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  • Print publication year: 2000
  • Online publication date: March 2008

5 - Imperial science and the Indian scientific community

The combination of two elements, such as imperial science and an emergent Indian scientific community, did much to advance science in India in the critical decades of the 1890s-1900s to a position of intellectual and political prominence but also to fuel its inner tensions and contradictions. Science played little part in the education and training of Indian Civil Service officers and, though a recreational interest in natural history often developed in the course of a career in India. The scientific developments of the period 1890-1914 cannot be explained by reference to imperial science alone. It is also necessary to take into account the advent of an Indian scientific community, which became conspicuous in the 1890s but built on earlier trends. Apart from mathematics, to which Asutosh Mukherjee and Srinivasa Ramanujan made important theoretical contributions between the 1880s and early 1920s, the sciences that most clearly heralded the rise of the Indian scientific community were chemistry, physics and plant physiology.
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Science, Technology and Medicine in Colonial India
  • Online ISBN: 9781139053426
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