Social Scientist. v 6, no. 65 (Dec 1977) p. 3.


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M ANIS ALAM

Imperialism and Science

SCIENCE, said Macs is the crystallization of knowledge developed through man's struggle for production. Throughout history people have developed science by collecting, systematizing, analysing and generalizing their struggles for increased production.1 But increasingly, and especially from the seventeenth century onwards, the word ^science52 and the expression ^scientific knowledge9 have come to be reserved for that body of knowledge and skills whose development is associated with the names of Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Boyle, Harvey, Faraday, Darwin, Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr and Rutherford. When one thinks of science, one thinks of steam engines, electricity, atom bombs, computers, sputniks and genetic engineering. This science has developed along with the rise of capitalism. In fact the title ^science' has been exclusively reserved for that knowledge and those skills which can be systematized and incorporated into the academic culture of the ruling capitalist class,8 All other knowledge and skills that belonged to the popular culture, and which have accumulated over centuries of careful and selective observations and practice, have been denigrated and labelled unscientific. Third world countries came into contact with this science through impel ialist expansion, plunder and colonization. With the establishment of imperial hegemony over the third world by the end of the nineteenth century,



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