Social Scientist. v 1, no. 2 (Sept 1972) p. 32.


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MADHU CHOPRA RAJENDRA PRASAD

Man and The Physical Sciences

SCIENCE today has made its presence felt in every area of human life. Even the most 'unscientific3 theories and views are sought to be based on the firm ground of scientific proof. The primacy accorded to sciences has not been easily won. The prepetual confrontation with'traditional institutions like Religion apart, scientific discoveries have had to struggle for official recognition and face the pressures of the deeply ingrained personal beliefs of scientists. Max Plank may have discovered the energy quantum in a few weeks of concentrated work, but seventeen eventful years were to lapse before he received the Nobel Prize and the official recognition that went with it. The unpardonable heresy of 'bundles of energy9 frightened Plank himself and he strove for years to modify this theory so that these'jerks3 could be smoothed out.

One has only to take a glance at the 20th century society, its immense potential threatened by the possibility of destruction in a manner inconceivable earlier, to see that science has had to prove itself the master in every field. The ferocity with which these proofs have'often imprinted themselves on society has led to a response that, on the one hand, has distorted the social role of science, and on the other, has undermined man



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