Quantity vs Quality in Science Studies Literature
S P GUPTA, SCIENCE AND ITS METHODOLOGY,Ajanta Publications, Delhi, 1978, Rs 25.
S P GUPTA, LOGIC AND SCIENTIFIC METHOD, Ajanta Publi-ations, Delhi, 1978, Rs 29.
S P GUPTA, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY IN THE MODERN AGE, Ajanta Publications, 1978, Rs 54.
S P GUPTA, MODERN INDIA AND PROGRESS IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, Vikas Publishing House, 1979,Rs 45.
CLAUDE ALVARES, HOMO FABER: TECHNOLOGY AND CULTURE IN INDIA, CHINA AND THE WEST, 1509 TO THE PRESENT, Allied Publishers, Delhi, 1979, Rs 60.
THERE exist four categories of scholarly writing in any area:
creative writing which generates new ideas and new criticisms? good writing which bases itself on old works but makes an advance in interpretation; competent writing which systematically represents available thinking in the field, and bad writing which manages to mess up even the existing ideas. The books under review give us a taste of both extremes in some recent publications on science studies.
When an author brings out four books in a little over a year, cither he is exceptionally brilliant or the substance of the work is of dubious quality. S P Gupta's four books, all published between 1978 and 1979, do not come anywhere near establishing his brilliance, or even his competence. He has managed to transform the very existing area of science studies into dull, distorted reading. The books are a bad imitation of a very restricted tradition in western thought which has already been criticized and is outdated, and for that reason alone they are undeserving even of critical attention. However, our attention is being forced to them