Science and Civilisation in India

Indian Science has not yet had its Needham... but others have tried to put together some history of science in the subcontinent. A Concise History of Science in India's second edition is out recently from Universities Press, Hyderabad. Edited by D M Bose (1885–1975), S N Sen (1918–1992), and B V Subbarayappa, this is a hefty tome attempts to present a brief account of the development of science from early times to Independence, in one of the most ancient civilisations of the world. After nearly four decades since its publication, A Concise History of Science in India remains one of the most extensive and authentic account of Indian science through the ages. Yet further studies in the field have brought to light new material. This revised edition, taken up by B V Subbarayappa, one of the three original editors, seeks to integrate the new information with the knowledge already at hand.

Bose obtained his Ph D in physics in Berlin in 1919... just after WWI! He retired in 1967 from the Bose Institute in Kolkata where he served as Director for many years. He was also the first editor of the Indian Journal of History of Science. Sen was Registrar of the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Calcutta from 1947 to 1978 .and between 1947 and 1949, he came in contact with Sir Joseph Needham, who kindled his interest in the history of science. Subbarayappa was formerly Executive Secretary of the Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi and President of the Science Division of the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science (1997–2001).

A Concise History of Science in India brings together India's contributions in the field of science that have been very influential in the development of human civilisation. The decimal place value system and the Ayurvedic way of life are just two well-known legacies of this ancient culture. Yet there are only a few books which provide an unbiased and authentic view of this world. One reason for this is that the study of Indian science through the ages involves the complex integration of the knowledge of many languages and diverse scientific disciplines. Through the years, there has been growing interest in this study as an important aspect in understanding man's interaction with nature, his material life and cultural patterns. The Indian National Science Academy, through its History of Science Board (1958) and the National Commission for the Compilation of History of Sciences in India (1967) renamed in 1989 as the Indian National Commission for History of Science sought further means to stimulate this interest among universities and scholars. The result was the publication of A Concise History of Science in India.

In our History of Science section, in hardcover, 980 pages, Rs 1295.ISBN: 9788173716188