Meera Nanda is visiting faculty at the IISER (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research) Mohali, where she teaches history of science. Trained in science as well as the humanities, she is author of several books including Breaking the Spell of Dharma; The Wrongs of the Religious Right; Prophets Facing Backward and The God Market.
Her latest book, from Three Essays Collective, isSCIENCE IN SAFFRON: Skeptical Essays on History of Science is out this month.
There is much talk of the glories of ancient Hindu sciences in India today. Landmark discoveries in every field of science, from mathematics to medicine, are being credited to ancient scientists-sages of India. This book places such priority claims in a comparative global history of science. While fully acknowledging the substantial contributions of Indian geometers, mathematicians, physicians, artisans and craftsmen, it challenges their glorification for nationalistic purposes. It also questions the neo-Hindu scientization of yoga and Vedanta pioneered by Swami Vivekananda. Backed by the best available scholarship on history of science, this book offers a reading of history of Indian science without the hype that has come to surround it.
The chapters are provocative, asking "Who Discovered the Pythagorean Theorem?", tracking the evolution of zero, and with a nod to last year's Science Congress, an essay examines "Genetics, Plastic Surgery and Other Wonders of Ancient Indian Medicine", and another looks at Yoga.
In paperback, viii+196 with an additional 8 pages of color plates ISBN 9789383968084 Rs. 475