Rants on science and education
  • Hi Walasingham -

    If somebody did that to me and my country didn't speak for me, i'd go to where my talents are recognized.
    > >>Easier said than done, there are lot of obstacles in going abroad even now, although much easier than before. People like Bose did not even have a chance.

    Religion can be both a motivator as well as a suppressor of talent. Think of the late Ramanujam, intensely religious person who had his complex mathematical theories appearing in dreams from God, was sponsored to go to England and despite his sponsor's best efforts could not adjust to weather/food and returned very sick and died. So young..so brilliant. I had a family member myself too who was similar.

    I think we are outgrowing times like this and people are understanding how to be accomodative, adaptable and we have indian communities now in almost all countries.Also to understand, there is as much politics in science as it is in arts or any other field. With technology boom these days it is very hard to tell which 'one' invention is better than another..and politics follows that dilemma.

  • Also karma is hardly 'performance without expecting benefit' it is performance with ability to face benefit that is all, it means strengthening ourselves for any kind of benefit that makes it easy to focus on just the action.
  • Don't get me started on our lack of science. *sigh* We find it so difficult
    to find motivated scientists. Everyone wants to go the IT route. The thing
    is, at one level I don't blame them. People go where the money is. However,
    we are sorely lacking in the basic sciences. If you compare us against
    China, that's the big difference. I can see it in my own company (biotech).
    Most of the IT folks in the US are from India, most of the scientists are
    from China.
    I try and talk to young boys and girls doing their 12th to take up science
    as a career. The thing is, a career in science pays just as well, if not
    better than IT. It is just that the beginning is a little more difficult.
    However, I personally feel that the IT salaries plateau out faster than for
    the science streams.

    Talking of the scientific spirit though I believe that our Bhakti movements
    might have had a lot to do with our losing out on science. I know this is
    probably going to stir up a hornet's nest, but i find it incredible that
    there are so few old science texts after the 12th odd century (and almost
    none in Tamizh). There were the Kerala mathematicians in the 15th century
    but apart from that, it looks like Bhakti emasculated Science!
  • Really Arun it is news to me that science pays just as well - some ph ds i know in US (in biomed as well as other fields) are not doing that great..one ph d friend of mine left for india recently and works at some firm in Bangalore, working like 60-80 hours per week for peanuts.

    Yeah you have a point on bhakti movement influencing science. To me that is interralted perhaps also to the Anglican invasion and people losing faith in abilities..maybe other factors too.

  • I think one has to take the long term view on this. Yes, in the short run IT
    will earn well. They will start off really well and it is much more of an
    initial struggle in science to finish a phd, a post doc etc. But with the
    emphasis being placed on science and R & D these days, I believe that things
    are quite rosy and only going to get better.

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