity to the very small number of competent peers in their research areas. A chemist holding the rank of professor in the MBU and a winner of the Bhatnagar Award said: Peer review exists but it does not work efficiently because the number of people working in each specialization is small. Objectivity is achieved in a large population.

The majority shared this view. Scientists also recognize the fact that in India there are a few exceptionally good scientists but in the community as a whole there are few peers. A scientist who specializes in theoretical solid state chemistry said: In our country proper peer review does not exist because of very few people in each specialization. There are people with accomplishments but they cannot evaluate objectively.

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Relative to the total size of the scientific manpower in India, the number of scientists working in a given area is too small. An assistant professor affiliated to the SSCU said: Peer review that exists is not professional. There is no large enough peer group in each area though we have a large community.

Lack of objectivity in evaluation which is a consequence of the small number of competent peers affects the review of manuscripts submitted to Indian scientific journals and research proposals for grants. In the case of journals, the editors have to depend on a small number of referees in a given area or send manuscripts to those who are not directly engaged in doing research in the area to which the particular paper belongs. A scientist of the MBU, winner of the Bhatnagar Award, pointed out: From Indian journals I receive papers for review in areas which are peripheral to my research interests whereas papers that come for review from foreign journals are directly related to my field.

The lack of a sufficient number of peers in any particular area has implications for communication and collaboration. In the absence of critical size, the small number of scientists specializing in a particular field tend to work in isolation and are compelled to actively communicate with their counterparts outside the country. The scientist further pointed out: I have invitations from abroad. But I do not visit. However, I send samples and my colleagues abroad make measurements. Techniques are available in India but people in my field outside India are interested in my work and they readily agree to undertake measurements and this collaboration results in joint publications with them.

A junior scientist who specializes in macromolecular crystallography and is currently engaged in research on structure of viruses, said: There are not many people in my field in India. If there are no competent peers, it is possible for a scientist to convince others that his work is high quality work and get away with big grants. If there are twenty to thirty peers, the review becomes more objective.

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When scientists are engaged in mobilizing resources for research there may be a conflict between those whose proposals have to be reviewed and those who review these proposals. A senior scientist specializing in biomolecular crystallography and winner of the Bhatnagar Award stated: Peer review does exist but it is not satisfactory. In many areas we do not have high quality people. We keep chasing the same small number of people for evaluation. In our country if one does not get a grant the person does not admit that he lost out in competition. Our assessment gets coloured by other factors. However, there are some people who review without fear or favour.

We have seen that much of our research output is denied to our journals (Krishnan and Visvanathan 1987). The publication behaviour of Indian scientists seems to be based on a certain value judgement according to which Indian journals rank lower than foreign journals and because of this the scientists’ belief that the credibility of scientists would be enhanced by publishing in foreign journals is nurtured. This is reflected in the behaviour of scientists both as contributors and as referees to Indian journals. Contributors either do not send their research output to Indian journals or at best send those papers which do not have a chance of getting published in foreign journals. The referees do not seem to perform their role as status judges conscientiously. A senior molecular biologist specializing in genetic engineering and winner of the Bhatnagar Award, admitted that Indian journals have a low impact. He edits a journal, the impact factor of which is 0.4. He pointed out: In the case of journals, the problem (peer review) is much more acute. We are not in a happy situation. It is because of lack of expertise and a tendency of referees to devalue papers sent by Indian journals for review. The referees would not spend as much time as they would on papers received from foreign journals.

We may perhaps explain the motive of Indian scientists to publish in foreign journals in terms of the Latour and Woolgar (1979) model of the credibility cycle. It appears that Indian scientists seek to enhance their credibility in the international (Western) scientific community by publishing in foreign journals. Further, by visiting foreign countries for conferences and seminars they hope to establish contacts with scientists abroad which may give them opportunities for collaborative research

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with them. Thus, by enhancing their international credibility they also enhance career prospects at home. It is a fact that in the matter of recruitment and promotions in many of the Indian scientific organizations and universities, a premium is placed on foreign publications and training. Related to this quest for international credibility is the negative attitude towards problems unique to India. The experience of one of the scientists, trying to get a paper published in an Indian journal, led him to question the criteria adopted for judging scientific research. His paper which reported his research on improving fuel efficiency of cooking stoves meant for rural areas was rejected by a journal. He later sent it to another journal but did not get a response from its editor for a long time. He then enquired about the fate of his paper from a member of its editorial board. At the latter’s intervention the paper was subsequently published in that journal. This experience prompted him to remark: In India scientists want to do the kind of science that goes on in the West so that they can publish in Western journals and get recognition abroad. Members of our scientific elite advocate the cause of science relevant to India’s needs but when this is done the work is not given due recognition.

2. Lack of professionalism and rigour. Professionalism involves the adoption of certain impersonal criteria and standards. Rigour implies meticulousness in evaluation. The majority of scientists in our study expressed the view that the review system suffers from a lack of professionalism and rigour. This is noticeable in the case of the referee system of journals and also assessment of project proposals. 3. Preference for seniors as status judges. Although almost all the scientists complained about the unsatisfactory project review system, the junior scientists were more dissatisfied. A junior scientist of the SSCU and winner of the Young Scientist Award as well as the Indian National Science Academy Award, said: Grants are monopolized by big guys. They get a lot of money. I reviewed some project proposals and recommended them for funding. But the funding agency declined to support the proposals. In our country decisions are made by seniors. We give importance to age.

The scientist further mentioned that persons working in reputed institutions such as the Indian Institute of Science do not have any

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problem in being funded. Is this an Indian version of stratification in science? It certainly is. Another scientist holding the rank of associate professor in the SSCU also drew attention to the role of seniors. He remarked: Some big men who have big contacts have access to big funds. They carry out big research and faster research.

A woman scientist holding the rank of assistant professor and specializing in biomolecular structure and function was more critical about the project review system. She said: There is some peer review but whether the review is objective or not is the question. In India it is not objective. When large money is involved in grants, personal knowledge and social interaction play a role. We go by seniority. Seniors become important because they are involved in decision making. We should de-emphasize seniority. The funding agencies should go by bio-data rather than seniority.

4. Scientists’ association with governmental work. Involvement of scientists in the committee system of the funding agencies of the government as advisors and experts and in the government as advisors on various technical issues brings scientists closer to the bureaucracy and political decision-makers. The number of scientists involved in such activities in every country tends to be small. This small group of elite scientists tends to influence decisions connected with defining the thrust areas for the scientific community as a whole and with regard to research funding. Members of the scientific elite try to project their own research areas as the thrust areas and thus gain access to funds. We have already seen that some of the scientists in our study are aware of the role played by seniors in evaluation. A senior professor in the biochemistry department and winner of the Bhatnagar Award, whose research area is carrier proteins, said: A few-scientists, bureaucrats and politicians-decide everything about science. A few scientists involved in government think that they are experts in all fields.

Because of their access to the government and funding agencies the big people do not face problems in mobilizing funds for their research.

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Sometimes, funds meant for an the entire department may be monopolized by one individual if he happens to be associated with the funding agency in some capacity. In India, the era of big money and big projects began in the early 1980s, after the establishment of the Department of Science and Technology (DST). Earlier, scientists had to depend on organizations like the CSIR, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) which provided funds for small projects through their extramural research programmes. According to a senior molecular biologist, the Project Advisory Committee (PAC) system of the DST has made the project review a broad-based one. He is the chairman of one of the project advisory committees. He, however, pointed out that problems still exist. Earlier, the project advisory committees were dominated by seniors. Now it is changing. But there are problems. In our country merit alone cannot be a consideration. The complaint is that Indian Institute of Science scientists get away with a lot of project money. Now we have to take care of proposals from other areas—north-east, Punjab and other border areas.

This indicates that the evaluation system in Indian science is subject to pressure arising from political considerations as well. Needless to say, equal opportunities for research must be provided. It is, however, difficult to achieve the goal without sacrificing standards. We have seen that most of the scientists in our study lay the blame for lack of objectivity on the small size of the peer groups in their fields of specialization. Objectivity is related to inter-subjective meanings. Unless there is agreement between the scientists whose work is reviewed and those who review them about the judgement of the work, the legitimacy of the review system is likely to be questioned. Some scientists drew attention to this aspect when they said that those scientists whose proposals are denied support do not accept the judgement of the referees. Another point that emerged from the study is that scientists are aware of how the peer review system works in Western countries; that there are anomalies even there, with undeserving proposals sometimes getting grants and awards. However, because the scientific endeavour in the West is large, these anomalies are not as conspicuous as they are in a country like India which is not as advanced scientifically.

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Conclusion The present study is based on the experiences of scientists located in an institution which occupies a very high position in the stratification of scientific institutions in India. Many of the scientists in our study are highly productive, having received international recognition and won national awards. Many of them are engaged in research in ‘frontier areas’. The present study raises questions which must be explored further. Given the large size of the Indian scientific community, why is it that competent peers are in short supply? Is it a problem of those doing research in ‘frontier areas’ or is it one faced by all scientists? Is it that only a few scientists in reputed institutions are involved in active research in specialized fields or is it because our scientists spread themselves too thinly over several ‘frontier areas’, as a result of which the number of peers in a given area at a given point of time tends to be small? With regard to the publication behaviour of scientists, why is it that scientists both as contributors and as referees tend to devalue Indian scientific journals? Is it due to an ambivalent attitude or due to the practice of adopting double standards? Further empirical studies involving scientists in universities and government laboratories are needed to comprehend the pattern of evaluation in the scientific community. One of the scientists in our study remarked that ‘peer review succeeds where good science is done’. What then is ‘good science’ in the Indian context? If ‘good science’ implies international (Western) science in which a few resourceful scientists participate, then inadequacies in evaluation highlighted by the scientists in our study are likely to persist. If, on the other hand, ‘good science’ implies widely shared cognitive orientations coupled with equality of opportunities to do science then the inadequacies can be minimized.

Note 1. The data presented in this paper were collected as part of a wider study of brain-drain sponsored by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). The author thanks Drs. Ashok Jam, V. V. Krishna, P. V. S Kumar and Subodh Mahanty of the National Institute for Science, Technology and Development Studies (NISTADS), New Delhi, and Dr. Vinod Jairath of the Department of Sociology, University of Delhi, for their suggestions and interest in the study. The author also thanks his colleague Dr. S G. Kulkarni for his comments on an earlier draft of the paper.

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References Aurora, G. S. and N. Kumar. 1985. ‘Sociology of Science’, in Survey of Research in Sociology and Social Anthropology, 1969–79, ICSSR, Vol. II. New Delhi: Satavahan Publications. Bhabha, Homi J. 1966. ‘Science and Problems of Development’, Science, 12: 166–72. Cole, Stephen, Rubin Leonard and Jonathan R. Cole. 1977. ‘Peer Review and the Support of Science’, Scientific American, 237: 34–41. Cole, Stephen, Jonathan R. Cole and Gary A. Simon. 1981. ‘Chance and Consensus in Peer Review’, Science, 214: 881–86. Jairath, V. K. 1984. ‘In Search of Roots—The Indian Scientific Community’, Contributions to Indian Sociology (n s), 18(1). Krishnan, C. N. and B. Visvanathan. 1987. ‘The Performance of Modern Science and Technology in India The Case of Scientific and Technological Journals’, PPST Bulletin, 11: 1–19. Kuhn, Thomas. 1970. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press (first edition 1962). Latour, Bruno and Steve Woolgar. 1979. Laboratory Life The Social Construction of Scientific Facts, Beverly Hills: Sage Publications. Merton, R. K. 1973a. ‘The Normative Structure of Science’, in R. K., Merton (ed.), Sociology of Science, pp. 267–78. Chicago: University of Chicago Press (published in 1942). ———. 1973b. ‘Priorities in Scientific Discovery’, in R. K. Merton (ed.), Sociology of Science pp. 287–324. Chicago: University of Chicago Press (published in 1957). Mullins, N. 1985. ‘Invisible Colleges Science as Elites’, Scientometrics, 7: 357–68. Mulkay, M. 1979. Science and Sociology of Knowledge. London: George Allen and Unwin. ———. 1980. ‘Sociology of Science in the West’, Current Sociology? 8: 1–184. Parthasarathi, A. 1969a. ‘Sociology of Science in Developing Countries’, Economic and Political Weekly, IV (31): 1277–80. 2 August. ———. 1969b. ‘Sociology of Science in Developing Countries’, Economic and Political Weekly, IV (34): 1387–89. 23 August. Rahman, A. 1970. ‘Scientists in India The Impact of Economic Policies and Social Perspective’, International Social Science Journal, 22: 54–79. Seshachar, B. R. 1972. ‘Problems of Indian Science since Nehru’. Impact of Science on Society XXII (1 & 2). Shils, Edward. 1968. ‘The Academic Profession in India’, Minerva, 4: 461–65. Shiva, V. and J. Bandopadhyay. 1980. ‘The Large and Fragile Scientific Community’ Minerva XVIII (4). Visvanathan, S. 1985. The Making of An Industrial Research Laboratory. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Zycjernabm, H. 1988. ‘The Sociology of Science’, in Neil J Smelser (ed.), Handbook of Sociology, pp. 517–74. Beverly Hills: Sage Publications. Zuckerman, H. and R. K. Merton. 1973. ‘Institutionalised Patterns of Evaluation’, in R. K. Merton (ed), Sociology of Science, pp. 461–96. Chicago: University of Chicago Press 8.

PART III Scientific Productivity

5 Scientific Productivity: Sociological Explorations in Indian Academic Science Binay Kumar Pattnaik

Introduction

S

cientists differ enormously in the number of papers they publish: The possible range of publications generally expected in any sample of scientists varies as widely as from zero to more than 200 during a scientist’s career. Some scientists publish in the beginning of their career and are never heard of again. Some publish late in their career and continue publishing. A few scientists start publishing early in their career and continue publishing as long as they live. Besides, while some publish at a very slow rate, others do at a very fast rate. In academic science, where the tradition of pure research holds sway, publication is valued most, as contribution to the common fund of human knowledge is regarded as the basic goal of science. Nevertheless, the societal criticisms of the relevance of extended public funding to academic research, funding of scientific research by the industry, increasing competition among scientists, etc., have not only directed scientific academic research industry-ward, but have also changed the nature of its output. This paper seeks to examine the bearing of sociological factors on scientific productivity. Of the two lines of analysis available, namely, the

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‘sacred spark’ hypothesis, entailing predetermined differences among scientists (involving mostly psychological variables), and the ‘cumulative advantage’ hypothesis (involving a variety of social mechanisms) (Allison and Stewart 1974:597), I follow the latter.

The Study: Hypotheses, Indices, and Data The five hypotheses tested in this study are as follows: 1. Types of scientific institutions vary significantly in terms of the quantity of research performance/scientific productivity. 2. The infrastructure facilities in the scientific institutions significantly affect the research performance of their scientists. 3. Research environment in the department/centre is a positive correlate of scientific productivity, for colleagues work as bouncing boards to the ideas of a fellow scientist, and a competitive environment created by peers pressurises a scientist to publish more. 4. Institutional reward system is positively correlated with scientific productivity. Hence, apart from professional awards, timely and early promotions encourage the scientists for high productivity. 5. The alumni of major departments/centres show high productivity, whereas those who start on a weak foot (that is, acquiring educational credentials from and taking jobs in minor departments/centres) tend to establish a pattern of failure that eventually pushes them out of competition. Therefore, graduate school prestige of the scientist is positively correlated with scientific productivity.

For measurement, the variables in the hypotheses are operationalised as follows: 1. Types of institutions a) Departments at the national institutes b) University post-graduate departments c) Departments at the Regional Engineering Colleges (RECs) and other technical institutes. 2. Infrastructure facilities a) Material resources (funds, equipments, workspace, etc.) b) Human resources c) Information resources (library, data bases, Internet, etc.). 3. Research environment a) Degree of cooperation in sharing knowledge sources and handling bottlenecks

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b) c)

Degree of cooperation in sharing common technical facilities Frequency of research-group meetings and concern for the welfare of group members d) Extent to which ideas from junior scientists are accepted. 4. Institutional rewards a) Promotions within the organisation b) Professional awards received/won. 5. Graduate school prestige (GSP) is based on the ratings made by the peer experts in the concerned area of research. 6. Scientific productivity (otherwise technically termed Total Quantity Performance (TQP)) includes all the possible kinds of research output the academic scientists produce: a) Research publications, including those in journals and edited books, books, research reports, and conference papers. b) Allied research products, including patents, prototypes, industrial designs, new experimental methods, new experimental materials, algorithms, new or improved instruments/processes/products, troubleshooting, evaluation techniques, etc.

The study is based on primary data collected from 250 academic scientists from various disciplines/areas of chemical sciences, food technology and chemical engineering during 1996–97. These scientists occupied various teaching positions in three national institutes (including the Indian Institutes of Technology), four state universities, and four technical institutes (including RECs). In view of the diverse nature of academic institutions in the country, the sample scientists were drawn from institutes and universities that represent variations in the type of academic institutions (such as national and regional), the strata/ranks of departments of chemical sciences and technology, and the system of administration and funding. Although, statistically speaking, these 250 chemical scientists of 11 departments cannot be presumed to represent the entire community of academic scientists in India, they can give us a fair understanding of the research performance of academic scientists in the country. The immediate universe of the study was the total number of scientists (398) working in these 11 departments. Though randomness was ensured in drawing the sample scientists, it was somewhat constrained owing to cynicism among some scientists resulting in their non-cooperation and  the non-availability of some others during our visit to these departments. All the data collected were primary, and that concerning the performance of scientists was for five consecutive years-1991–92 to

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1996–97. The instrument of data collection was a structured questionnaire. The number of items for each variable in the questionnaire varied suitably. Since the variables included in the exercise were quantitative in nature, these were measured at ordinal or interval levels as the case may be. For ordinal level measurement, a three-point scale was used, and for interval level measurement, particularly for rating output, a four-/five-point scale was used. ‘Scientific productivity’ (the dependent variable) can be measured either by the subjective statements of scientists concerned or by their colleagues’ evaluation of their scientific performance. Since both these approaches are subjective in nature, I have chosen to use such objective criteria as the number and size of the units of output that are tangible and recognised by the scientific community worldwide. Such a measurement of scientific productivity may appear to be a simple task, as it is based on total output of a scientist during the stated period of five years. However, the authorship for different outputs was a problem, as single-author outputs could not be equated with multi-author outputs. In comparison to solo authorship, multiple authorship facilitates greater volume of output to one’s credit. To neutralise this ‘group effect’ and to ensure equality in TQP, the score of a particular output was placed on a decreasing (ratio) order as its number of authors increased. Varying weights, like 1, .75, .5, and .25, were assigned to solo-authored, coauthored, triple-authored and multiple-authored outputs respectively. Thus, the sum of the scores of both publications and allied research products gave us the total score of a particular scientist. The jury (the peer) opinion exercise had already taken into consideration the varying sizes of various outputs, like research papers, research project reports, books, patents, experimental methods or designs, experimental materials, algorithms or prototypes, etc. for TQP. Therefore, the weight of authorship was multiplied with the output size score like, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. This ascertained the quantity value of a single output, and the summation of such values of all outputs made by an individual scientist indicated her/his TQP score.

Institutional Variations and Productivity Academic institutions in which the sample scientists are employed form subcultures within the broader cultural system of society. Each subculture has its relevant institutions, a prescribed status system, a value

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system, and a system of rewards, as well. Each sub-culture is similar to others with regard to some of its organisational features, but in other aspects it may differ and manifest its uniqueness. This section discusses whether specific organisational structure and related environment of academic institutions affect the productivity of scientists. That is, in the context of institutional variables, we shall examine Hypothesis 1: that types of scientific institutions vary significantly in terms of the quantity of research output. We may recall here Krohn’s (1972) study supporting the hypothesis that major differences in research activities are based on organisational (as well as disciplinary) distinctions, and G.A. Cole’s (1979:369–77) emphasis on the relevance of organisational setting for scientific performance. The differences in productivity among scientists working in different institutions can be observed from Tables 1 and 2. Table 1 gives an initial picture of the differences among types of institutions with regard to TQP. The ANOVA in that Table shows that the three types of institutions differ significantly in terms of TQP. The TQP of scientists in national institutes is significantly different from that of the scientists in RECs/other technical institutes and university departments. Table 2 also reflects the level of difference in TQP among the sample scientists in different types of institutions. Only 1 (3.3%) scientist from the RECs/other technical institutes is found in the category of high performers, whereas as many as 25 (83.3%) scientists from the national institutes are found in that category. This is mainly due to the Table 1 ANOVA: Types of Scientific Institutions and Total Quantity Performance (TQP) Source of Variation

Sums of Squares

Mean Square (Variance)

F Ratio

F Prob.

2

32.7945

16.3972

21.6977

.0000

Within groups

247

186.6615

.7557

Total

249

2

3

Between groups

Mean

DF

219.4560 Group

1

1. 0.88331

1. RECs/Other Institutes

2. 1.84032

2. Universities

+

3. 2.99023

3. National Institutes

+

+

‘+’ denotes that the pair of groups significantly differ from each other.

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Binay Kumar Pattnaik

Table 2 Total Quantity Performance (TQP) by Type of Scientific Institutions Institution Type REC/Other Tech. Inst.

TQP Nil

Low TQP

Moderate TQP High TQP

National Institute

Row Total 58

*

28

11

19

**

48.3

19.0

32.8

***

46.7

16.4

15.4

100 23.2

*

26

39

43

108

**

24.1

36.1

39.8

100

***

43.3

58.2

35.0

43.2

*

5

13

36

54

**

9.3

24.1

66.7

***

8.3

19.4

29.3

21.6

25

30

*

1

**

3.3

*** Column total

University

1.7

4 13.3 6.0

*

60

67

**

24.0

26.8

***

100

100

83.3 20.3 123 49.2 100

100

100 12.0 250 100 100

* = Frequency, ** = Row percentage, *** = Column percentage. Chi-Square Pearson Cramer’s V

Value

DF

Significance

47.04471

6

.00000

.30674

differences in the organisational variables, like infrastructure facilities that they enjoy (in material resources, quality of human resources and access to information technology/resources), their research environment, and their reward system. It is seen from Table 2 that 23.2 percent of the sample scientists did not have any research output (during the 5-year period). Whereas 43.2 percent of the sample scientists have low TQP and 21.6 percent have

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moderate TQP, only 12 percent have demonstrated high TQP. The average quantity performance level among the sample scientists is much lower than the performance median. Table 2 shows a very strong Chisquare value, as it is very highly significant. The Cramer’s V (.30) is also indicative of a relatively strong association between TQP of scientists and the different types of institutions in which they work. While examining TQP with reference to only the quantity of research publications (first of the two components of TQP), it is found that, among high performers, there is no scientist from the RECs/other technical institutes, and there is a wide gap between the quantity performance of scientists from university departments and national institutes. Among the high performers, whereas only 5 (15.67%) scientists are from the universities, 27 (84.4%) are from the national institutes. The Chi-square value was found to be very highly significant (P = .00000). A similar analysis for quantity of allied research products (the other component of TQP) showed that, in the high performers category, all seven scientists were from the national institutes. The scientists from university departments and RECs/other technical institutes came under the moderate and low performance categories. The Chi-square value was also found to be very highly significant (P = .00000).

Infrastructure Facilities and Productivity It is axiomatic that any scientific activity presumes the availability of certain resources- for example, funds, equipments, qualified personnel, and information (journals, books, computing and communication facilities, etc.). Taking the cue from the existing literature, it is hypothesised that the infrastructure facilities in the scientific institutions significantly affect the performance of their scientists (Hypothesis 2). For analytical purposes, ‘infrastructure’ has been operationalised here by taking into consideration three components: (1) the material resources, like funds, equipments, etc.; (2) the human resources, like the quality of scientific manpower; and (3) the information resources, such as library, data bases, and computational, word processing, Internet and mailing facilities. Our data confirmed that infrastructure facilities affect the TQP of scientists. The correlation coefficient of infrastructure with TQP is highly significant (p = .000), though the correlation value (r = .314) shows a positive but moderate relationship.

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The ANOVA in Table 3 shows that the three types of institutions differ significantly as for (perceived) infrastructure facilities. The infrastructure facilities are unequally distributed among different types of institutions, reflecting the principle of cumulative advantage that operates in a stratified science. According to this principle, the rich get richer at a rate that the poor become poorer (Allison and Stewart 1974:597). This happens in the case of scientific institutions because centres of proven excellence are allocated far larger resources than centres which are yet to make their mark. In turn, their prestige attracts a disproportionate number of promising graduate students and faculty members. High calibre students naturally choose the top-rated departments in the country because of the high quality of the faculty and facilities available there. Table 4 shows a significant relationship (at .011 level) between the perceived quality of infrastructure and the TQP. This confirms Hypothesis 2. Interestingly, the 30 high performers are distributed across the categories of the quality of infrastructure: 50 percent perceived the quality of infrastructure as good, 23.8 percent as excellent, and 10 percent and 23.7 percent of them perceived the quality of infrastructure as poor and fair respectively. Similarly, 38 (35.2%), 32  (29.6%), and 29 (26.9%) of the 108 scientists in the low TQP category perceived the quality of infrastructure as poor, fair, and good respectively. This seems to suggest that an unlimited supply of Table 3 ANOVA: Types of Scientific Institutions and Infrastructure Facilities Source of Variation Between groups

DF

Sums of Squares

Mean Square (Variance)

F Ratio

F Prob.

138.28

.0000

2

3

2

13334.25

6667.13

Within groups

247

11909.20

48.21

Total

249

25243.45

Mean

Group

1

1. 20.8000

1. RECs/Other Institutes

2. 29.1642

2. Universities

+

3. 38.5528

3. National Institutes

+

+

‘+’ denotes that the pair of groups significantly differ from each other.

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Table 4 Infrastructure Facilities and Total Quantity Performance (TQP) TQP Infrastructure Facilities Poor

Fair

Good

Excellent

Column total

Nil

Low

Moderate

High

Row Total

*

24

38

12

3

**

31.2

49.4

15.6

3.9

***

41.4

35.2

22.2

10.0

*

20

32

16

**

26.7

42.7

21.3

9.3

***

34.5

29.6

29.6

23.3

30.0

*

13

29

20

15

77

**

16.9

37.7

26.0

19.5

***

22.4

26.9

37.0

50.0

*

1

9

6

5

21

**

4.8

42.9

28.6

23.8

100

***

1.7

8.3

11.1

16.7

54

30

250

21.6

12.0

100

*

58

**

23.2

***

100

108 43.2 100

100

77 100 30.8

7

75 100

100 30.8

8.4

100

100

* = Frequency, ** = Row percentage, *** = Column percentage. Chi-Square

Value

DF

Significance

Pearson

21.26

9

.011

funds, equipments and personnel by itself does not ensure high productivity.

Research Environment and Productivity It has been argued that, once the optimum level has been reached in material resources for research, it ceases to determine the performance of scientists. This implies that non-material aspects of the organisation are also important for scientific productivity. Suitable work climate or

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research environment is one such non-material variable (see Guion 1973). According to Bonmariage et al. (1979), general R&D effectiveness of a research unit is significantly related to the general research climate in that unit. Acceptance of new ideas, dedication to work, cooperation among scientists, frequency of scientific and technical meetings, etc. (which resemble closely the components of the ‘research environment’ variable in this study) are strong correlates of general R&D. The interaction between a scientist and her/his environment stimulates her/his productive potential. However, since neither scientists nor their environments are homogeneous, we could expect that different types of mix would produce different results (see Cotgrove and Steven 1970:143). Thus, we may infer that research environment in the department/centre is a positive correlate of scientific productivity. Defining ‘research/work climate’ is, however, not an easy task, because of the ambiguities involved in the concept. Of the several views on this, two are important. One view is that it is a systemic phenomenon, and that it can be explained through the universal characteristics of an organisation and its functioning. Another view is that it is a perceived phenomenon, and that the subjective perceptions of the people or group determine the climate of the department or institution. We have used the latter view for our analysis. Table 5 shows that the research environment in national institutes differs significantly from that of the RECs/other technical institutes. Table 5 ANOVA: Research Environment and Types of Scientific Institutions Source of Variation Between groups

DF

Sums of Squares

Mean Square (Variance)

F Ratio

F Prob.

17.98

.0000

2

3

2

2661.49

1330.74

Within groups

247

18279.63

74.00

Total

249

20941.12

Mean

Group

1

1. 29.8500

1. RECs/Other Institutes

2. 35.5970

2. Universities

+

3. 37.9675

3. National Institutes

+

‘+’ denotes that the pair of groups significantly differ from each other.

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There is no significant difference between the research environments of national institutes and university departments, although the mean score of the former is numerically higher than that of the latter. In our attempt to understand the nature of research environment in different types of institutions, several questions were formulated on the frequency and range of interactions among scientists, satisfaction in professional life, autonomy enjoyed, the overall cooperative atmosphere in the laboratory, etc. Statistical analysis shows that, while the correlation coefficient between TQP and research environment (r = .31) is not very high, it is positive and highly significant (p = .000). Thus, it follows that more conducive the environment in the department, higher is the TQP. Data analysed in Table 6, especially its Chi-square value (P = .004) reinforces this finding. Of the 250 scientists, 58 (23.2%) are from less conducive environment, and most of them are also low- and non-productive scientists, Table 6 Research Environment and Total Quantity Performance (TQP) TQP Research Environment

Nil

Low

Moderate

Less conducive

*

22

25

7

**

37.9

43.1

12.1

6.9

***

37.9

23.1

13.0

13.0

Moderately conducive

Highly conducive

Column total

High

Row Total

4

58 100 23.2

*

31

61

31

15

138

**

22.5

44.2

22.5

10.9

100

***

53.4

56.5

57.4

50.0

55.2

*

5

22

16

11

54

**

9.3

40.7

29.6

20.4

***

8.6

20.4

29.6

36.7

54

30

250

21.6

12.0

100

*

58

**

23.2

***

100

108 43.2 100

100

100 21.6

100

100

* = Frequency, ** = Row percentage, *** = Column percentage Chi-Square

Value

DF

Significance

Pearson

18.74

6

.004

Cramer’s V

.19

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Binay Kumar Pattnaik

whereas 138 (55.2%) are from moderately conducive environment, and 54 (21.6%) are from highly conducive environment. Considering the distribution of these scientists in terms of their different levels of productivity, it is clear that Indian scientists, by and large, do not have a highly conducive research environment. Thus, environment appears to affect productivity, but not greatly. Although Hypothesis 3, positing a positive relationship between the two variables, is corroborated, the strength of the relation between the variables is weak as shown by the low value of Cramer’s V (.19). This is because, along with research environment, other variables also play a role in effecting variations in the TQP of scientists. I have already discussed the accumulation of advantages in access to resources. Obviously, the institutions having better research facilities attract good researchers and students, and thereby create a good research environment. While the less conducive research environment does not necessarily push the scientists out, neither does it enable them to produce satisfactorily. Hence, we find that most scientists from the less conducive environment are also low or non-productive scientists. Of the 192 productive scientists, 138 are from the moderately conducive research environment and only 54 are from the highly conducive one.

Reward System and Productivity Institutions vary as regards the nature of incentives they offer for conforming to their norms and helping them to achieve their goals. In academic institutions, scientists are encouraged to excel in their fields of research through recognition of their work by a reward system. The reward system in science refers to the relationship between effective role performance and the recognition of that performance by the profession of science, the institutions of scientific research they are affiliated to, and the group of scientists (peers) engaged in research in the same area. As mentioned earlier, the rewards include scientific awards, fellowships, nominations to professional bodies, etc. Such recognition at the institutional level of science apart, at the community level of scientists, recognition comes in the form of citations, naming the contribution after the scientist, etc. Alhough Gaston (1978:1–16) said that recognition does not come to a scientist merely in terms of immediate monetary incentives like salary or income (except award money),

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upgradation in position within the organisation is also a form of recognition. Timely and early promotion always encourages scientists to be more productive. Hence, it is hypothesised that, in academic science, reward system is positively correlated with the productivity of scientists. (Hypothesis 4). Table 7 shows that 90 (36%) of the sample scientists have not received any kind of reward. Of the remaining 160 scientists, only 30 Table 7 Rewards and Total Quantity Performance (TQP) TQP Rewards Score Nil

Low

Moderate

High

Column total

Nil

Low

Moderate

*

38

43

6

High

Row Total

3

90

**

42.2

47.8

6.7

3.3

***

65.5

39.8

11.1

10.0

*

7

29

20

6

**

11.3

46.8

32.3

9.7

***

100 36.0 62 100

12.1

26.9

37.0

20.0

24.8

*

12

24

17

15

68

**

17.6

35.3

25.0

22.1

***

20.7

22.2

31.5

50.0

100 27.2

*

1

12

11

6

30

**

3.3

40.0

36.7

20.0

100

***

1.7

11.1

20.4

20.0

54

30

250

21.6

12.0

100

*

58

**

23.2

***

100

108 43.2 100

100

100

12.0

100

* = Frequency, ** = Row percentage, *** = Column percentage. Chi-Square

Value

DF

Significance

Pearson

54.82

9

.00000

Cramer’s V

.27

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Binay Kumar Pattnaik

Table 8 ANOVA: Awards and Types of Scientific Institutions Source of Variation

DF

Between groups

Sums of Squares

Mean Square (Variance)

F Ratio

F Prob.

5.7517

.0036

1

2

3

+

+

2

136.94

68.4718

Within groups

247

2940.43

11.9046

Total

249

3077.37

Mean

Group

1. 0.0000

1. RECs/Other Institutes

2. 0.2687

2. Universities

3. 1.6098

3. National Institutes

‘+’ denotes that the pair of groups significantly differ from each other.

have received high recognition as regards rewards. The Chi-square value is significant (P = .00000), and substantiates Hypothesis 4. Table 7 also shows that rewards are unequally distributed among the scientists. The ANOVA in Table 8 shows the unequal distribution of professional awards among scientists in different institution types, as they also differ in their TQP. There exists no significant difference between the REC scientists and those of the universities. However, having received more awards, the scientists of national institutes differed significantly from those in universities and RECs/other technical institutes. A higher percentage of scientists in national institutes have acquired recognition by winning more professional awards. The scientists of national institutes differ significantly from their counterparts in the universities and RECs/other technical institutes not only in scores of winning awards (see Table 9), but also in their TQP (see Table 1). An analysis of the relationship between scores on awards won and TQP reveals it to be significant (P = .00000). Thus, owing to the common pattern of institutional differences observed in scores of awards won and in TQP, differences in scores on awards won are attributable to differences in TQP. Studies have examined the correlation between the unequal distribution of rewards and differences in scientific productivity (see J.R. Cole and S. Cole 1967; Gaston 1970). In the present study, the correlation between scores of TQP and those of rewards is positive and significant

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Table 9 Awards Won by Type of Scientific Institutions Institution Type REC/Other Tech. Inst.

Awards Won Nil

Less prestigious awards

Moderately prestigious awards

*

60

** *** *

University

Column total

Row Total

63

91

214

28.0

29.4

42.5

100

100.0

94.0

74.0

0.0

3

18

85.6 21

**

14.3

85.7

***

4.5

14.6

0.0

9

9

100

100

*

0.0

** ***

Highly prestigious awards

National Institute

100 8.4

7.3

3.6

1

5

6

**

16.7

83.3

***

1.5

4.1

*

0.0

*

60

67

**

24.0

26.8

***

100

100

123 49.2 100

100 2.4 250 100 100

* = Frequency, ** = Row percentage, *** = Column percentage.

(r = .38). If taken separately, the correlation of awards won (a component of the variable ‘reward system’) and quantity of research publications, the value remains positive (r = .31) and significant (P = .001) implying that higher the rate of publication, higher is the recognition. However, it is to be noted that awards and honours are conferred on scientists for the high quality of their work, and not for their TQP. Nonetheless, the fact remains that even little recognition, in whatever form it may be, works as a stimulus to productivity. We have earlier observed that the national institutes have better infrastructure facilities and better research environment, factors that promote higher productivity among their scientists. Obviously, these scientists have gained higher levels of recognition. The differences in

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recognition among scientists, in terms of their access to resources and affiliations to powerful institutional positions and bodies, even if their contributions are more or less on equal footing, is called the Mathew Effect (Merton 1973: 443–47): Those who have got enough, get more; and those who have got very less, have a hard time even to maintain what little they have. That is, the reward system helps the already established scientists by according them more recognition for a particular contribution than what others would have got for the same or equivalent contribution. Researchers have investigated various aspects of the reward system in science, especially the trend towards accumulation of advantages. For example, Crane (1965:699) found that highly productive scientists at a major university gained recognition more often than equally productive scientists at a lesser known university. Likewise, J.R. Cole and S. Cole (1973) and Zuckerman (1977) have found that, scientists who receive recognition for their work during the early stages of their career become more productive afterwards, than those who do not. In what follows, we shall deal with the other aspects of the cumulative advantage hypothesis (Allison and Stewart 1974:597).

Graduate School Prestige and Productivity Several studies abroad have shown that, scientists working in major universities are more likely to be highly productive and more likely to receive recognition, than those working in minor universities (see Crane 1965; Gaston 1970:721–123). The variable ‘graduate school prestige’ (GSP) refers to the prestige/ranking of the university/institute where the scientist has done her/his doctoral work. It has been obtained by merging their scores derived from jury opinion and ranking of universities/ institutes by the American Science Association. The ANOVA between the GSP of scientists and the type of institutions in which they are employed reveals that the scientists in national institutes have a higher GSP background than their counterparts in  RECs/other technical institutes and university departments (see Table 10). The scores of the latter two vary significantly from the former. Table 11 presents the distribution of scientists in different types of institutions by their graduate school background. Cross-tabulating the GSP scores with the type of institutions in which the scientists were

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Table 10 ANOVA: Graduate School Prestige (GSP) and Types of Scientific Institutions

DF

Sums of Squares

Mean Square (Variance)

F Ratio

F Prob.

2

116.64

58.3246

76.2972

.0000

Within groups

247

188.81

.7644

Total

249

305.45 1

2

3

+

+

Source of Variation Between groups

Mean

Group

1. 1.7153

1. RECs/Other Institutes

2. 2.0547

2. Universities

3. 3.2392

3. National Institutes

‘+’ denotes that the pair of groups significantly differ from each other.

first employed, it is seen that scientists graduating from less prestigious departments are employed more in the RECs/other technical institutes (46%) and university departments (39%), and only a small percentage of them are employed in the national institutes (15%). Conversely, most of the sample scientists from high GSP background (81.5%) found jobs in the national institutes, where the scientists are also more productive. In Table 11, the three figures in low GSP and high GSP rows occur exactly in a reverse order-the former descending and the latter ascending. A column-wise reading of Table 11 shows that frequencies in the three GSP levels vary in a reverse order if the two end categories are compared, that is, the RECs/other technical institutes and the national institutes. This is indicative of co-variation in the two variables. So, the Chi-square value (P = .000) of the cross table, which is highly significant, suggests a high degree of association between the two variables. The above finding is corroborated by a reasonably high correlation (r = .60) between the prestige of graduate schools from which the sample scientists have passed out and the prestige of their first place of employment. This implies that research training in a major department fetches a scientist her/his first job in a major department, and that training in a less prestigious department is more likely to fetch the scientist her/his first job in a minor department.

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Table 11 Graduate School Prestige (GSP) and First Place of Employment First Place of Employment REC/Other Tech. Inst.

University

National Institute

Row Total

*

48

41

16

105

**

45.7

39.1

15.2

100

***

80.0

61.2

13.0

GSP Low GSP

Moderate GSP

High GSP

Column total

42.0

*

7

16

41

**

10.9

25.0

64.1

***

11.7

23.9

33.3

25.6

*

5

10

66

81

**

6.2

12.3

81.5

***

8.2

14.9

53.7

*

60

67

**

24.0

26.8

***

100

123

100

49.2 100

64 100

100 32.4 250 100 100

* = Frequency, ** = Row percentage, *** = Column percentage. Chi-Square

Value

DF

Significance

Pearson

92.82

4

.000

Evidently, the alumni of major departments tend to take up jobs in major departments, and thereby acquire additional advantages. Conversely, those who acquire their research degree from and take up their first job in minor departments tend to attain limited success, and are eventually pushed out of the productive category. Thus, Hypothesis 5 stands corroborated. This finding unfolds another stage in the long process of accumulation of advantages, and reinforces the argument that, success breeds success. (In our sample, there exists very little difference between the data on the first and later places of employment of scientists.) Cross-tabulating the GSP scores of scientists with their TQP, Table 12 finds these to be correlated significantly (P = .007). Of the 250

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Table 12 Total Quantity Performance (TQP) & Graduate School Prestige (GSP) GSP Low GSP

Moderate GSP

High GSP

Row Total

*

51

25

32

108

**

47.2

23.1

29.6

100

***

68.9

48.1

48.5

TQP Low TQP

Moderate TQP

High TQP

Column total

56.3

*

19

18

17

**

35.2

33.3

31.5

54

***

25.7

34.6

25.8

28.1

*

4

9

17

30

**

13.3

30.0

56.7

***

5.4

17.3

25.8

100

100 15.6

*

74

52

66

192

**

38.5

27.1

34.4

100

***

100

100

100

100

* = Frequency, ** = Row percentage, *** = Column percentage. Chi-Square

Value

DF

Significance

Pearson

13.88

5

.007

sample scientists, only 30 (15.6%) are high performers; of these 30, 17 (56.7%) and 9 (30.0%) are from highly and moderately prestigious graduate schools respectively. But, 32 (29.6%) of the 108 scientists in the low performers category, who have high GSP scores happen to be young scientists who had just begun their career or older scientists who are nearing their superannuation. In either case, it is natural that they would be low performers. Not surprisingly, of the 74 scientists with low GSP scores 51 (69%) are low performers as well. Scientists may have attended the graduate schools either in India or abroad. In either case, the graduate schools may be classified as major and minor universities based on their GSP scores. The ‘t’ test in Table 13 shows that scientists trained in major and minor universities in India

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Table 13 ‘t’ Test—Scientists Trained in Major vs. Minor Indian Universities and Total Quantity Performance (TQP) Number of Cases

Mean

Standard Deviation

Standard Error

Major Indian University

92

1.7315

1.544

.161

Minor Indian University

60

2.8650

3.229

.417

Type of University

T Value = 2.90

DF = 151

P = .004.

Table 14 ‘t’ Test—Scientists Trained in Major vs. Minor Universities Abroad and Total Quantity Performance (TQP) Number of Cases

Mean

Standard Deviation

Standard Error

Major University Abroad

27

2.4111

1.686

.324

Minor University Abroad

60

2.8650

2.212

.374

Type of University

T Value = 2.28

DF = 61

P = .026

significantly differ in their TQP (P = .004), confirming the hypothesis that prestige of the doctoral department in India is also responsible for significant differences in TQP. Likewise, Table 14 shows that scientists differ significantly in their TQP in terms of the prestige of their doctoral schools abroad: those who got their doctoral/post-doctoral training in the major universities abroad tend to be more productive, than those trained in the minor universities there. Although this difference is statistically significant, it is not reasonably wide, because, despite their training abroad, these scientists have taken up jobs in India and thereafter worked under similar material and cultural conditions. Thus, apart from their knowledge, what the products of elite universities abroad bring to India are motivation, a better work culture and a feeling of being distinct from their colleagues. These qualities may also erode over years. The differences in TQP of scientists with reference to their graduate school background, that is, Indian universities versus universities abroad, are significant (P = .011), but not highly (see Table 15). However,

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Table 15 ‘t’ Test—Scientists Trained in Indian University vs. University Abroad and Total Quantity Performance (TQP) Type of University

Number of Cases

Mean

Standard Deviation

Standard Error

Indian University

152

2.1789

2.412

.196

University Abroad

62

3.0710

2.069

.263

T Value = 2.55

DF = 213

P = .011.

Table 16 ‘t’ Test—Scientists Trained in Minor vs. Major Universities and Total Quantity Performance (TQP) Type of University

Number of Cases

Mean

Standard Deviation

Standard Error

Minor University

119

1.8857

1.596

.146

Major University

95

3.1284

2.904

.298

T Value = 3.98

DF = 213

P = .000.

training in the universities abroad affects, to a certain extent, the later productivity of the Indian scientists. This may be due to their exposure to the obvious advantages associated with the academic institutions of developed countries, which they could carry forward to India. However, more interesting is the significant difference in TQP (P = .000) between doctoral/post-doctoral products of elite and non-elite institutions, irrespective of their location in India or abroad (see Table 16). The productivity is distinctly high among the alumni of major institutions/ universities across the world, thus corroborating Hypothesis 5 and confirming Crane’s (1965: 703–04) findings on this. Since recognition is the principal motive for any scientist to be productive (Merton 1962:454–56), the nature of rewards expected and obtained for scientific work may also affect the productivity of scientists, irrespective of whether they were trained in major or minor universities. It is generally believed that scientists from major universities have an advantage in that their peers (assumedly) have a positive impression of their work. It is also believed that, since major universities facilitate

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interaction between junior scientists and eminent scientists (who have a say in allocating scientific rewards), the junior scientists tend to be more productive there. While the highly productive scientists are generally expected to win rewards, such scientists in major universities win most of the rewards/recognitions, marginalising such scientists in minor universities. The latter are no more likely to win rewards/recognitions than the unproductive scientists of major universities. Crane (1965:710–13) has, therefore, argued that productivity does not bring rewards/recognitions to scientists, visibility in a major university does. This is in tune with the cumulative advantage hypothesis. A position in minor universities seems to delay, rather than inhibit altogether, a scientist’s productivity. In such universities, a scientist’s first major publication generally appears later in her/his career. Also, many scientists who have been trained in minor universities are less likely to have studied with highly productive scientists to have imbibed the spirit and culture of scientific research. These reasons suggest why doctoral products of minor universities are less productive than their counterparts from major universities. As J.R. Cole and S. Cole (1973) argue, the accumulation of advantage also takes place during the educational process.

Productivity and Elitism in Science In industrial societies, compared to many other occupational groups, scientists rank high with regard to both income and social prestige. For those outside science, scientists form a homogeneous social group. Scientists, however, are stratified based on their influence and performance; we may identify two broad groups among them-the elites and the commoners. In this study, elites in science are defined as those scientists whose scientific capacities are indisputable and whose contributions are rated very highly compared to others. What logically follows from this is another hypothesis: that elitism in science is an observed phenomenon, and that the top class of scientists makes a disproportionate contribution to research work. To examine this hypothesis, the top 30 (12%) of the sample scientists, who were identified as high quantity performers, are taken for analysis. The TQP scores of all productive scientists (192 or 76.8%) is 544.10, of which the contribution of the top 30 (12%) scientists is 207.30 (or 38.1%). Twenty-five (83.3%) of these top scientists are from the national institutes, 4 (13.3%) are from the

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universities, and only 1 (3.3%) is from the RECs/other technical institutes. Whereas 36.7% percent of these scientists work in highly conducive research environment, the majority (50%) work in moderately conducive research environment. Moreover, as many as 17 (56.75%) and 9 (30%) of these scientists are from the highly prestigious and moderately prestigious graduate schools respectively. In brief, the elite scientists are not only high performers, but they also have an elitist background-for example, acquiring training from prestigious departments, gaining employment in equally prestigious departments, sustaining a highly conducive research environment, and enjoying better infrastructure facilities and reward system. As for the 60 (24%) nonproductive scientists in the sample, we find that a little more than 50 percent of them are working in the RECs/other technical institutes, 54 percent come from less prestigious graduate schools, and nearly 92 percent have less or moderately conducive research environments.

Conclusion With the help of the statistical analysis of data all the five hypotheses of the study have been verified. Even the consequential hypothesis, that there prevails an elitism in science, has been proved. It has been repeatedly observed that the ‘type of institution’ in which the scientists are employed plays the role of an intermediary variable between ‘scientific productivity’, on the one hand, and each of the five determinant variables, on the other. It is, in fact, found to be instrumental in accumulating the effects of allied determinants of scientific productivity. Accordingly, the well-known cumulative advantages hypothesis in science has been verified with reference to the present sample of academic scientists in India. Having analysed scientific productivity based on the functionalist approach to social stratification in science, founded by Merton and carried forward by J.R. Cole and S. Cole, Crane, Gaston, and others, this paper could invite the familiar criticism that it offers a circular explanation to (individual) scientific productivity. Mulkay (1980), having negated the assumptions of this approach, offers an alternative explanation, emphasising the recognition of structural factors like supervisory positions, leadership in research units, etc. Yet, he candidly confesses that ‘unfortunately, till date no coherent alternative framework to the functionalist one is available in literature’ (Ibid.:42).

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References Allison, P.D. and J.A. Stewart. 1974. ‘Productivity differences among scientists: Evidence for cumulative advantage’, American sociological review, 39: 596–606. Bonmariage, J. et al. 1979. ‘Ratings of research unit performance’, in F.M. Andrews (ed.): Scientific productivity (305–07). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press and UNESCO. Cole, G.A. 1979. ‘Classifying research units by patterns of performance and influence’, in F.M. Andrews (ed.): Scientific productivity (353–94). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press and UNESCO. Cole, J.R. and S. Cole. 1967. ‘Scientific output and recognition: A study in the operation of the reward system in science’, American sociological review, 32: 377–90. ——— .1973. Social stratification in science. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. Cotgrove, S. and B. Steven. 1970. Science, industry and society. London: George Allen Unwin. Crane, D. 1965. ‘Scientists at major and minor universities: A study of productivity and recognition’, American sociological review, 30: 699–714. Gaston, J.C. 1970. ‘The reward system in British science’, American sociological review, 35: 718–32. ———. 1978. The rewards system in British and American science. New York: John Wiley and Sons. Guion, R. 1973. ‘A note on organisational climate’, Organisational behaviour and human performance, 9: 120–25. Krohn, R.G. 1972. ‘Patterns of institutionalisation of research’, in S.Z. Nagi and R.G. Corwin (eds.): The social context of research (29–66). New York: Wiley Inter-science. Merton, R.K. 1962. ‘Priorities in scientific discovery: A chapter in sociology of science’, in Bernard Barber and Walter Hirsch (eds): Sociology of science (447–85). New York: The Free Press. ———. 1973. ‘The Mathew effect in science’, in R.K. Merton (ed.): The sociology of science (439–59). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. Mulkay, M. 1980. ‘Social inequality’, Current sociology, 28 (3) (Special issue on ‘The sociology of science in east and west): 23–42. Zuckerman, H. 1977. Scientific elite. London: Collier Macmillan.

6 Scientific Goods and Their Markets1 Kamini Adhikari

Introduction

T

he products of agriculture, industry and services become goods in some markets, in the sense that they become objects of certain economic transactions between producers and consumers. The products of scientific work embodied in the ever-increasing stock of scientific knowledge are also increasingly acquiring the characteristics of goods. This process may be called the ‘scientification of industry’. My purpose here is to present an understanding of this ascendant trend in the contemporary dynamics of science and to situate India in relation to it. In order to examine this phenomenon, it is necessary to start with the nature of the transactions into which scientific knowledge is brought in the course of its marketization. This paper, while making this examination, looks more particularly at the effects of these transactions on the process of knowledge production itself. Economic transactions on scientific knowledge take place between scientists and agents from different societal spheres, i.e., economy, polity, law, etc., directly (e.g., use of explicit devices such as patent legislation) or indirectly (e.g., dissemination of the tradition of openness of research results), and often involve items of knowledge which are being processed and are yet to be certified as scientific contributions. Through these transactions, the scientist’s thought processes are significantly influenced by social forces

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which emanate from outside the scientific community and the disciplinary boundaries of science. These dimensions of knowledge are created through the requirements of utility, control, competitive advantage and other such ‘trans-scientific’ considerations. The next part of the paper is a general discussion about what is distinctive in the knowledge products which have been called, in the conceptual shorthand of the title, ‘scientific goods’, and presents the analytic concept of the scientific goods-producing transactions it uses. Each society has its own history of development of science and of the economy, constituting particular conjunctures of intellectual and social forces, both local and global. How the conversion of scientific knowledge into scientific goods that are bought and sold or employed in economic activity works out in the process of knowledge production as to its sources, mechanisms, operations and consequences, can be seen only by entering into its particularity. The third part of the paper is such an illustrative study of the Indian experience. The paper, in brief conclusion, seeks some generalizations from the study.

Distinctiveness of Scientific Goods Let me start by distinguishing scientific goods from kindred concepts. Elements of the stock of scientific knowledge are commonly referred to as mental products. The idea of a scientific good denotes a particular kind of mental or cognitive product of science, one to the ‘content’ of which is attached some notion of economic value or money-worth. This contentspecific valuation, with reference to its external relations of use, marketability and economic function, is the core attribute of a scientific good which makes it different from scientific products of other kinds, such as those resulting from the activities of teaching, guiding research, publishing in professional journals, contributions to conferences, and research for discipline advancement. Most often the latter also involve payment of money in terms of salaries, fees, etc., but such transactions are not strictly dependent on a valuation of the economic worth of an individual item of knowledge transacted. They reflect, characteristically, factors that are rather more scientist-specific or activity-specific, such as standing, reputation, speciality, or match or fit with prevailing ideas of ‘good’ science (Segerstrale 1989), success in the increase in the number of locations of the mental

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product as seen in citations and other kinds of dissemination. Transactions in the constitution of scientific goods imbue a specific content, at a level of unprecedented detail, with money value in consideration of the different potential or actual consequences of its passage into the economy. The distinction is frequently made between science-based ‘tangible goods’ (e.g., industrial products, processes, instruments, equipment) and science-intensive ‘services’ (e.g., systems, information-services, telecommunication). For the notion of scientific goods, this distinction is irrelevant since a scientific good may result in either a tangible good (e.g., a drug) or an intellectual commodity (e.g., a computer software algorithm  or source programme). It should be seen as narrower in scope than  Machlup’s ‘knowledge-industries’ (1962) which encompass all knowledge-related activity sectors, including education, information-handling and all research. Nor is the concept of a scientific good co-terminus with science innovation or simply ‘innovation’, in Freeman’s sense of origination of new and improved materials, products, processes and systems, i.e., of an innovation in the economic sense, accomplished only with the first ‘commercial’ transaction involving the new product, process, system or device, rather than with the ‘whole process’ (Freeman 1974: 22). The idea of a scientific good, in contrast, is meant to take in knowledge transactions concerned with shaping, through different mechanisms and operations, the (mental) products of science, at any point in their career, into products to which economic valuations have been ascribed. Hence it is necessarily involved with the ‘whole process’ and with casualties induced at any point of the way, not solely with commercially actualized transactions as such. How can one recognize scientific goods? What specific differences have evolved in the cognitive results of science in the transactional processes of their passage into the “intellectual economy”, to use Simon Kuznet’s phrase (1972: 246)? These are often most clearly visible in countries with more highly developed scientific research and economic activity, but countries with natural resources and industrial or services potential supply equally distinctive manifestations of the generic conditions of interest here. In their roles as buyers, sellers or as other kinds of participants in an increasingly global economy, these countries have clearly entered the transactions arena of scientific goods. The most obvious general candidates for inclusion in the category of components of scientific knowledge in existence as scientific goods

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are the production-relevant sciences with explicit economic identities (e.g., materials sciences, biotechnologies, information sciences, telecommunications, electronics) as a consequence of incremental advances or of intellectual breakthroughs in disciplinary development. Typical instances are provided by the protein sciences, enzymology, embryology, plant sciences, genetic engineering and allied specialities, which are opening up new product development possibilities in chemicals, pharmaceuticals and in the agricultural and synthetics industries, because scientific goods have been constituted with the ability of a science to manipulate genetic material at the molecular level (thus the possibility of creating new micro-organisms, economic plants, farm animals and other life forms); to generate hybridomas for producing monoclonal antibodies (hence results which are as important for research as they are relevant for medical and pharmaceutical application); and to produce chemical entities of unprecedented accuracy and specificity (so shaping new areas both of synthetic chemistry and industrial processes). Other examples could be given of entire production-relevant specialities, but perhaps it suffices by showing how scientific goods can arise from what a science is or what its specialities can do. Scientific goods may be recognized in their several trans-scientific features, such as factors of scientific performance, defensibility, usability, saleability, technology-locatedness, which are being constituted by the continuous adaptation to, or by, the conscious interiorization of scientific activity of forces linked to other institutional areas. For example, environmental, natural resources preservation or regeneration, and cost considerations can expand the definition of a scientific product (e.g., cost-saving sample survey designs) or what the meaning of research effectiveness is (e.g., survival-enhancing qualities of the ecological sciences). Another performance factor, the ‘dependability’ of scientific results, entails new meanings of risk and how it should be measured. Particularly important where science is attached to technology, is the element of ‘risk’ which has generated a whole new domain of mental production: Technology Assessment and Risk Acceptance Research, which is a pointer to the contingent and negotiated nature of ‘completed’ scientific products and ‘dependable’ technologies. Scientific goods must not only be considered to be doing their job well, they must also be ‘defensible’. Research activity now internalizes a host of practical defensibility dimensions: (i) commercial defensibility

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or the business legitimacy of a scientific product in terms of a correctly perceived market opportunity for R and D activity, newness of an item or its competitiveness, etc.; (ii) legal defensibility, e.g., patentability, protection in the law of exclusive rights to control innovations and to determine their price; and (iii) proprietary defensibility, e.g., satisfying such proprietary factors as secrecy of scientific results and suitability for companion lines of development. A contentious defensibility factor now emerging is that of the international defensibility of intellectual property rights while the prevailing laws are mainly country-specific. ‘Usability’ as a dimension of scientific goods is well-known to computer scientists, defined by computer users not only in terms of hardware speed but also as ample software, easier-to-use systems and data communication networks which link multiple investigators to computers (Scientific American 1989: 53). As already seen in the studies of Von Hippel (1976, 1977), users of a scientific end-result may influence scientific activity by supplying essential information and playing a dominant role in successful new commercial innovations. Again, a ‘saleability’ dimension both opens and closes territories for science and for its industrial form, research and development (R&D). Management literature refers to many saleability factors of a product which may have relevance to research, such as its appearance, uniqueness, price, user-compatability, timing and adaptation to trade. Third World analysts cite such phenomena as the replacement of bulk drugs by proprietary products, corporate disinterest in leprosy cures, and the entry of trans-national corporations into seed development to suit their agrochemicals, which have set the whole course of research in certain scientific areas away from the mass needs of developing countries. Consumer action groups and alternate science, green and ecological movements, have lately become a new source for the definition of scientific goods by their efforts at conscientization and development of critical consciousness about the industrial uses of science and the ethics of private control over the natural world. The central process-concept of this paper, ‘constitutive transactions’, is meant to focus on social actions stemming from some social base that links (or not) both already achieved and ongoing science to other parts of science or to technology, social structure and to nature itself, in order to act on the conversion of a scientific process into an  economically  evaluated cognitive outcome. These actions are

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conceptualized as transactions to stress the core characteristics by which they can be recognized: the presence of negotiation, exchange, directed interaction, elective choice, contending claims and evaluations, hence their unpredetermined negotiated nature as a general feature of scientific goods. For ordering the analysis which follows, the conceptual tools include, besides ‘elective transactions’ (a variety of social action), the ‘transacting social units’, i.e., sites, individuals, collectivities at different levels or phases of their organizational development, and transaction arenas, i.e., the focal objects of the transactions themselves. Important as transaction arenas in the constitution of scientific goods are: the ‘definition of a scientific product as a good’, i.e., which product, why and where, would be assigned some economic valuation; ‘product regulation and control’ or the means to be employed for it, i.e., law, market power, pricing, international negotiations and the composite devices which have recently appeared for the purpose, such as the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), which India and the United States of America are currently negotiating at the level of the two states; and ‘distribution’ of the product via the market, state intervention, use of monopoly power and other economic forms, or by the dissemination of scientific products within educational systems and into the conventional media of science diffusion, such as publications and conferences. These processes can be illuminated more precisely by investigating concrete instances. The Indian experience provides one such possible case.

Indian Experience The core problem for analysis here is to identify some of the factors that have led to the interiorization of economic or use dimensions in certain parts of science and to try and illustrate more precisely the mechanisms by which this interiorization was structured or distanced in particular social settings, as well as the new conditions for the growth or arrest of scientific activity that were induced. Western analysts observing similar phenomena in situations of ongoing instituted scientific activity from within an advanced and diversified base, give priority in their analyses to the structures of ‘innovation’ as the frame in which the most influential welding of science and production takes place.2 For adequately representing and giving proper significance to this dynamic of science

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development in Asian and other developing countries, it is, however, essential, given their generally weak or unevenly developed science and production activity, to consider the full range of relevant settings, and not the sites of commercially effective science innovation alone. From this perspective, looking at India, one may discern a plurality of five major types of complexes on the articulation of science and production. These are the complexes (or clusters of complexes) of, first, ‘adoption, assimilation and diffusion’, based largely on state action and control over industrial technology strategies; second, “inventive activity”, based on the development of business needs as well as on the activities of laboratories in the government sphere; third, ‘innovation’ (in its wellunderstood sense of industry-specific R & D, progressing from laboratory to market place), which is spurred by major long-wave changes in knowledge, methods and practical results of the physical sciences as they act in production, and in which the main shift discernible has been from the early modern industrial technologies, in which the engineering disciplines figured prominently, to the more scienceintensive developments in chemicals, electronics, biological sciences and instrumentation; fourth, a newer mode of innovation resting on the ‘combination of key technologies and generic scientific results’, many still in the stage of experimental research, which exhibits altered relations between science, economy and innovation in many unforseeable ways; and, finally, the much more heterogeneous complexes of ‘applications of known science’ that are considerably affected by country-specific forces influencing the use of science in a society. 1. Adoption — assimilation. What has been called the Nehruvian model, set the course for several technology-centred areas of scientific interest in the early years after independence. This was the election of a heavy industry-oriented strategy to lead to independent industrialization in the long run, through state investment in the capital-intensive basic industries (steel, basic chemicals, heavy power equipment) and the adoption of foreign technology to this end. A large system of technical and scientific education and laboratories meant for technological innovation and import-substitution through fundamental and applications research, was brought into existence. On these foundations, a diversified technical base was erected, and selfsufficiency attained in manufacturing capacities based largely on conventional technologies.3 The common mechanisms for this have been the acquisition of technology, mainly

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through the contractual means of transfer of foreign technology, rather than by licensing of patents; efforts at acquiring ‘know-how’, i.e., details of manufacturing drawings, designs and allied information which foreign collaboration agreements do not ordinarily supply, providing as they do mainly capital equipment and core components; initiation of a process of their indigenization through internal resources; and upgradation of technologies and equipment design along generally predetermined paths.4 In terms of systems of knowledge, the paradox of a ‘technology gap’ with the borrowing of tested technology, can be understood as an inability of the recipient unit to maintain its engagement in R & D projects on the more science-intensive technologies (e.g., chemicals and metallurgical process technologies), yet its growing competence in other components of knowledge, such as plant construction, machinery-building, computer controls, equipment design and engineering consultancy services. This is the pattern frequently seen in important projects in the public sector. One example is provided in steel-making by the basic oxygen furnace process. When the Linz-Donawitz (LD) basic oxygen steel process section was commissioned in the Rourkela Steel Plant in 1959, it was considered a significant entrepreneurial act by the main decision-maker, the government, as its commercial inception had taken place in Linz, Austria only in 1952.5 Since Rourkela, twenty-one LD converters of varying capacity, vintages and provenance have been (or are soon to be) installed in the integrated steelworks of the state sector alongside the conventional open hearth furnaces. Why the LD process is relevant for our purpose is that while there have been several important technological changes in steel-making, the basic oxygen process with its improved versions is distinguishable by the extent of research it has entailed, and by its identity as an evolving scientific good with inherent technological dimensions. The possibility of using pure oxygen instead of air for steel-making, as also the essential design of the basic oxygen process, had been seen by Bessemer in 1856 but its commercial application was to be delayed for over nine decades (Meyer and Herregat 1974: 147). Meanwhile, the technical problems of producing high purity oxygen had to be solved, and were solved at the turn of the century; and a series of patents were issued covering the application of oxygen (ibid: 148). Manifold facets of research were opened up connected with economic viability, technical feasibility, adaptability to particular kinds of ores: in

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brief, with improvements that could only be accomplished by an interlinked research structure for basic research, design and technological innovation. It has been estimated that in India, the standard open hearth furnaces account for about 46 per cent of steel-making, while their share is nil in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, which use either the oxygen or electric arc furnaces (Das 1987: 23). The early introduction of the LD process in India did not serve as a stimulus for the rapid expansion of the basic oxygen furnace process or for the promotion of a culture of process innovations, for example, in continuous casting, raw material treatment or computerization of process controls. Plant engineering disciplines, machinery-building capacities, consultancy services and awareness of developments in the design features of the converter, however, did grow. This hiatus has been reinforced by production criteria in which quantity rather than the maintenance of quality and higher-value added products assume importance, and the influence of a ‘strong import lobby by the entrepreneurs of heavy engineering iailustry’ (ibid: 33). From the standpoint of the social constitution of knowledge fields whose growth consists in the linking of improvements in production. economic costs, productivity and production of an expanded range of quality steels, the potential from the early entrepreneurial lead for the adoption of new process technologies by the integrated steelworks was thus lost. Is this an irreversible trend? It might not be, depending upon state policy and national compulsions in this arena of technology choice, and in the capacity of the state to develop organizational mechanisms for the purpose. This coherence has been achieved in steel-making elsewhere as the Dertouzos et al. and MIT Commission on Industrial Productivity report (1989) shows, and in some other basic industrial branches in India. 2. Inventive activity. In sociological perspective, if the sites and operation of science development associated with technology-borrowing and rediffusion in India are traced to the ideas and workings of the state and its ancillary power structures, the social locations for invention lie principally in the functioning centres for research, innovation and development, such as the corporate, education system-based and special-purpose research laboratories. These complexes rest doubly on the expression of commercial needs by the entrepreneurial classes and on the translation of the nationalist theme of self-reliant development into the promotion

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of endogenous inventive activity for economic production and the election of strategic areas for independent development either by the state, or by state scientists and academic personnel. Chemical research serves as a general example of how transactions surrounding inventive activity work out in the constitution of scientific goods. Chemistry-underlain scientific goods disclose, in particular, the specific agents, mechanisms and social processes by which the ‘economic’ relevance of the boundaries between ‘products’ and ‘process’ as objects of research was brought to the fore, at first within India and, later, in international arenas; the distinctive ‘defensibility’ factors of the results of invention which were injected into scientific work; and how a human, environmental or social character was added to the ‘meaning of scientific-technological risk’. A key point in the institutionalization of some of these shifts is the drastic restructuring in 1970 of the Indian patent laws which reduced the duration of patents from sixteen to fourteen years, curtailed the term of patents in pharmaceutical drugs and food to seven years, disallowed patents on a wide range of ‘products’ or substances produced by chemical processes, including alloys, optical glass, semiconductors, intermetallic compounds and substances capable of being used as food, medicine or drugs, while retaining patentability of ‘methods’ and ‘processes’ for their manufacture, such as in almost all unit processes like nitration, preparation of catalysts, refractories, fertilizers, and in chemical reactions; and introduced compulsory licenses of rights which make it possible for any applicant to use a patent in reasonable public interest, at a reasonable price after three years of its sealing, and for the government to endorse patents with the License of Rights.6 This theme of patentability of ‘products’ versus ‘processes’, two decades later in 1990, again needed to be taken up in the Presidential Address of the Indian Science Congress (Yashpal 1990: 25–28) to counter the pressures from some Western countries now seeking revisions in the Indian Patents Act by stipulating seventeen to twenty years as the duration of patent protection and the reintroduction of product patents. This transaction arena, now international and between governments, i.e., the definition of a scientific good as product or process, is occurring at a time when considerable progress has been made in the endogenous production of drugs, medicines, food products, chemical intermediates and other substances. This, in turn, has introduced fresh contending claims internally on the issue of product versus process patentability and arguments against the 1970 Act (PEDDI1990).

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The conversion of inventions into innovations is of course a well-understood directive force for both the track and speed of inventive activity. With few exceptions, such as the invention of an anti-malarial drug following the discovery of the malaria parasite and the invention of the kala-azar treatment, institutionalized inventive activity mainly began after independence, in the state sphere, around a number of initial nuclei: industrial research, atomic energy, university research, defence, research design and standards for railways. The history of inventive activity in organized commercial R & D is shorter. Today, inventive activities are not concentrated in a few areas of politicoeconomic interest but are distributed across many fields. However, barriers to the conversion of invention research into innovations operate at many stages, from its weak and uneven backward linkages with disciplinary developments to its forward links with factors which act in phenomena-oriented research meant for eventual commercialization. Some of these are, besides inadequate scientific information and interinstitutional communication and exchange, the conflicting ideas about usership, shifting themes of import-substitution (leading to research on substitute products and alternative materials) or export promotion (leading to the incorporation of quality, cost-reduction and internationally required performance standards). In strategic fields, disciplinary development and use factors have come together in the areas of nuclear physics, computers and instrumentation, among others. However, other examples have been cited of inventions in which innovation could not be realized due to pressures to provide markets for foreign suppliers (Dogra 1980: 23–25). The ethic of ‘development’ as self-reliance is still dominant in the institution of inventive activity and has been seen in the recent patent legislation negotiations in international arenas; but other meanings of development, such as competitiveness, advance through liberalization measures, access to the state-of-the-art, have grown in economic and political importance in the domestic sphere. 3. Innovation. Innovation includes an array of intellectual processes essential to the linking of theoretical and laboratory work to the practice of production. Two socially constituted aspects of these processes, namely, their ‘origination’ and their ‘conclusion’, can be brought into view by illustrative references to research in the agriculture of cereal crops (Adhikari 1989) and research in electronic switching systems in the telecommunications field (Mani 1989a, 1989b). Both fields have

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been structured by the timing, nature and speed of alterations in the principles, methods and results of their respective constituent sciences. In agricultural research on rice and wheat, there has been a shift from the more craft-like practices to standard or ‘normal’ botany and agronomy, leading on to the new biotechnologies of genetic engineering and tissue culture. In the case of switching systems, the broad path traversed since the invention of the telephone has been from manual switching equipment, through several phases of discrete development, to (in the late 1970s) electronic time division switches operated fully in the digital mode, based on the application of a science-technology, microelectronics, to switching equipment, digitization and integration of voice and non-voice applications; and on to the most recent innovation, still in the laboratory stage, of photoptic switches based on optical technology. Cereal research in India shows the social constitution of research channels by the kind and size of the users of this research and the deliberately elected operations for its diffusion. Electronic Switching System (ESS) development research demonstrates the social shaping of conclusion processes, i.e., when a certain research or product development project will be called complete, how the cut-off points for the termination of a project will be determined, and who decides on the finality and usability of research results. The science-intensive agricultural innovation to be focused is widely known as the ‘green revolution’, a set of strategies evolved over time by official agricultural science, which is basically the production of new natural material: dwarf varieties with high-yield potential requiring high inputs of water, fertilizers and other resources. Its clientele was substantial: medium and large private farmers who were willing to adopt the new high-yielding varieties (HYVs) and the accompanying input resources. In north India, farmers worked closely with agricultural scientists for this agricultural innovation in which the scientific component was explicit and consciously induced. This ‘modern agriculture’, notably in wheat and rice, then came to be diffused as a set of practices and resources consisting of: (i) large tracts of land on which agricultural operations are mechanized; (ii) use of single varieties over large areas instead of many varieties traditionally grown side by side; and (iii) extensive use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and water. Each element of this combination was the result of research in agronomy, soil science, botany, genetics and chemistry. Basic research in plant morphology and

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variation, genetics, the origin, evolution and dispersal of cereal plants, etc., had begun early in the universities. Research centres under statelevel departments and agricultural universities initiated long-term research programmes channelled in specific directions and problemsolving projects. Applied research towards crop improvement, development and extension was the agenda for the chain of laboratories under a central authority for agricultural research. At the origin was the state and its decision to rapidly enhance the productivity of food crops in selective locations with conditions favourable for its strategy of agricultural innovation. Emulation, demonstration and distribution of inputs were the main mechanisms of its diffusion. Successful in its own terms, this innovation was not applicable, however, to the rice areas in the east. A reorientation of research is now in progress there to better suit the needs of rice, ecological diversity and subsistence agriculture. The HYV research-based green revolution suggests certain hypotheses on the ‘origination’ of a science innovation for increase in agricultural production. The full range of alternatives was never considered. Choice depended upon the influences prevailing on the political decision-makers and associated agricultural scientists, and the assistance incentive available to them. In the later application to the eastern rice areas, the weight of prior successes in wheat productivity of the north influenced the choice. The desired end-result, a speedy increase in wheat and rice productivity, itself dictated decisions as to costs, i.e., the option of an expensive innovation which entails use of chemical fertilizers, heavy irrigation, particular pesticides, etc. The selection of this locationally-specific strategy and richer clientele or users of HYVs was not the only option. It matched, however, the agricultural interests of the state, and the state’s elected developmental goal. Eastern India, in general, was peripheral to the dominant development scheme for agricultural innovation. The elimination of alternatives was done silently. Only the elected options were publicly announced. Endogenous development research on digital ESS equipment was a time-targeted undertaking by a self-formed project team in 1984, parallel with other R & D initiatives under the Ministry of Telecommunications towards the same end-results. The parameters that the team set for itself at the Centre for the Development of Telematics (C-DOT) included, as Mani’s work shows, indigenization and development of local manufacturing capabilities using indigenous ancillary industry and Indian skills

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in the field; suitability of the system to India’s low density and high usage pattern of telephones unlike the pattern in developed countries; a ‘technology philosophy’ of the use of modular building blocks for achieving exchanges of desired sizes through a method of integration; common components of hardware, software, packaging, installation and other features; in brief, a design for substitution and manufacturepromotion to suit the location-specific pattern of telephone demand. Further, the increased availability of telecommunication services to rural areas as a ‘mission’ and improvement in the quality of telephone services in general were among the Ministry’s leading ideas for economic action. The virtual freezing of the C-DOT digital ESS project was announced early in 1990 after a change in political leadership at the centre. A fresh element of a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ science-technology was introduced within the discourse of its termination. In this case, the C-DOT digital ESS research was deemed to have failed on timeliness and achievability of targets. Progress along the different parameters given for its design was not of primary relevance for judgement on the conclusion process. What acted upon the project’s de facto weakening with changes in its personnel were changes in the power-holders and introduction of fresh evaluation criteria and policy approaches by new authority. The act of termination will have ‘proved’ the failure of C-DOT’s project on digital ESS equipment development, as the personnel, support, resources and legitimation of the project’s future continuance in India, on the premise of an Indian technology interlocked with local manufacturing capabilities, have been pre-empted or severely strained. For the innovation of digital ESS equipment there is, however, no unique or necessary path. It is moving along multiple branches, any of which could have been denied, but only one was, the C-DOT digital ESS. The advocacy of any other set of evaluation criteria by the authority might have led to a different choice and a different construction of the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’. 4. Combination of sciences and key technologies. Another model of innovation, seen more clearly now than in the past, is suggested by the new biotechnologies which span many different areas and owe their existence  to the combination of biological techniques with knowledge from the sciences, specially life sciences. In general, the new scientifictechnological innovations assume the special character of ‘key’ or

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‘generic’ technologies for production, which have applicability to a diversity of industries, products and spheres of production, as seen for instance in the combination of genetics and information theory, electronics and mechanical engineering, or chemistry and mining technology. The essential condition for this complex of articulation of science and production is the existence of a wide and diversified base of pure sciences and some technological capability for its actualization, also comprising centres for systems, devices, information and instrumentation. Given these, the presence of a large biomass of natural resources may lead to innovative biotechnologies in agriculture and biomedicine, but other large-scale biotransformations are equally possible under different resource conditions. The recent entry of India into some biotechnologies may illustrate features of this system of innovation, its operations, the influences acting upon it, and its manner of reshaping the boundaries of scientific knowledge. The triple activation of this complex of scientific-technological innovation has come from the existence of a broad spectrum of scientific disciplines with the goal of science-development in itself, the stress on higher productivity of agricultural crops, and the advocacy of selfreliance in selected strategic fields. The wide congruence here in the aims of the scientific intelligentsia and the state can be seen in any document on science and technology planning, as also the organizational infrastructure resulting from their negotiations: provision of input resources (e.g., germ plasma banks, facilities for the production of enzymes, radio-labelled chemicals, etc.) for the new biologies (e.g., molecular biology, genetic engineering), and the institution of organizations like a National Biotechnology Board and a laboratory for microbial technology. In the domain of agriculture, scientists have moved into new areas of repatterning genetic architecture to increase the productivity of crops, development of new rhizobium strains for nitrogen-fixation, use of tissue culture techniques for plant crops, genetic engineering related to animal sciences, viral genetics and gene-splicing for vaccine production, cloning and expression of the histone gene in rice.7 The area of biotechnology research is one in which the boundaries of what a science is, and what it can or should do, have expanded to include specific changes in plant architecture, with effects on an unprecedented scale and precision, by genetic changes at the molecular level, increases in plant productivity, alterations in qualitative aspects of plant responses, and genetic manipulations on animals to better suit given

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ecological and socio-economic requirements. The sharpest contentions about the meaning of risk, regulation and control, ethical issues, distribution and ownership have entered the discourse of science within this complex of science and production, with its growing capacity to create new economic plants and farm animals; to make possible exclusive private control over new life forms through patents and pricing; and to influence agricultural inputs of seeds, pesticides and fertilizers” on a very large scale, over a wide range of crops. The role of foreign interests looms large over developing countries, in the sense in which they are so defined, as countries which cannot shape and influence world markets.8 The uncertain outcome of such market-making, as it interacts with the endogenous processes of research, will constitute the future course of this track of science-development in India. 5. Application of known science. This is a diversified structure, lacking in unitary character, except for the common fact that existing scientific knowledge serves for production in different ways, at many levels: for high technology, market-creating fields (e.g., software development, materials science) and for the more self-evident uses closer to subsistence needs (e.g., ‘normal’ science for nutrition, health, etc.). My brief attempt here will be to single out, as an illustrative instance, a domain of brain-science, namely, software development and its application to the growing markets for computers and allied specialities. In this case, a new medium of intellectual expression (a ‘software program’) has been created as an element of information sciences based on computer and communication technologies, which exemplifies the appearance of socio-economic notions such as ‘property’, and legal concepts such as ‘ownership rights’, as factors in scientific production using known science. The addition of these dimensions to the products of scientific activity as they assume the character of scientific goods, has not occurred without the interplay of contending forces arising from the needs of other parts of a society (e.g., educational systems, new entrepreneurs) and the economic claims of the developing countries, former colonies, for looser proprietary-legal regimes over intellectual invention. A focus on Indian software development and application would also illustrate the significant influence of the ‘elective process’ by which this area of activity gets attached to particular components of social life (industry-domestic or foreign “ education, strategic areas, services, entertainment or computer development itself ) on the specific

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transactions, sites, operations, tensions and growth paths into which it is brought. A techno-economic change whereby the application of microprocessor-based systems and easy transmissibility of programmes could lead to worldwide commercial markets of software, and a business shift towards the supply of packaged software services by independent software firms, combined with the high cost of individual software development abroad, became important conditions for the entry of Indian professionals into the global commercial market for software development services and into the domestic markets opening-up. New forms of manpower contracting, called ‘body-shopping’, and joint venture companies became some of the ways in which firms abroad began to use Indian software education and software skills. In 1987, the Department of Electronics announced a Software Policy which supported foreign trade in software services. While India remains in the nascent stage in computer mainframe development and manufacture, so requiring limited software development support, and office automation software is increasingly imported as readymade packages or pirated, its professionals are moving into the high end of data processing, scientific, and engineering software for exports. Software has also become attached to a widening range of domestic applications with the growth of computer installations for R & D production, industrial management, banking and other services since 1983. Some of the main features of the constitution of software as a scientific good, visible elsewhere, are also evident in the Indian scene: the growing importance of a proprietary dimension, with legal protection for ownership of computer programmes; contentions surrounding the choice of the regime for such protection (patents or copyrights or an independent regime); and use of different societal mechanisms, such as legislation, judicial interpretation, official on-site inspection, and economic pressure to direct and control software development and application activities. Increasingly, as the current spurt of international writing on the subject shows, contending sets of beliefs about intellectual products stand in mutual confrontation: public interest, with its emphasis on claims of spreading opportunities for economic creativity versus private interest, with its emphasis on rewards and incentives for the inventor; idea-properties to be regulated by law like any other property versus elimination of the right to exclusive control over scientific goods, such as basic procedures for transmitting information, and basic computer

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methods, invented life forms, chemical and physical reactions which can eradicate natural resources, indeed, life on earth, itself; and, in the international arenas of Intellectual Property Rights (in which policy-makers, economists concerned with trade agreements, and scientists must arrive at negotiated settlements, at first internally), uniformity in the nature and extent of protection of intellectual property versus differential systems of protection which recognize the inequality of economic power between the richer and poorer countries. The introduction of ethical-social concerns in scientific knowledge within this complex of scientific goods may be as significant a shift in the social constitution of science as the crystallization of positions the contending claims individually represent.

Conclusion This study has tried to show how the specificity of the cognitive process of science attached to production consists in the combination of ‘disciplinary’ and ‘pragmatic’ representations of desired end-results together. By this process of the social constitution of science, the boundaries of science as a method of acquiring new knowledge and a means of organizing existing knowledge get altered and expand to incorporate particular dimensions of performance, effectiveness, defensibility, technologylocatedness, etc.; and this is a negotiated, elective process, involving social agency and selected components of a society. Two conditions which appear to make possible these elective transactions and negotiability as an inherent character of scientific goods are: one, the underlying ‘uncertainly’ in outcomes, more so of the long-span research undertakings; and, two, the engagement of ‘multiple agencies’ in the emanating transaction arenas, hence different options for linking scientific activity to economic action and for organization-creation. These agencies, though different (e.g., scientists, engineers, technology-suppliers, politicians, officials, producers, users, competitors, etc.), combine in various ways, through their motivational, intellectual, associational and interest affinities, to influence the tracks of production of scientific goods. Consequently, the course of this domain of science-development might best be represented as a plurality of open processes, structured as much by their current social existence as by their historical genesis. Such

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a depiction precludes the characterization of scientific goods-induced scientific change as an evolution or a transition, or again as a process of selection of the fittest elements of knowledge for further extension. The analysis suggests the following central tendencies in the Indian case. Early adoption of an explicit state science policy (1958), but technology policy-formalization only in 1983, has served to enhance the influence of scientists (rather than engineers) in the operations of the state. A diffuse strategy of science-development was given a nationalist legitimacy by the political leadership at independence, interpreted as self-sufficiency in science and self-reliance in industry and strategic fields, but the incoherence of industrial policy provisions has made science-intensive industrialization a field of conflict and contentious negotiation between scientists, the bureaucracy, politicians and industrialcommercial interests. Hence, it has been the nascent and necessarily long-term directed undertakings of research for technology-centred industry which have reflected more the shifts in the structures of power and its intent. Indian science-industrialization retains a strongly transactional character which is working against the institution of stable organizational processes. Lately, international forces have come into play as India develops into one of the world’s largest markets for tangible products of scientific goods. In the agriculture-centred arena of science development, where the beneficiaries of state science were also the richer farmers and regions, a greater congruence of goals has been in evidence between scientists and other social agents. The existence today of a broad spectrum of scientific disciplines, consisting of the older core of basic sciences and the newer strategic fields, is allowing the entry of Indian scientists into certain ‘brain sciences’ and into the selective multidisciplinary new frontier areas like biotransformations in industry and agriculture. Particular areas of the application of known science reflect the segmented interests and fragmentary character of the society’s leading groups with the intent to produce practical use-values from science, as is seen in the inequality of development of software and computers. Scientific goods-generation in India as a whole displays an adaptive character which can commit itself to any of the five constituent complexes: adoption-borrowing, invention, innovation, combination of generic scientific results and key technologies, and application of known science. The preliminary conceptualization offered in this paper does not permit any cross-national generalization. Nevertheless, to explain

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societal variations in the nature, extent and dynamic of the combination of science and production, there might be a potential utility in the application of its basic methodological approach which seeks to identify the particular influences (history, actors, resources, endogenous processes and world forces) in a given society that play a part in the origin of the knowledge-turn for generating scientific goods, the specific components of the society in which science and industry coalesce, and the tracks of science development which ensue. For the continuing growth of science within any of the major scientific-practical complexes for the generation of scientific goods, the transactional character of the shifts and changes must be converted into organized forces and organization, in which the role of a society’s controlling groups, the social bases and alignments of these groups, the stability and instability of the structures of power and authority, and the ideological positions and intent of the participating agencies, would be prominent. The study of Asian diversity in recent science-related industrialization holds promise of reward for a deeper understanding of both the Indian experience and world processes.

Notes 1. This paper was presented at the XIIth World Congress of Sociology of the International Socioiogical Association, Madrid (Spain), 9–13 July 1990. 2. In this context, Yearly (1988 114–19) gives us an insightful analysis of the nature of innovation in Western economies He finds that innovations do not exclusively stem from new scientific ideas, other sources of scientific knowledge, publications, personal contacts, the content of education, also have an impact. 3. Bhagavan (1985) invites attention to the science content of the production of machine tools, electrical and chemical equipment in the Indian public sector. 4. For a detailed study of how law and other conditions of technology-acquisition operate, see Bagchi et al (1984). 5. Various aspects of technical change associated with the introduction of the LD process in Indian steel-making have been brought out in Section III of Sengupta’s study (1984). 6. On the issue of patents on products rather than processes, Bagchi (1984) cites, in Section III, an important case involving a transnational company and a medium-sized Indian firm using a patent held by the Haffkine Institute, Bombay. 7. A positive scenario for biotechnology research in Third World agriculture was put forward by Swaminathan (1982) in this well-known paper. 8. An explicit statement on the nature of the interests of Europe and the United States can be found in a recent publication of the National Academy of Sciences, USA (1987 7–9), see Dataquest (April 1987), also Bhagwan (1987) for the international trade dimension of services in general.

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References Adhikari, K. 1989. ‘Producing Knowledge About Natural Resources The Case of Scientific Research on Rice in India’, paper presented to the First European Veszprem Conference in the History and Sociology of Science Intellectual and Organisational Interfaces of Science Veszprem, Hungary, July Under publication Social Science Information. Bagchi, A. K., et al. 1984. ‘Indian Patents Act and its Relation to Technological Development in India’, Economic and Political Weekly, 18 February 287–304. Bhagavan, M. R., 1985. ‘Capital Goods Sector in India Past and Present Trends and Future Prospects’, Economic and Political Weekly, 9 March 404–21. Bhagwati, J. N. 1987. ‘Trade in Services and the Multilateral Trade Negotiations’, The World Bank Economic Review, 1(4) 549–69. Das, T. 1987. ‘Profitability, Growth and Competitiveness of Indian Steel Industry— Constraints and Prospects’, paper presented to the Seminar on Indian Industrialisation, 9–12 June, Vol. 2, 1–59. Trivandrum Centre for Development Studies Seminar. Dataquest, 1987. ‘Software’ April. Dertouzos, M. L., R. K. Lester, R. M. Solow and the MIT Commission on Industrial Productivity. 1989. Made in America—Regaining the Competitive Edge, Cambridge, Mass The MIT Press. Dogra, B. 1980. ‘Our Languishing Labs’, Social Change Paper 3, pp. 1–48. Delhi December. Freeman, C. 1974. The Economics of Industrial Innovation. Hammondsworth Penguin. Kuznets, S. 1972. ‘Notes on Stage of Economic Growth as System Determinant’, in A. Eckstein (ed.), Comparison of Economic Systems, pp. 243–67. University of California Press, 1971. Reprinted Delhi Oxford University Press. Machlup, F. 1962. The Production and Distribution of Knowledge in the United States. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Mani, S. 1989a. Technology Acquisition and Development in Indian Telecommunication Industry. Institute of Public Enterprise Report, Hyderabad March. ———. 1989b. ‘Technology Acquisition and Development—The Case of Telecom Switching Equipment’, Economic and Political Weekly, 25 November M-181–91. Meyer, J. R. and G. Herregat. 1974. ‘The Basic Oxygen Steel Process’, in L. Nasbeth and G. F. Ray (eds), The Diffusion of New Industrial Processes—An International Study, pp. 146–99. London: Cambridge University Press. National Academy of Sciences (USA). 1987. Technological Frontiers and Foreign Relations. Washington D.C.: National Academy Press, 1985. Reprinted New Delhi: Asian Books. Process Engineering Design and Development Institute (PEDDI). 1990. Background Paper, National Seminar on Intellectual Property Rights and Technology Development, Transfer and Export. Calcutta, 3–5 May. Scientific American. 1989. ‘Science and Business’. 260(2) February: 53–54. Segerstrale, U. 1989. ‘Scientific Controversy and the Negotiation of “Good Science”, paper presented to the First European Veszprem Conference in the History and Sociology of Science. Intellectual and Organisational Interfaces of Science. Veszprem, Hungary. July. Sengupta, R. 1984. ‘Technical Change in Public Sector Steel Industry’, Economic and Political Weekly, 4 February: 206–15. Swaminathan, M. S. 1982. ‘Biotechnology Research and Third World Agriculture’, Science, 3 December, 218: 937–72.

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Von Hippel, E. 1976. ‘The Dominant Role of Users in the Scientific Instrument Innovation Process’, Research Policy, 5: 213–39. ———. 1977. ‘The Dominant Role of Users in Semi-conductor and Electronic Subassembly Process Innovations’, IEEE Trans. Eng. Manag, May, EM-24: 60–71. Yashpal. 1990. Science-in-Society. Presidential Address to the 77th Annual Session of the Indian Science Congress, Cochin. Yearly, S. 1988. Science, Technology and Social Change. London: Unwin Hyman.

7 Scientific Knowledge in India: From Public Resource to Intellectual Property E. Haribabu

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n contemporary societies, modern science and technology have been assuming a central place as they have been penetrating more and more areas in the lives of people and their interaction with nature. The 17th and 18th century liberal-philosophical assumptions that science is a morally neutral study of nature no longer hold true. In the wake of the WTO (World Trade Organisation) and its provisions on Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs), the context of practice of science and its products are increasingly getting intertwined with economic, social, legal and ethical issues. In other words, the context of production of scientific knowledge, its organisation and associated values are changing. This paper attempts a brief survey of literature on the sociology of science related to the production of scientific knowledge. Specifically, it surveys the literature produced by researchers working on the understanding of the production and application of scientific knowledge by focusing on molecular biology and biotechnological research in India. By focusing on the community of researchers in modern biology and biotechnology, the paper attempts to show that in India a shift in cognitive values from ‘knowing for its own sake’ to ‘knowing with an eye on patent’ is discernible. This is due to an emphasis on strategic research, its organisation and the interests of the corporate sector-both national and multinational. In this context, publicly

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funded research institutions, given their mandate, would have to play a key role in R&D (research and development) work and transfer of technology. They also have to evolve an appropriate framework of norms for collaboration with the corporate sector. The paper further suggests sociologically significant questions that may be raised in the changing context.

Understanding Science: The Sociological Turn The social origins of knowledge, including scientific knowledge, had attracted the attention of sociological theorists like Karl Marx (1973), Durkheim (1915) and Mannheim (1952). However, the rationalistpositivist (hypothecist-inductivist) epistemology of science had characterised scientific knowledge as universal, atemporal, invariant and objective. The universalistic view of science implies that science is an autonomous activity with its own internal dynamics, unrelated to the social and cultural environment in which it is embedded. In the scheme of rationalist philosophy of science, sociology has no role to play in understanding science, as science is autonomous, rational, universal, invariant and objective and sociology instead is concerned with understanding the nature of social phenomena, interrelationship among social phenomena and variations in social phenomena across time and space. Sociologists are called upon only to explain irrational and idiosyncratic elements in science. As mentioned above, the rationalist philosophy of science also influenced the earlier sociological perspective on scientific knowledge. Karl Mannheim (1952) argued that all knowledge, except knowledge generated by the natural sciences, is socially and culturally conditioned. The rationalist-positivist epistemology of science was uncritically accepted by sociologists for a long time. In fact it influenced the development of the discipline of sociology itself. The rationalist-positivist epistemology influenced Robert Merton’s work (1973) on the sociology of science. He observed that the goal of science is extension of certified knowledge and conceptualised science as a social institution with its distinct ethos-universalism, communism, organised skepticism and disinterestedness. Norms of originality and humility are also important in science. The ethos of science has to be internalised by practitioners of science. A scientist’s conformity to norms would be rewarded in the form of recognition and any deviation would attract sanctions. Scientific claims are evaluated by the scientific

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community by employing objective and impersonal technical norms like evidence and logic, which are beyond the purview of sociological scrutiny, before they are admitted to the body of knowledge. Merton and his colleagues initiated a series of empirical studies of science that attempted to examine the extent to which the practitioners of science conformed to the norms of science. Further, Merton’s analysis showed that the distribution of the recognition and reward system in science is skewed. He suggested that inequality in science is functional to science in the sense that highly recognised scientists provide role models to younger scientists who are yet to make a mark in the profession. Merton’s functionalist paradigm on the sociology of science has been criticised on theoretical and methodological grounds and for a-historical characterisation of science (Mulkay 1979, 1980), especially after Kuhn’s work which attempted to understand the action of scientists in historical and sociological terms. Kuhn (1970), on the basis of his study of history of science, argues that science should be seen in its historical integrity. The acquisition of a paradigm creates conditions for the emergence of a scientific community with shared cognitive beliefs. Kuhn conceptualises the notion of scientific community in the sociological sense of the term. Cognitive norms and related social norms that guide the actions of the scientific community are shaped by the paradigm. Notions of universality and objectivity are paradigm-bound. Growth of scientific knowledge does not follow a linear trajectory but a discontinuous and revolutionary one. The decision regarding the acceptance or rejection of a theory is not only based on criteria such as logic and evidence but also to values related to aesthetics, and considerations of compatibility with religious beliefs and other preferences. Kuhn also argues that the consensus regarding the acceptance and rejection of a theory is socially mobilised by members of the scientific community at a given point of time. A paradigm-bound community, according to Kuhn, ‘insulates’ itself from the wider society and formulates its own agenda of cognitive pursuits. Post-Kuhnian sociology of science has been attempting not only to understand the organisation of science but also the content of science-descriptions, explanations, theories and models in relation to the context. At the same time the post-Kuhnian sociology of science has challenged Kuhn’s argument that the scientific community can insulate itself from the wider context. The social action of scientists is understood as both a cause and consequence of an interplay of cognitive and social

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values internal to science, and social cultural and economic values external to science. Knorr-Cetina (1981) in her social-constructivist approach to the study of the production of knowledge found scientists employing practical, indexical, analogical and socially situated reasoning in accordance with the context-both internal and external-in which one is located. Barnes (1983) argues that professional, economic, political and other interests influence the content of knowledge. For example, flora and fauna may be classified in a variety of ways depending on the interest of the classifier. In fact, Karl Marx in his Economic and philosophical manuscripts of 1844 draws attention to this selectivity in observation and classification when he argues that in the course of history senses have become in their practice theoreticians. Collins (1983) shows how factors other than logic and evidence play a role in the production of scientific knowledge. Ethnographic case studies at the micro-level, especially at the level of laboratories, which are the sites of knowledge production have shown that the social and cultural context shapes the action of scientists (Latour and Woolgar 1979). Marx’s (1973) analysis of science in bourgeois society and later Bernal’s (1977) analysis indicated a close nexus between science and the economic ideology of the bourgeoisie. However, the analysis of science in the Marxist tradition does not provide concepts to understand the practice of science at the micro level-meanings underlying motivations of scientists, local contingencies and culture in the process of production of scientific knowledge. The strong program of Bloor (1976, 1984) argues that all knowledge, including scientific knowledge, is socially caused. Philosophers (Laudan 1984) always call the term ‘social’ into question. Restivo and Bauchspies (1998), the former an electrical engineer by training, who has been involved in the study of social and cultural dimensions of science, point out, ‘The term “social” is not only in the “external” social and cultural milieu or context of science, but in the social organization of science, indeed in scientists themselves. The “social” in this sense is pervasive, and no more transparent than quantum or gravitational forces.’ Post-Kuhnian relativist approaches in the sociology of science indicate that the divide between the internal and the external world of science is not rigid and opaque but like a semi-permeable membrane. One can argue on what science and technology are and whether the interrelationship between them as systems of knowledge and associated

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practices is socially constructed rather than pre-given, universal across time and space. Earlier on, the relationship between basic research and applied research has been conceptualised in terms of hierarchical relations where basic research was considered as the act of knowing (episteme) and hence superior. Applied research was an act of doing or manipulation (techne) and hence inferior. Price (1982) observes that science and technology are parallel systems and have a symbiotic relationship. The distinction is at best relative in the sense that ‘today’s basic science will be tomorrow’s applied science’. Recent trends show that the distinction between basic (academic) and applied (industrial) research has been obliterated. John Ziman (1996), a physicist who has been interested in the study of social dimensions of science, argues that academic science, which hitherto has been highly individualistic, has been undergoing change. He observes: Academic science is undergoing cultural revolution. It is giving way to post-academic science, which may be so different sociologically, and philosophically that it will produce new type of knowledge (1996: 752). The transition to post-academic science is eroding the practices that underpin this norm (disinterestedness). ‘Public knowledge’ is being transformed into ‘intellectual property’. Basic research networks include many industrial interests. Researchers will not be protected from commercial influences by academic tenure. Their work will often deal with matters where social values-safety, profitability, efficacy-must have highest priority. In general, post-academic research is bound to be shot through social interests (ibid: 754).

Fifty years ago academic research and applied research were two distinct cultures. Ziman (1998: 1814) observes, ‘In recent years, however, these two cultures have begun to merge. This is a complex, pervasive and irreversible process, driven by forces that are not yet well understood.’ One may illustrate this merger by examining the recent history of biology. The discovery of the double-helical structure of the DNA by James Watson and Francis Crick (1953) marked a paradigm shift and ushered in a cognitive revolution in biology. It marked a shift from holistic philosophy to a reductionist philosophy characteristic of physics and  chemistry. The new paradigm in biology is a product of crossfertilisation and a synthesis of ideas from physics, chemistry, and biology

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(Judson 1980). The Watson and Crick paradigm enabled scientists to understand life processes at the molecular level and also intervene in them at this level. The discovery in the mid-1970s that discrete genetic material can be transferred from one organism to another created possibilities of genetic engineering or recombinant DNA (r-DNA) technology. Genetic engineering is subsumed under biotechnology, a body of techniques that use organisms or parts of organisms as means of production. Though age-old techniques such as fermentation are included in biotechnology, modern biotechnology includes in vitro techniques like r-DNA technology, monoclonal antibodies, and tissue culture. Economic interests are increasingly influencing research so much so that basic research in molecular biology is shaped by potential applications. Modern biotechnology has potential for application in wide ranging areas such as agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, medicine and environment. This vast potential has economic, social, legal, ethical and political implications. Further, it has implications for the organisation of work and the nature of industrialisation. What has hitherto been produced in factories can now be produced on farms. What has hitherto been produced on farms can be produced in factories now. In the recent past, some big multinational chemical and pharmaceutical companies have transformed themselves into biotech firms in the West, In India big industrial houses have converted what were hitherto small-scale and owner-managed activities such as horticulture and floriculture into an industry by employing the tissue culture technique. They may soon start production of genetically engineered products. These developments call for a sociological understanding of the organisation of work.

Modern Science Modern science was implanted during the colonial period in India. Historians and sociologists attempted to understand the process of transplantation and the institutionalisation of modern science (Basalla 1967; Macleod 1975). After India became independent, the government under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru initiated several policy measures to modernise the Indian economy, polity, society and culture. The modernisation paradigm became the over-arching framework of development and social change. Social justice and equity were to be achieved through planned

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development. The ‘socialist pattern’ of society was adopted as the goal of planned development in 1952. The Industrial Policy Resolution of 1956, based on the 1948 policy statement, envisaged an active role for the state not only in terms of regulating the economy but also as an actor in industrial production by reserving certain industries for itself. In the year 1958 the Scientific Policy Resolution (SPR) was announced. The SPR recognised the significance of science and technology for the social and economic development of India and declared that the development of modern science and technology would help in bridging the gap between backward countries like India and the advanced countries. The SPR aimed at developing adequate human resources, both in terms of quantity and quality in the area of science and technology and aimed at securing for the people of the country all the benefits that can accrue from the acquisition and application of scientific knowledge. It underscored the universalistic and internationalist perspective of science and technology as per the modernisation paradigm. Given the constraints of lack of capital and modern technology, the government of India, in spite of the initial resistance, gradually allowed import of capital. Initially import of technology was allowed with the objective of achieving import substitution and self-reliance. The Technology Policy Statement (TPS) of 1983 reiterated the goal of self-reliance. The TPS also emphasized the need to develop technologies that do not cause environmental degradation and the need to combine mass production with production by the masses (as a reaction to the emerging environmental movement and the limited ability of the five-year plans in generating employment on a mass scale).

Organisation of Science Science in India is carried out in various organisational settings: universities, institutions which have the status of universities, national laboratories of the CSIR, of the Government of India, laboratories of state governments, defense research establishments, R&D establishments of public and private sector industries and private research foundations, and international bodies. The organisation of science and investments in scientific research indicate that at present the scientific effort is concentrated in statefunded institutions-mission-oriented national laboratories, research

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councils and their institutions, and defence establishments and universities. In the year 1994–95 there were 204 universities/deemed universities, 10 institutions of national importance and 8,613 colleges imparting higher education in the country. According to the statistics of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) for the year 1994– 95, 0.81 per cent of the Gross National Product (GNP) was devoted to R&D during 1994–95. The central government’s share of the expenditure incurred from government sources was 89.7 per cent while that of the state governments’ was 10.3 per cent. India’s per capita R&D expenditure was US$ 2.39 during 1994–95. It would be interesting to note that 76.9 per cent of the R&D expenditure incurred by central government sources came from 12 major scientific agencies-CSIR, DAE, DBT, DNES, DOD, DOE, DOS, DRDO, DST, ICAR, ICMR1 and the Ministry of Environment— and the rest came from other central ministries, departments and public sector industries. Amongst the major scientific agencies, the DRDO accounted for 31.7 per cent of the expenditure. The academic sector received 65.3 per cent of the extramural R&D support during 1994–95. Though the industrial sector accounted for 26.5 per cent of the total national expenditure on R&D activities during the year 1994–95, it  spent 0.22 per cent of GNP on R&D during the same period. It should be noted that the private sector R&D expenditure constitutes 16 per cent of the total investment in R&D at the national level and it was 0.1 per cent of GNP during 1994–95. However, the efforts except in a few cases, have not generated cutting-edge R&D work. In 1996 India had 6.91 scientists, engineers and technicians (SET) per thousand population. Only 0.23 SET per thousand population were employed in R&D during 1994. There were 10,505 women directly engaged in R&D activities in this period. The efforts at organising R&D infrastructure enabled India to build a wide industrial base. The strategy of industrial development was based initially on technology imports, import substitution and selfreliance. Although over the years India has built up a significant industrial base the strategy continues to be import substitution. The entrepreneurial class has been continuously influencing the state to liberalise technology import policies. In the 1980s and early nineties the Southeast Asian countries recorded impressive growth rates under liberal regimes of capital and technology imports. Over time there has been a

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liberalisation of import of technology to achieve ‘export-led growth’. The rationale for importing technology was to make products that could compete in the international market. The New Economic Policy introduced in 1994 adopted the twin principles of liberalisation and globalisation so that the private sector’s participation in the economy would be much greater and the state would gradually minimise its participation. In the context of industrial (applied) research, the government’s policy of import substitution notwithstanding, the avowed allegiance to the policy of self-reliance makes R&D establishments look elsewhere, particularly to the West, for technology development (Rahman 1985). Maddox (1984: 583) observes that import substitution may serve the policy of self-reliance but it does not result in novel products. He surmises: ‘. . . might there not be greater benefits in manufacturing some product that nobody else can make?’ These changes in the national policy framework bring into existence a new context of research. State funded research institutions such as universities and national laboratories are called upon to raise part of their resources through their R&D work. The CSIR has responded to changing national and international economic, trade and IPR regimes through appropriate organisational and management adjustments. In the reform process, the CSIR has embarked on re-engineering the organisational structure; linking research to the market place; mobilising and optimising the resource base; creating enabling infrastructure; and investing in high quality science that will be the harbinger of future technologies (CSIR 1996). Universities have yet to undertake this reform process in a systematic way. In the case of agriculture, state funds played a crucial role in the development of research institutions. Towards the end of the Second Five-Year Plan, in order to solve the crisis in agriculture the green revolution package was ushered in with the help of the Ford Foundation. The ICAR and its institutions and agricultural universities played a significant role in the development and transfer of green revolution technology to farmers. The green revolution package did help in increasing productivity, especially of wheat. The package by its very nature could only be used in irrigated areas. Literature on the impact of the green revolution on agrarian relations, wage employment, the weaker sections and women and environment suggests that the package has benefited the economically and politically resourceful classes among the peasantry

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as these classes had the wherewithal to mobilise financial resources from credit institutions. Further, the green revolution adversely affected the environment by increasing salinity levels, and contributed to a dependence of farmers on the agro-chemical industry for fertilisers, pesticides and insecticides. In the 1990s it was realised that productivity had reached a plateau. There is a need for new technological strategies for augmenting agricultural productivity. It is likely that the green revolution technology will be replaced by the gene revolution technology. The cognitive basis of a gene revolution is different from that of a green revolution. The gene revolution technology will be a package of patented technology which will be discussed later.

Culture of Science We may understand social action on the part of scientists during the process of production of knowledge and the resultant products— theories, explanations, laws, and so on-as a cause and consequence of a complex interplay of culture-cognitive and related social values internal  to science on the one hand and the external-national and international-context on the other. As mentioned above, the science and technology policies of the government have facilitated the growth of human resources in science and technology. In the Indian context some attempts have been made to understand the actions of scientists by relating them to: a) the norms of the scientific organisations; b) wider cultural context; and c) international links. As mentioned above, scientific effort is concentrated in state funded institutions. It has been argued that as the government largely administers science in India, an independent scientific community is unable to develop under the auspices of the government. Bureaucratic culture influences management of R&D work, and interaction among scientists in research organisations. Krishna (1997) in his study of the evolution of the scientific community in India observes that in independent India the scientific community, despite its large size and a degree of international visibility, is confronted with problems of peer review system, ‘dysfunctional’ hierarchies and bureaucracy. Others maintain that Indian culture is incompatible with the culture of modern science (Parthasarathi 1969a, 1969b; Rahman 1970). Peer review system seems to be influenced by cultural values and attitudes such as respect for age, lack of

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rigour and professionalism and the sub-critical size of scientists in frontier areas of research (Haribabu 1991). In relation to international science, it is said that Indian science is ‘dependent science’, and ‘peripheral science’. Science in India continues to be ‘colonial’ in its character as scientists tend to ‘imitate’ their counterparts in Western countries in formulating research problems and, as a consequence, much of science in India is ‘derivative’ in character. India has a large but fragile scientific community (Shiva and Bandopadhyay 1980). Metaphorically some practitioners of science describe modern science as a ‘foreign rose on Indian soil’. In essence, ‘imitative’ science undermines creativity. It has been argued that one of the reasons for the crisis in Indian science is due to its linkages with international (Western) science and that for the Indian scientific community the Western metropolis is still the centre (Vishwanathan 1985). In this context, only a small section of scientists have had opportunities to do work that is internationally recognised. Detaching the country from links with the centre and ‘transcending’ links by social, psychological and epistemological means if the detachment is not a viable alternative is seen as a solution to the crisis (Goonatilake 1984). However, Raj (1988) argues that research practices of Indian scientists should be understood by relating them to the shared ideals of knowledge provided by the historico-cultural Indian context rather than in relation to practices in Western societies.

Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Development of molecular biology and biotechnology today are bound up with the interests of the following groups: scientists located in statefunded universities, mission-oriented institutions and their organisations, research fund granting agencies (national and international), the state and its policy-making bodies, the corporate sector (both national and international) and the users. In India, over the last two and a half decades, due to sustained funding centres of excellence in molecular biology have been built up. In the year 1986, the government created a separate Department of Biotechnology (DBT) to take care of training needs, funding of research and evolving regulatory norms for biotechnology research and development. Recently the DBT established two pilot plant facilities, one at National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, and another at Tata Energy Research Centre, New Delhi, for mass propagation of plants by

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employing the tissue culture technique. In the case of crop plants like rice, scientists have transferred two genes of Bacillus turingiensis (Bt), a soil bacterium, to rice to confer resistance against yellow stem borer (DBT Annual Report, 1996–97). However, field trials have yet to be carried out. Earlier, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and its research organisations and agricultural universities played a crucial role in developing high yielding varieties and in their transfer to farmers during the green revolution. The state-funded institutions will have to play an important role in the development of plant biotechnology. As mentioned above, the cognitive basis of gene revolution is different. Scientists engaged in applied research have to switch over to applied research based on the new paradigm and collaborate with molecular biologists. At present strategic research is assuming importance.

Scientists’ Interests and Strategic Research Networks Strategic research aims at finding solutions by making use of molecular biology tools. In strategic research both basic researchers and applied researchers network to find out solutions to problems. While doing so, strategic research may throw up some fundamental research questions. This new pattern of organisation of science at once reduces the time lag between basic research and its application. The dominant model of development of technology will be a non-linear actor network model (Callon 1989). Networks are seen as the loci of innovation rather than individual scientists (Powell et al. 1996). Sociologists of science have an opportunity to study the dynamics of interaction among the specialists drawn from different disciplines focusing on a research area in the nonlinear model of technology development. At present I am engaged in a research study2 on organisation and dynamics of research involving application of molecular biology tools to understand the rice plant at the molecular level. The objective is of developing varieties resistant to diseases, agro-climatic constraints such as salinity, drought, and which can give higher yields. Molecular biologists, geneticists (basic researchers) plant breeders, and entomologists, (applied researchers) have formed a network-National Rice Biotechnology Network (NRBN)—to cany out strategic research. Strategic research involves construction of problem domain by the basic and applied researchers. The members of the NRBN have been involved in the process of construction of problem

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domain, that is, rice plant as a cognitive object. As a part of my research study I have been interacting with the NRBN scientists over the last one year. I observed that the process of construction is a social process that involves construction of concepts and arriving at a consensus on the meaning of concepts and experiments and experimental protocols. For example, one of the scientists during an annual meeting of the NRBN, which I also attended, pointed out that same gene was given different names by scientists. The scientist pleaded for consensus on the nomenclature. This problem has been pointed out by Meinke and Koorneef (1997) who had reviewed the work on Arabidopsis, a model plant which is one of the simple systems with a life-span of six weeks, and which is used to understand plant life at the molecular level. They observed that Arabidopsis researchers tended to: a) use the same symbol for mutants with completely different phenotypes; and b) assign different names and symbols to mutant alleles of the same gene. They point out how the Arabidopsis research community found it necessary to establish standards for nomenclature, genetic mapping, and genetic analysis of Arabidopsis. Further, my study shows that in rice biotechnology research, basic researchers and applied researchers drawn from different disciplinary backgrounds have to develop cognitive empathy and understand the problem from the point of the other. That is, molecular biologists have to understand the problems from the point of view of plant breeders and vice-versa. Collaboration between basic researchers and applied researchers seems to create anxieties in terms of the relative status of basic and applied researchers. One of the scientists used an analogy to describe collaboration. He stated that collaboration is like a ‘marriage’. He further said that in reality very few marriages correspond to the ideal marriage. Further, in cases of collaboration between scientists drawn from institutions with different levels of resource endowments, scientists from relatively less endowed institutions apprehend that collaborating scientists from a better endowed institution would get disproportionately more credit in collaborative effort. Does it mean that scientists in India still espouse the value of individualism in science? Individual scientists have their own anxieties and apprehensions in the process of production of scientific knowledge. Their stakes in research are high as the research output is connected to recognition, visibility and rewards. Further, scientists, as creative and articulate professionals, have been reflecting on the relationship between science and society. At this point

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one may also recall the debate between Homi Bhabha and Meghnath Saha regarding the role of science and technology in a poor country like India. Bhabha argued for the creation of the finest theoretical schools comparable to international standards, while Saha argued that science should focus on problems of India’s millions. Similarly molecular biologists and biotechnologists have been reflecting on the status of molecular biology and biotechnology research in India and the role of biotechnology in Indian society. Padmanabhan (1991: 511), a molecular biologist, observes that biotechnology has great promise and is sure to make an impact in India in the nineties and if India does not move fast it will miss biotech revolution as well. He observes: ‘In the 21st century the West may dictate what hybrid seeds we should sow or what brand of r-DNA based insulin we should use, or even what brand of detergent we should use to remove laundry stains.’ Bhargava and Chakrabarti (1991: 514) hold a similar nationalistic view. They observe: The main reason would be that if we do nothing on the area of modern biology and biotechnology, we will be exploited by others, and in a manner and through means that history has not known before. Neocolonialism and domination of one nation by another tomorrow, will operate through superiority in regard to biological knowledge.

It is quite clear that for the community of molecular biologists the question is not whether India should develop biotechnology or not but how fast India should do it. However, scientists do caution against dangers of uncritically accepting biotechnology. They emphasize the need for evolving norms related to bio-safety, bio-diversity and environment to guide research in molecular biology and biotechnology. In this context the DBT appointed a committee of scientists in 1998 to evolve safety regulations in molecular biology research.

Corporate Sector Interests The corporate sector’s basic interest is in patents and profits. As molecular biology and biotechnology have far-reaching implications industry has turned its attention to biotechnology. As mentioned earlier, several chemical, pharmaceutical and seed companies have transformed themselves into biotech firms. What the companies typically do is utilise existing available knowledge in the public domain and make small changes and

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claim proprietary rights over the whole. For example, a biotech firm may access germ plasm of a rice variety and may genetically modify it for a particular feature, say resistance to a disease or lower starch content, and patent the genetically modified plant. Some multinational companies have already developed genetically modified varieties or transgenic varieties of plants like tobacco, tomato and soya. In the case of some crops like rice, multinational companies are persuading/pressurising the governments in the Asian countries to allow them to carry out field trials of transgenic varieties of rice developed by them. In order to maximise profits, seeds are genetically modified in such a way that the germination of the seed is terminated at the end of one season. The industry also would collaborate with scientific organisations in the public sector to make use of the expertise of the scientists for commercial research. In fact, the American seed industry grew by collaborating with agricultural universities and by using the research infrastructure of the public institutions (Kloppenberg 1988). The situation in which academic scientists are called upon to collaborate with industry creates conditions for a change in the value system. In this process, conflict between academic values (freedom, openness and integrity) and those of the industry-control and secrecy-come to the fore.

User Interests Public perception of biotechnology is another area that has to be probed. As mentioned earlier, in biotechnology development, organisms or parts of organisms are used as means of production. In other words, life forms become raw materials. This marks a shift in the attitude toward nature. How do people at large react to this shift? How do different sections of a highly differentiated Indian peasantry-big landowners, middle peasantry, small and marginal farmers-see the prospects of using biotechnology. As mentioned earlier, biotechnology solutions tend to be more attractive for large farms. In countries like India where a majority of the farmers are small and have marginal holdings, will biotechnology be accessible at affordable costs? Swaminathan (1987: 9) observes: ‘while new technologies based on high yielding varieties are scale neutral with regard to their suitability for being grown by farmers irrespective of their holdings, they are not resource neutral. Therefore, we need to add a dimension of resource neutrality to scale neutrality in technology development.’ The question is whether biotechnology will be both scale-neutral and resource-neutral in the Indian context? Unless a national program

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of biotechnology is evolved keeping in view the differentiation of the peasantry, different agro-climatic conditions, need to preserve biodiversity, and goals of empowerment of women and oppressed sections, the equity and justice impact of biotechnology will be quite uneven and it is likely to perpetuate inequalities. Shiva et al. (1998) observe that while benefits of globalisation go to the seeds and chemical corporations through expanding markets, the costs and risks are exclusively borne by the small farmers and landless peasants. The institutional aspects of technology development and transfer at micro-level are important sociological questions. Sociological inputs on these issues are needed so that state policies and people and their organisations may regulate biotechnology. To conclude, the era of industrial research and big science has begun in India only recently. The essential features of big science are: a) emphasis on strategic research; b) increasing the corporate sector’s involvement in R&D; and c) emphasis on control over knowledge and its dissemination. Though academic research continues to be carried out the essential character of science will change.

Notes The author is thankful to Ms. Laxmi for her help in preparing the manuscript and Dr. S.G. Kulkarni for his comments on an earlier version of the manuscript. 1. Council of scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR); Department of Atomic Energy (DAE): Department of Biotechnology (DBT); Department of Electronic (DOE); Department of Ocean Development (DOD); Department of Science and Technology (DST); Department of Non-Conventional Sources (DNES); Department of Space (DOS): Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO); Indian Council of Agricultural (ICAR); Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). 2. Research project titled: ‘Community or Rice Researches in India: A Study of the National Rice Biotechnology Network’, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, New York, 1998–1999.

References Barnes, Barry. 1983. ‘On the conventional character of knowledge and cognition’, in Karin D. Knorr-Cetina and Michael Mulkay (eds), Science observed, pp. 19–51 New Dehli: Sage. Basalla, George. 1967. ‘The spread of Western science’, in Sal P. Restivo and Chistopher K. Vanderpool (eds), Comparative studies in science and society, pp. 359–81. Ohio: Charles E. Merril Publishing Company. Bernal. J. D. 1977. Science in history. Vols. 1–4. Cambridge: The MIT Press.

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Bhargava, P. M. and C. Chakrabarti. 1991. ‘The role and present status of biotechnology in India’, Current Science, 60(9–10): 513–17. Bloor, D. 1976. Knowledge and its social imagery. London: Rouutledge and Kegan Paul. ———. 1984. ‘The strengths of the strong programme’, in James Robert Brown (ed.) Scientific rationality. The sociological turn, pp. 75–94. D. Reidel Publishing Company. Callon, M. I989, ‘Society in the making: The study of tccimwfogy as tool for sociological analysis’, in Wiebe E. Bijker et al (eds). The social construction of technological systems, pp. 83–106. Cambridge: The MIT Press. Collins, H. M. 1983, ‘An empirical relativist program in the sociology of scientific knowledge’, in Karin D. Knorr-Cetina and Michael Mulkay (eds) Science observed, pp. 85–113. New Delhi: Sage Publications. Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). 1996. CSIR 2001: Vision and strategy. New Delhi: CSIR. Durkheim, E. 1915. The elementary forms religious life. London: Allen & Unwin. Goonatilake, Susantha. 1984. Aborted discovery: Science and creativity in the Third World, London: Zed Press. Haribabu, E. 1991. ‘A large community but few peers: A study of the scientific community in India’, Sociological Bulletin, 40(1 & 2): 77–88. Judson, H. F. 1980. ‘Reflections on the historiography of molecular biology’, Minerva, 18(3): 369–421. Kloppenberg. J. R., Jr. 1988, First the seed: The political economy of plant biotechnology, 1492–2000. Cambridge, UK. Cambridge University Press. Knorr-Cetina, Karin D.1981. The manufacture of Knowledge: An essay on the constructivisl and contextual nature of science. Oxford: Pergamon Press. Krishna, V. V. 1997. ‘A portrait of the scientific community in Indian: Historical growth and contemporary problems’, in Jacques Gaillard, V. V. Krishna and Roland Waast (eds), Scientific communities in the developing world, pp. 236–79. New Delhi: Sage. Kuhn, Thomas. 1970. The structure in of scientific revolutions. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press (first edition: 1962). Laudan, Larry. 1984. ‘The pseudo science of science?’ in James Robert Brown (ed), Scientific rationality: The sociological turn, pp. 41–73. D. Reidel Publishing Co. Latour, Bruno. 1983. ‘Give me a laboratory and I will raise the world’, in Karin D. KnorrCetina and Michel Mulkay (eds), Science observed, pp. 141–70. New Delhi: Sage. Latour, Bruno and Steve Woolgar. 1979. Laboratory life: The social construction of scientific facts. Beverly Hills: Sage Publications. Mannheim, Karl. 1952. Essays on the sociology of knowledge. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Marx, Karl. 1973. Grundrisse, Harmondsworth: Penguin. ———. 1974. Economic and philosophical manuscripts of 1884. Moscow: Progress Publishers. MacLeod, R. 1975. ‘Scientific advice for British India: Imperial perceptions and administrative goals’, Modern Asian Studies, 9(3): 343–84. Maddox, John. 1984. ‘Excellence in the midst of poverty’, Nature, 308: 581–600. Meinke, Daivd and Maarten Koorneef. 1997. ‘Community standards for Arabidopsis genetics’. The Plant Journal, 12(2): 247–53. Merton, R. K. 1973. ‘The normative structure of science’, in R. K. Merton (ed), Sociology of science, pp. 267–78. Chicago: University of Chicago Press (first published in 1942). Mulkay, M. 1979. Science and sociology of knowledge. London: George Allen and Unwin. ———. 1980. ‘Sociology of science in the West’, Current Sociology, 28: 1–184.

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Padmanabhan, G. 1991. ‘An assessment of the current status of Indian science in biotechnology’, Current Science, 60 (9 & 10): 510–13. Parthasarathi, A. 1969a. ‘Sociology of science in developing countries’, Economic and Political Weekly, 4 (34): 1277–80. ———. 1969b. ‘Sociologyof science in developing countries’, Economic and Political Weekly, 4(34): 1387–89. Powell, Walter W., Kenneth W Koput and Laurel Smith-Doer. 1996. ‘Inter-organizational collaboration and the locus of innovation’, Administrative Science Quarterly, 41: 116–45. Price, Derek J. de S. 1982. ‘The parallel structures of science and technology’, in Barry Barnes and David edge (eds), Science in context: Readings in sociology of science, pp. 164–176. Milton Keynes: The Open University Press. Rahman, A. 1970. ‘Scientists in India: The impact of economic policies and social prespective’, International Social Science Journal, 22: 54–79. ———. 1985. Scientific policy resolution: A progress report on science and technology. New Delhi: National Institute of Science Technology and Development Studies. Raj, Kapil. 1988. ‘Images of knowledge, social organization and attitudes ti research in an Indian physics department’, Science in Context: 317–39. Restivo, Sal. and Wenda Bauchspies. 1998. ‘How to criticize science and maintain your sanity’, Science as Culture: 397–413. Shiva, V. and Bandopadhyay. 1980. ‘The large and fragile scientific community’, Minerva, 18(4): 575–94 Shiva, V. A. Emami and H. Jafri. 1998. ‘Globalization and that threat to seed industry: Case of transgenic cotton trials in India’, Economic and Political Weekly, 33 (10): 601–13. Swaminathan, M. S. 1987. ‘Biotechnology and agricultural betterment in the developing countries’, in S. Natesh, V. L. Chopra, and S. Ramachandran (eds), Biotechnology in agriculture, pp. 3–11. New Delhi: Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Vishwanathan, S. 1985. The making of an industrial research laboratory. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Ziman, John. 1996. ‘Is science losing its objectivity?’ Nature, 382 (29 August): 751–54. ———. 1998. ‘Why must scientists become more ethically sensitive than they used to be?’ Science, 282 (4 December): 1813–14.

PART IV Science, Technology and Social Change

(i) Modern S&T

8 Science and Social Change: Emergence of a Dual Society in India* V.K.R.V. Rao

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cience, as an operational force, has to be taken in conjunction with the technology that results from its application and which in turn leads to the further growth of science. Science qua science can, of course, have an independent operational role on the minds of men, especially in the way they think about men and matters; but, by and large, science shows its effect by its practical application and the visible changes it brings about through the use of technology. There can be no questioning the fact that, during the last 200 years, science and technology have brought about vast changes in the world, in our relation to it, and in ourselves. The major impact has been on the methods of production with a manifold increase in the output of goods and services. It is, however, not only the techniques of production that have changed. Contributing to it, but also having independent effects of their own have been the changes that have taken place in transport, communication, energy, construction, medicine, weaponry, and genetics. In turn, this has been responsible for changes in the way of life of people, their demographic pattern, housing, urbanisation, family life, education, recreation and health care. As consequence of all these changes, there also take place changes in human relations, changes in the human being’s conception of himself, and changes in what may broadly be described as values—individual, social and spiritual. All these

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changes have the nature not only of cause and effect, but also of effect and cause. In other words, change is a continuing process that never gets fully integrated at any one point of time. It is only when one gets into the realm of mystical experience that one can talk of unchanging reality (such as God or the individual soul or eternal values) that is independent of time, space and interaction. Modern science came to this country with the British and the establishment of universities with faculties of science, engineering, agriculture, and medicine during the 19th century. Its impact quickened during the first half of the 20th century, indigeneous contributions adding to the wealth of science and technology imported from abroad. With the advent of Independence in 1947, the national establishment of social, political and economic goals, the recourse to planned development, and the commitment to science and technology on the part of the Indian Government, largely under the inspiration of Jawaharlal Nehru, the pace or progress in both knowledge and application of science and technology grew by leaps and bounds. The result has been an extent of social change that appears to have had no parallel in any previous period of recorded Indian history. The major change resulting from the application of science and technology has been in the methods of production. In agriculture, extension of irrigation has been accompanied by a radical change in the methods of production involving the use of mechanical implements, chemical fertilisers and pesticides, and high-yielding and fertiliserresponsive seeds. While this chemico-genetic revolution in agricultural technology has not covered either the majority of the agricultural crops, or the bulk of the area under cultivation, and has had differential effects in terms of both crops and regions, it has certainly made a significant impact on agricultural production, especially of foodgrains and brought prosperity to certain selected rural classes and areas in the country. The changes that have taken place in the methods of industrial production have been more startling, not so much in terms of change in respect of existing industries and industrial processes as in terms of the introduction of new industries and new industrial processes in the country, bringing about an expansion of industrial output in both volume and product-mix, with particular stress on chemical, engineering, capital goods, and intermediate goods industries. However, the impact of science and technology has not been so significant either on the volume

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or on the processes of consumption goods industries, except for durable consumption goods and other consumption goods catering to a class market. The phenomenal growth of the power industry has not only sustained the increase in industrial production and made for a more efficient use of well irrigation, but also helped the growth of small scale industrial units and brought electricity to more than 160,000 villages. The rapid growth of road transport has made possible a wideranging movement of raw materials and finished products and accelerated the growth of industrial concentration both by units and by areas. The development of our transport has also worked in the same direction by facilitating coordination and centralisation of decision making in both economic and political spheres. The development of education has not only helped to produce the supply of technical and scientific skills needed for the country’s economic development but also brought westernisation and modernity to our society, besides ‘sanskritisation’ among those who had traditionally occupied lower positions in the hierarchy of the Indian social structure. The development of health facilities and medical aid has led to a reduction in the death rate, brought about an increase in India’s population by more than 180 million within two decades, and raised the average expectation of life while simultaneously increasing the proportion of the young in the population. It has made possible the prevention of births and facilitated the exercise of control over the size of the family. The changes wrought in the economy by the application of science and technology have also resulted in a startling increase in urbanisation. While the proportion of urban to total population in India is still a little less than 20 per cent, our urban population exceeds the total population of most of the developed and industrialised countries of the world with the exception of the United States and numbered about 109 million persons in 1971, of whom nearly 61 million are to be found in cities with a population of over 100,000 each, and of whose number 34.6  million, or as much as 57 per cent, have been the addition made during the last two decades. The development of communications brought about by science and technology has led to an enormous increase in the use of radio receivers in absolute numbers, though not impressive in terms of its proportion to the population. Together with the cinema and popular periodicals, the communication media have had a significant impact on

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cultural habits and values in Indian society. Altogether, though India still ranks as an underdeveloped country or, at best, as a developing country but with one of the lowest per capita incomes in the world, there is no doubt that there has been a remarkable development of science and technology in the country, specially after the advent of independence. And, this in turn, has had a profound impact on material conditions in Indian society and brought about a significant measure of social change in India during the last two to three decades. To identify social change, one has to look at what has happened in the traditional structure of Indian society, and its institutions like caste, the Hindu joint family, marriage, status of women, untouchability, ceremonials and customs, and religion. The extent to which Indian traditional society has altered and the nature of the alteration that has taken place would be the most significant aspect of the social change that science and technology and their application have brought about in India. Caste has been the strongest and most traditional form of social grouping in India, not so much in terms of the original four-fold varna system, harking back to the Purushasukta, but in terms of the numerous castes and sub-castes that have formed through many permutations and combinations on the basis of language, region, and local peculiarities. And caste has sustained itself not only because of its base in heredity but also because of the internal ties it promotes amongst its members through marriage and kinship. The continued strength of the caste system also has rested on its social codes, food habits and taboos, residential proximity, occupational links and identities, and rituals and religious practices. The changes effected by the application of science and technology by way of industrialisation, mechanisation, urbanisation, demand for new skills and the provision for facilities to obtain the same without restrictions based on caste or heredity, the propinquity created by the new methods of transport, the mobility created by the changing economic system and the extending spheres of Government, the scepticism generated for the traditional religious sanction for caste restrictions by the new education, the new influences created by films and the literature of scepticism and protest on the masses, and the wooing of the traditionally lower castes by politicians who had to find their activity in a political system based on adult franchise and periodic elections—all these had their in-evitable impact on the working of the caste system in India. The new industrial occupations and service professions, the new towns

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and cities the new transport system, the new educational centres and the operation of new political forces all brought about proximity and propinquity among members of different castes, diluted if not eliminated their isolation and exclusiveness, and built up new social relations that broke the old caste barriers. The process did not, however, proceed to its logical conclusion and result in the disappearance of the caste system. This was due, partly no doubt to the regrouping and revival of religious and caste leadership. But the stronger and much more pervasive factor that came to the rescue of the caste system was the new use to which the social groupings with their traditional caste solidarity could be put in the context of a political democracy based on adult franchise and periodic elections. Caste groups formed a reliable and readily available base for winning elections by individual candidates, though the political parties that sponsored them covered up this ugly fact by high-sounding political and ideological appeals. Caste, as a social group, also became an active instrument for sharing the spoils and patronage incidental to a democratic political system and a developing economy with its new opportunities. In addition, the Indian institution of marriage restricted choice of partners to the relevant caste, gave it powerful social sanction, and left it to be arranged by parents, which was facilitated by the comparatively early age at which marriages take place in India and the notion that “marriage is a must” that is dinned into the ears of girls right from their childhood. The result has been that, while caste has lost some of its external trappings and taboos, it still remains a powerful social grouping, evoking exclusive loyalties, linked together by marriage and kinship, using its influence to get its share in economic, educational, and political opportunities, and throwing up a leadership that uses caste ties to promote its own interests and also uses its power to better the lot of its own caste. For completing the picture, I must also mention two other forces which are tending to undermine the caste system, though without any significant success so far. One is the new group that has emerged, cutting  across caste barriers, marrying outside the caste and even language-group and region, cultivating a western style of living, and forming a new all-India elite based on education, occupation, economic opportunities and Government service. Some members of this group have taken full advantage of the mobility created by modern science and  technology to establish their outposts even in foreign countries

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(though largely confined to English speaking areas). While this group has not solidified itself into a caste, as it is not based on heredity, nor has any allegedly religious sanction, it is unlikely to do any serious damage to the caste system, as many of its members take full advantage of their original caste affiliations to better their own interests. In the very long run, however, this new group may help to undermine the caste system, as the gap between its profession and practice is bound to have its effect on the members of the caste systems it tries to exploit, and as its younger generation gets gradually influenced by its profession as against practice and may assume leadership for a genuine assault on the caste system. The other and more genuine forces operating against the caste system are the trade unions and the honest propagators and practitioners of socialist ideology. The institution of caste is wholly inconsistent with the concept of class. And as long as caste continues to dominate the Indian social structure, there can be no development of a genuine socialist democracy in this country. But socialist ideology is an accepted force in Indian political thinking; economic exploitation, income and wealth disparities, and mass poverty are also recognised facts in Indian life today. The combination of these two factors is bound to lead to the development of class consciousness and the erosion of caste loyalties and the ultimate elimination of the caste system in India. But all this will be in the very long run and who can say how long that will be. Meanwhile, I must confess that the impact of science and technology on the economy and on the material conditions of life and work in this country has not succeeded in shaking the strength of the caste system and to this extent it has failed to effect a major social change that would have brought India in line with other countries which have experienced the impact of science and technology in equal and larger measure. The position, however, is different in regard to some of the other traditional institutions in Indian society. The Hindu joint family, for example, has failed to withstand the impact of the operational effects of science and technology. New industrial processes, changing forms of economic activity, increasing mobility of qualified or displaced individuals in search of better opportunities, transfers on service that are affecting increasingly large numbers of the technical, professional and administrative classes in both the public sector and the larger units in the private sector, and the increasing assertion for autonomous family life on the part of younger generations—all these are leading to a rapid break up of the joint family and its replacement by the nuclear family.

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This is, of course, more true of the urban areas, as in the rural areas the joint nature of the agricultural occupation still tends to sustain the joint family system. Marriage as an institution still occupies its traditional position of strength in Indian society. But it no longer takes place at an early age. The average age at marriage has been recording a steady rise, especially during the last three decades, with increasing education and women’s participation in non-traditional economic and other activities. This is, of course, not so true of marriages in rural areas. But the change is evident in urban areas, and conspicuous in the case of the more educated sections as also the elite in Indian society and especially of the new all-India group that I mentioned earlier. Family planning, increasing preference for working women in marriage, divorce, and preference for the single state are all emerging in larger or smaller measure as noticeable phenomena in the more educated, sophisticated and urbanised sections of Indian society; and in due course the forces of ‘sanskritisation’ will tend to extend their influence in other sections of Indian society. Given the continuance of the forces of economic and educational development, marriage as an institution is likely increasingly to shed its traditional association with early age, universality, and large families, and approximate to the institution of marriage as it has developed in the western world. But this will only be in the long run; and, even then, one cannot be certain in view of two factors that distinguish India from the western world, namely, its large number of villages and vast rural population, and the continuing hold of traditional religion on the Indian life style. The most conspicuous change that has taken place in traditional institutions has been in the status of women in India. It is no doubt true that religion gave high status to women in India and goddesses have more worshippers than gods. But in all things that matter in this material world, women in India have always been treated as inferior beings, deprived of both status and opportunities. That position has now undergone a radical change. A woman’s right to ancestral property has been accepted. She now has the right to monogamy, divorce and maintenance. Educational facilities for women have been extended in large measure, her equality in status with man has been recognised by law and the constitution, and women are now playing an active role in all areas of national activity including the political and the economic. Domestic drudgery has also been reduced by the direct impact of science and

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technology on energy and gadgets for use in domestic work, thus releasing opportunities for women’s activity outside the domestic sphere. True, all this has so far been largely confined to the more educated sections and upper echelons of Indian society. But the phenomenon is conspicuously visible and it is bound to set a trend that in due course and in the long run will give women in India a status and a position approximating to that of their sisters in the western world. Another traditional institution that has received a mortal blow, and will eventually disappear from Indian society, is untouchability. The material developments resulting from the application of science and technology to which references have been made earlier have undoubtedly led to a recognition of the incompatibility of untouchability with development and the impossibility of its survival as an enduring institution. But while untouchability as such is tending, for most practical purposes, to disappear in urban areas, it has not disappeared in rural areas either in respect of residence or drinking water, and in many areas even in respect of other community facilities. Apart from the stronger hold of traditionalism in rural areas, this has been mainly due to the negligible introduction of science and technology in rural life except in agricultural production, and, of course, the negligible share of property and means of production in the hands of Scheduled Castes. While untouchability has largely disappeared in urban areas, untouchables still remain under the nomenclature of the Scheduled Castes, and constitute the poorest, the most under-privileged and handicapped sections of Indian society with restricted opportunities and inadequate participation in the mainstreams of different areas of national and social activity. And they numbered nearly 80 million in 1971. Government, of course, is committed to their uplift and their getting a full share of opportunities in all spheres of national activity and has been attempting to implement a number of programmes for the purpose. But the pace of implementation is neither rapid nor adequate, genuine public support from other sections of Indian society is lacking and the  way the whole problem is being handled both politically and by the public may lead to the Scheduled Castes being used for or getting wedded to a continuance of the caste system, albeit in reverse gear, thus preventing the major social change which is needed, namely, the destruction of the caste system and all that it implies for the creation of a truly democratic and socialist society in India.

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In the last analysis, the problem of Scheduled Castes is the problem of poverty; and the problem of poverty can only be solved by a politicoeconomic system that uses science and technology, not only for increasing production but also for increasing employment and individual labour productivity, and at the same time re-structures property relations and investment patterns in such a way as to reduce disparities in income and wealth and improves the quality of life for the masses of the people. Such a system is democratic socialism, and caste has no place in a socialist society. Two other directions in which the impact of science and technology has made for social change in India are in the realm of national identity and cultural development. Thus, industrialisation, urbanisation, commercialisation and extension of educational facilities have led to a considerably larger measure of mobility and internal migration than in the past. And today we find a greater diversification of language, regional origin, religion and caste amongst our people who share work and residence than at any time in previous Indian history. While this is more particularly true of the big cities and towns, it is not entirely absent in rural areas. The social change this has brought about is of a mixed character. On the one hand, it has made for a sharper interaction between diverse social groups and given a new reality to the concept of Indianness. On the other hand, it has also given a new life to linguistic, regional and communal groupings, giving the country an uneasy balance between national identity and particularist identities in Indian political and social life. The necessities of economic development, as also the growing opportunities it gives rise to, have also added to this conflicting trend in social change, namely, mobility in residence on grounds of efficiency, and preference for the original residents in the name of a ‘sons of the soil’ theory. All this again is much more an urban rather than a rural phenomenon, as is the case with so many other aspects of the social change that we are witnessing in India. The other aspect of social change which has been influenced by the developments in science and technology has been in culture. While India has had a broad framework of cultural identity cutting across language and region and to some extent, even religion, indigeneousness and immense diversity has marked its local manifestations in different parts of the country except for the elite of the land who had more of a national culture with a larger measure of non-indigenous origin. The material developments following the application of science and technology and the

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developments in transport, tourism, and mass communication media as well as the extension of primary and secondary education have tended to reduce this cultural gap between the elite and the masses, giving rise to a new mass culture of a polyglot character that cuts across not only class but also region, language and religion. The same forces have also given a new dynamism to some of the country’s traditional and diversified cultures, with revivalism and uniformity seeking an uneasy coexistence and making for a culture of unity and diversity, if not one of unity in diversity. As regards religion, rituals and ceremonials, these have not suffered in the manner one would expect during a period of such rapid development of science and technology. The questioning attitude and increasing disregard for traditional forms and ceremonials of worship which marked the later part of 19th century in England and prevailed during most periods of modern development elsewhere has been somewhat conspicuous by its absence in India. Religious worship for securing the favours of the Deity, for the promotion of one’s personal or family interests has perhaps never been so rampant as it is in India today. Developments in transport, communication and mass media, made possible by science and technology, have tended to increase rather than decrease the force of religiosity in India and its use for personal rather than social ends. Apart from religiosity, astrology has grown in stature and influence, logic and rationality have declined in matters other than technical, scientists are shedding their modesty and taking to wish fulfilment projections and predictions, futurology is acquiring the status of a science, and new superstitions and prejudices are being added on to an already heavy pile accumulated through our long history. I think it is high time that the practitioners of science and technology turned their expertise on unravelling the mystery of how the so-called scientific temper is so absent in our country, why the scientific attitude is at such a discount in matters other than purely scientific, and why scientific endeavour and technological goals are so poorly related to the achievement of a total enrichment of the quality of life for the masses of our people. The conclusion I am reaching is that science and technology have not brought about that measure of social change in India which has been attributed to it elsewhere. And yet it is not wholly the fault of the Indian practitioners of science and technology. There is no denying at least an element of truth in the proposition that our science and technology have been largely West-inspired, big industry-oriented and undoubtedly biased in favour of capital and highly specialised expertise,

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accompanied by disregard for indigenous availabilities and constraints of resources and skills, and a lack of sensitiveness to mass requirements, rural needs, and backward regions. While the politician and the social scientist must share the major blame, the scientist and the technologist must also be held responsible for the dual society which has come up with such sharpness in our country during the last 25 years. It is the dual character of the society that has emerged in India that is responsible for the failure of science and technology to bring about the massive social change that it should have. Our ethos has been urban; the complexes we inherited from our colonial past still persist; our aim has been to become modern which has been interpreted to mean western. And since we could not achieve western modernity for the whole our country, we contended ourselves with creating it in a part of our country, which means the cities and big towns that house 61 million people, of whom one-third live in seven cities, whose population number more than a million people each. True there are pockets of western modernity, and a few stray cases besides, here and there. But the rest of India, which accounts for well high 80 per cent of our population, and lives on agriculture, allied activities, traditional industries and service occupations, has had, except for some green revolution pockets, but little impact of science and technology, either on its methods of production or its consumption habits and content or its housing or public amenities. Their life is neither western nor modern, but they constitute the bulk of India. This is the dual society we have in India, the crucial differential resting on the relative application of science and technology to their respective methods of work and style of life. But this dual society does not function in compartments. It has a common government, common political parties, common mass-media, and common elections that temporarily overcome the duality to seek their verdicts on claimants to political power. There is also movement between the dual societies but not of an equi-directional character. In fact, it is a one-way traffic, from the rural and small town areas that house the non-modern and non-westernised majority of the Indian people to the cities and big towns that house the modern and westernised minority. Though the traffic moves in one way, it sends back to the houses of the immigrants a demonstration effect that adds to the frustration of rural areas and accentuates the sharpness of the dual nature of Indian society. But the dual societies are not entirely devoid of social identities. In fact they share some crucial identities in respect of their economic and

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social conditions. They both suffer from inequalities in income and wealth; they both have large numbers of population below the poverty line; and they both have sizeable unemployment and underemployment among their numbers. These, combined with elections and political parties seeking popular support, have led to the emergence of socialist ideologies and are stimulating both the desire and the forces of social change. Unequal application of science and technology and unequal distribution of the dividends from development are thus the two major factors that account for the thrust towards a major social change in India, and the focus is on rural India. There is now a new emphasis on the part of both Government and of scientists and technologists on rural development. And Government is seeking not only the application of science and technology to different areas of rural development, but also attempting to restructure the institutional and social milieu in rural areas to ensure a more equitable distribution of the gains that result from development. Simultaneously, the scientists and technologists are now discovering the social and economic institutional constraints that stand in the way” of the successful application of their knowledge to rural problems, and have started stressing the importance of ensuring the non-scientific conditions for rural development. Altogether, it is a healthy sign for social change. If the political and scientific forces effectively operate their professed postures on development, they would undoubtedly strengthen the chances of a major breakthrough in the realm of social change in India. Whether the social change that will ensue will take us nearer to a modern and westernised society with its consumer dominance, gadgets, pollution and the ills of affluence, or to a society of socialist complexion, like in the Soviet Union or the people’s Republic of China, or to an altogether different but eclectic model with a Gandhian accent, are matters on which I am in no position to venture a categorical answer. But I do see that all these elements are in operation in larger or smaller measure, and there is always room for the unknown when one thinks of the future. Whatever be the society that will emerge, there is no doubt that science and technology will be playing an important role in shaping its content and contours.

Note * Based on a lecture delivered under the auspices of the Bangalore University.

9 Is Kerala Becoming a Knowledge Society?— Evidence from the Scientific Community R. Sooryamoorthy and Wesley M. Shrum

Introduction

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nowledge has become a buzzword in modern societies, dominating both capital and labour. A modern society was, until recently, perceived in terms of property and labour, while a capitalist society was viewed as a society of owners and non-owners. Soon it became a labouring society, and now it is forming into a knowledge society (Stehr 2001: 495). The link between knowledge and development is becoming ever more pronounced. Knowledge is the ability to transform our resources to our advantage, and it has become the most important factor determining our standard of life, more than land, tools or labour (World Bank 1998–99: 16). Today, most technologically advanced economies are knowledge based. Not only do they generate new wealth from their innovations, but they also create vast numbers of knowledge-related jobs (Ibid.). As a consequence, societies are now being transformed into what many theorists have viewed as true knowledge societies (Lane 1966; Drucker 1969; Bell 1973).1 The emergence

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of knowledge societies, however, is not a spontaneous event but a gradual process in which societies acquire new traits and features. Knowledge has become more fundamental and strategic for most spheres of life and it is modifying, or even replacing, the factors that have been constitutive of social action (Stehr 2001: 496). India has one of the five largest scientific communities in the world, and accounts for about half the scientific production of the developing countries as a whole (Gaillard et al. 1997: 41). The developing countries together represent only 7 percent of the world’s mainstream scientific output, of which close to 80 percent is produced in Asia. India’s mainstream production has increased at about the same pace as the total world output during 1985–92. Given that knowledge is becoming the basis of growth and development, this paper examines the institutional settings of knowledge creation in a small but widely acclaimed State of Kerala. Kerala is regarded as a model of development, though the initial euphoria about its achievements and credentials in several socioeconomic and demographic spheres is on the wane. The setting has significance for two reasons. First, Kerala has initiated many programmes, following the footprints of many other southern states like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, to chart a new path for its development by taking advantage of the demand for information technology (IT) the world over. Its new IT policy document makes it clear that the growth of the state in the coming years will be increasingly driven by the knowledge and service-based sectors where information flow will be a key determinant of success (Government of Kerala 2001: 5).2 When knowledge is the key for progress and development, its generation and the structures that facilitate or hinder the process become important. Added to this is the socioeconomic ambience that stems from the process of globalisation. Scientific and technical knowledge produces incremental capacities for social and economic action or an increase in the ability to ‘how-to-do-it’ (Stehr 2001: 498). This study focuses on the people who have been involved in the generation of knowledge in Kerala. Based on a study, first conducted in 1994, then repeated in 2000, in the teaching and research sectors, we trace the changes that have occurred at the individual and system levels, and examine how these changes affect the research system in Kerala.

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Methodology Kerala was one of the three locations, along with Kenya and Ghana, in which the original field survey of scientists was conducted in 1994. A team of three interviewers spent five weeks travelling through the state conducting approximately 100 interviews in universities, research institutes and a few NGOs. The primary basis for selecting organisations in the academic and government research sectors was publication productivity. The individuals interviewed were all involved in some aspect of research on agricultural, environmental, and natural resource issues. First, a search of seventy-nine databases was carried out using the DIALOG system.3 After discarding sources in irrelevant fields and those with few hits, seventeen international databases were searched for the 1992–93 period. This allowed the identification of a group of organisations and scientists before the fieldwork began. The sample was stratified by sector, focusing primarily on university departments and national research institutes, interviewing approximately three individuals in each institution. Fifty-seven percent of our 1994-respondents belonged to national institutes, 31 percent to universities, and 12 percent to NGOs. These individuals represent forty-nine organisations in three sectors, including twenty-two government institutes, twenty university departments and seven NGOs. Obtaining the permission and cooperation from the director/head of each organisation, we targeted mid-career researchers. We sought to divide our interviews between those whose names appeared in the international databases and those whose did not. A special effort was made to interview women researchers.4 The second set of respondents was contacted during three months beginning from June 2000. While the 1994 survey sought to be comprehensive in its coverage of agricultural, environmental, and natural resource-related research institutions in the state, because of time and cost constraints, few individuals could be interviewed in each. In the 2000 survey we decided to attempt to increase the sample size. Hence, the 2000 survey sought comprehensiveness in the number of individual scientists interviewed within each university department or research institute, with less coverage of the full range of organisations in 1994. The respondents were drawn from the main central and state government research organisations in Thiruvananthapuram (the state capital)

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and the science departments of the University of Kerala and the College of Agriculture in Vellayani. The focus, as in 1994, was on fields of specialisation in agriculture, biology, biochemistry, geology, mathematics, physics and social sciences. Thus, we have a total of 404 respondents— 101 from the 1994 survey and 303 from the 2000 survey. This paper looks at the transformation of the research community from 1994 to 2000. In the tables that follow, we examine the realms of personal and academic background of the researchers, their professional life and productivity, and the research facilities available to them. The 2000 survey contained a variety of new questions on the Internet, a subject that was only beginning to capture the attention of the Kerala research community in 1994. However, the analysis here is confined to items that appear in both the surveys. The survey instrument included both structured and unstructured items on the major dimensions of professional research activities, international and national organisational contacts, frequency of discussions with various groups, supervisory roles and local contacts, professional memberships and activities, selfreported productivity, attitudes on agricultural and environmental issues, and the needs of the research system.

Demographic and Socioeconomic Background In the sample 37 percent (150 respondents) were women (36.6 percent in 1994 and 37.3 percent in 2000). The even distribution indicates that there is no significant change in gender composition between the two periods. Although the ratio of women to men in Kerala is in favour of women (1058:1000), it is not reflected in the professional positions of women in the chosen institutions of higher learning and research. Such a gender imbalance in the academic hierarchy has also been reported in a recent empirical study (Kumar 2001). In the mean age of the respondents, there is a statistically significant difference of four years, indicating that the research community is ageing (Table 1). Father’s occupation, which gives an indication of the socioeconomic background of the respondents, shows some significant changes between the two periods. Ever more children of civil servants are being attracted to the field of research and teaching: whereas in 1994 only 13.7 percent of the scientists were children of civil servants, in 2000 this figure had risen to 43 percent. At the same time, as evident from

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Table 1 Characteristics of Respondents Variable

1994

2000

N

1. Percentage male

63.4

62.7

404

2. Percentage female

36.6

37.3

404

3. Age***b

43.0

47.04

404 397

4. Father’s occupation***

a

Farmer/Peasant

33.7

23.2

Teacher/Education

11.6

12.9

Civil Servant

13.7

43.0

Medical/Nurse

5.3

1.7

Researcher/Professor/Scientist

3.2

3.6

Business/Merchant/Shopkeeper

11.6

8.9

Others

21.1

6.6 404

5. Marital status**a Single

8.9

2.0

Married

90.1

97.4

Widowed

1.0

0.7 386

6. Spouse’s occupation***

a

Farmer/Peasant

0.0

0.7

Teacher/Education

6.6

10.2

Civil Servant

8.8

27.1

Medical/Nurse

3.3

5.8

29.7

16.6

Extension officer

0.0

1.4

Business/Merchant/Shopkeeper

5.5

2.4

Housewife

33.0

26.1

Others

13.2

9.8

PhD

77.2

77.2

Masters

21.8

19.8

Researcher/Professor/Scientist

404

7. Education

a

(Table 1 contd.)

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R. Sooryamoorthy and Wesley M. Shrum

(Table 1 contd.) Variable

1994

2000

0.0

0.3

N

7. Education (contd.) Bachelors Diploma

0.0

0.3

Others

1.0

2.3

1981

1982

404

9. Year of obtaining highest degree*

1983

1986

404

10. Degree from developed countriesa

6.9

5.3

404

11. Years spent outside India for higher educationb

0.53

0.32

404

12. Years spent in developed countryb

0.6

0.4

404

8. Year of joining the organisationb b

*p < .1, **