Social Scientist. v 3, no. 32 (March 1975) p. 75.


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Establishment Scientists

A RAHMAN AND K D SHARMA (EDS.), SCIENCE POLICY STUDIES, Somaiya Publishers, Bombay 1974, pp 543, Rs 80.

THE central place that science and technology have come to occupy as a single united process in production and the consequent implications for development make it necessary to study the planning of this vital sector in Indian society. Such planning involves problems of complex social life economic, political and cultural, which are in constant interaction with science and technology.

This book is a collection of articles, speeches and specific studies by politicians, science planners and scientists. The material in the book covers the period from 1939 to 1966. A major criterion determining the selection is that it " reflects the views of the people who occupy important positions in the Government of India or other science organizations in the country." An attempt to put forth the official view of science policy, it includes the Congress Party^s resolution on science and technology. The first section of the book contains remarks made by Jawaharlal Nehru, Zakir Husain and Indira Gandhi at various science congresses. Although cliche-ridden and repetitive, these remarks set the tone of the collection.

Privileged Decisionmakers

It is maintained by the ruling classes that (in Indira Gandhi's words) "a major role of the scientific community in any country, whether it be capitalist, socialist or communist, is to develop universal norms and a rational approach to social and economic problems." That such 'univer-* salization^ and 'rationality5, when indifferent to the realities of socio-economic systems, create the horrors of the Vietnam war while depriving scientists of the right to function with a social awareness, is sought to be camouflaged by offering them the 'carrot' of positions close to 'decision making'. Official scientists, so pacified, utilize this approach to absolve themselves of the responsibility to society. It is quite evident that just the "honoured position'^ of being associated with the formulation of



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