|Science, Hegemony and Violence (UNU, 1988, 301 pages)|
JATINDER K. BAJAJ is a particle physicist who now works on traditional Indian science and technology. He is a founder of the Patriotic People's Science and Technology Group and co-edits the group's journal, the PPST Bulletin. He is presently a Resident Editor of Jansatta at Chandigarh. He has co-ordinated a major sectorwise assessment of the impact of modern technology in India for the Committee for Cultural Choices and Global Futures.
CLAUDE ALVARES is a philosopher and historian of technology, environmentalist and civil rights activist. He is associated with RUSTIC, Goa, the Association for the Propagation of Indigenous Genetic Resources, and is the Convener of the Third-World Network in India. He is the author of the widely known Homo Faber: Technology and Culture in India, China and the West, 1500 to the Present Day (Delhi: Allied, 1979) and has edited Another Revolution Fails (Delhi: Ajanta, 1985). His Science, Development and Violence will be the next volume in this series.
SHIV VISVANATHAN, a sociologist of science, is a Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies and the Convener of the Committee for Cultural Choices and Global Futures. He is also the author of Organizing for Science: The Making of an Industrial Research Laboratoy (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1985). He co-edits the third volume in this series, on social movements in science and technology.
MANU L. KOTHARI and LOPA MEHTA are physicians and philosophers of medicine who teach at the S.G.S. Medical College, Bombay. They are interested in medical epistemology and the evaluation of the scope and limits of medical research, knowledge and practice. Kothari and Mehta are the co-authors of three well-known books, The Nature of Cancer (Bombay: Kothari Medical Publications, 1973), Cancer: Myths and Realities of Cause and Cure (London: Marion Boyars, 1979), and The Tao of Death (London: Marion Boyars, 1986).
VEENA DAS, whose main work has been on Hinduism and comparative religion, is presently working on human violence. She is a professor of sociology at the Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, and the author of Structure and Cognition: Aspects of Hindu Caste and Ritual (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1977). She has also edited The Word and the World: Fantasy, Symbol, Record (New Delhi: Sage Publications, 1986) and co-edited Welfare and Well-being in South Asia (forthcoming).
VANDANA SHIVA, by training a physicist and a philosopher of quantum mechanics, is a leading environmentalist. She is Co Director of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Natural Resource Policy, Dehra Dun, and is associated with the Chipko movement in the Himalayas and with Lokayan, Delhi. She is the co-author of Ecological Audit of Eucalyptus Cultivation (Dehra Dun: EBD, 1985) and of two forthcoming books, Technology and Politics of Survival and Afforestation: Opportunity and Risks. She is now working on Terra Mater: Recovery of the Feminine Principle (New Delhi: Kali for Women); forthcoming.
ASHIS NANDY, psychologist and social theorist, is Fellow of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies and Chairman of the Committee for Cultural Choices and Global Futures. He is the author of Alternative Sciences: Creativity and Authenticity in Two Indian Scientists (New Delhi: Allied, 1980), At the Edge of Psychology: Essays in Politics and Culture (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1980), The Intimate Enemy: Loss and Recovery of Self Under Colonialism (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1983) and Traditions, Tyranny and Utopias: Essays in the Politics of Awareness (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1987).
The seven essays in this volume argue that a new kind of organized violence has been unleashed on the global scene, particularly in the third world, by the establishment of science in collaboration with the existing political and economic establishments. Starting from the premise that the worldview of modern science and technology in the late twentieth century has provided a 'legitimate' model of violence and domination, the essays examine the content of the 'rational' patterns of behaviour and lifestyles being imposed on citizens in areas such as social organization, agriculture, medicine, environment and gender. The violence, the argument goes, is not an accidental byproduct of the practice of post-Enlightenment science but lies at the heart of the modern scientific vision.
The distinguished contributors to the volume come from areas as diverse as physics, medicine, philosophy, ecology, environmental and civil rights movements, sociology and psychology. They were brought together for this purpose by the Committee for Cultural Choices and Global Futures, Delhi. The Committee is an association of scholars in search of a more holistic, politically sensitive, social knowledge and its concerns are the ecology of plural knowledge, cultural survival, and humane futures for the 'victims of history'.
The work on which the volume is based was supported by the United Nations University as a part of the University's Programme on Peace and Global Transformation.
Ashis Nandy, the editor of the volume, is at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi. He is Chairman of the Committee for Cultural Choices and Global Futures and the author of Alternative Sciences: Creativity and Authenticity in Two Indian Pioneers of Science (1980), At the Edge of Psychology: Essays in Politics and Culture (1980), The Intimate Enemy: Loss and Recovery of Self Under Colonialism (1983) and Traditions, Tyranny and Utopias: Essays in the Politics of Awareness (1987).
Jacket design: Meera Dayal Deshaprabhu