English_Master June 9, 2016 No Comments
SHOULD SCIENCE BE ONLY THE HANDMAID OF TECHNOLOGY? Some years ago, talking to pressmen of the work being done at India’s internationally famous School of Mathematics (which is a wing of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai), Prof K.G. Ramanathan is reported to have remarked, “No work is done here with a view to application.” The statement may appear as somewhat astounding to an economist or industrialist used to thinking in terms of investments and returns, and if such a one has the authority, he may even feel provoked to order the immediate closing down of such an institution as a flagrant waste of national wealth. Because, of what use is effort which cannot be turned to advantage in economic terms, and why should money be wasted in such idle pursuits? But if we follow this line of reasoning to its logical conclusion, we shall end up with throwing overboard and prohibiting all intellectual and artistic pursuits which, to all appearances, do not yield any tangible returns. And science, which in its purest form is nothing but a spirit of doubt and inquiry should also figure in a list of such useless pastimes. But the fallacy in this type of thinking is too obvious to need any...
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