Bangalore International Centre had arranged a talk on “Great Triumphs and False Stories - A Brief Episodic History of Indic and European Science through the Ages” by Prof. Roddam Narasimha, Indian Aerospace Scientist and Fluid Dynamicist, on Thursday, 14th April, 2016 at 6.30 PM. The talk was chaired and moderated by Prof. Srikanth Sastry, Professor, Theoretical Sciences Unit, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bengaluru.
Prof. Narasimha in his presentation explained that among the many vociferous and emotional debates that India is currently going through on various deeply-civilizational questions (nation, religion, freedom etc.), there is also a rather specialized one on the value (or otherwise) of ancient to pre-colonial Indic science and technology as well. He outlined a critical analysis of the evidently chequered histories of science in India and Europe – alternating between dark ages and shining eras. These periods have, in both East and West, led at different times to the creation of false or mythical stories as well as to the achievement of great triumphs. To illustrate this idea, he narrated four episodes where the historical position seems clear now, but popular (and sometimes even otherwise well-informed) opinion mixes the two categories in an unfortunately indiscriminate way.
The Q & A session after the talk was informative and interesting. Prof. Srikanth Sastry handled the Q & A session efficiently.