Social Scientist. v 3, no. 32 (March 1975) p. 76.


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76 SOCIAL SCIENTIST

policies would not suffice to create a core of socially 'neutral' scientists; and the government in its 1958 Science Policy Resolution recognizes this when it states that it will pursue its aims "by offering good conditions of service to scientists." The thrust of the Congress Party's 1969 Draft Resolution on Science and Technology is that the integration of scientists into the system should manifest itself in their key decision-making positions. The scientists who occupy these posts must be recognized as those who have made their choices. It is these whose opinions feature predominantly in the collection.

The "prescriptive science policy" as practised by these scientists is understandably piecemeal. Although some of them pay lip service to an integrated approach, recognizing the fact that science policy cannot be divorced from the socio-economic policies of the governing classes, they remain averse, to any analysis of the socio-economic and political prerequisites or implications of their prescriptions. As such, a major weakness of these science policy ^experts' is their attempt, if this is made at all, to generalize from their isolated laborartory experience. This psucdo-theori-zation which is incapable of answering more general questions is cons-tanly confronted with its own futility. It fails to answer why the policies recommended are never in fact implemented. That the lack of a genuinely integrated approach, which leads them to accept ruling-class objectives as universal, parades in the garb of 'value-free^ or 'de-ideologized' science can hardly conceal the singular lack of theoretical vigour and historical perspective displayed in their pronouncements. They do no more than offer an apology for the existing reality of a crisis-ridden economy which increasingly is aggravating the poverty and degradation of the Indian people.

Fostering Social Neutralism.

Academic credence is sought to be lent to their 'efforts' by heavily quoting from the theoreticians of the capitalist world, but even this device fails to cover the gaps. The same scientists who noted an 'ad-hocism' in the science policy of the government a decade ago are unable to answer for the continuing ad-hocism inspite of their involvement in decison making. Equally problematic for them is the fact that inspite of increasing expenditure on science and technology, there are more unemployed scientists and engineers today. The fact that the benefits of the 'development9 of science and technology have not accrued to the people will obviously present insurmountable problems for those who are committed to seeking solutions within the confines of the "givcn^' system.

The material presented in the collection provides ready examples of the hypocrisy and confusion involved. While the Indian National Congress claims to be "convinced that the development of a scientific temper resulting in a scientific outlook among the masses and the pursuit of science and technology must play an important part in the cultural regeneration of the people, especially in combating obscurantism and



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