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Wednesday, November 2nd - 08:00 AM To 08:30 AM
Making science our own or how to present science to the public as a shared human heritage The location of production of modern science remains in the West, and the periphery appears to contribute very little. Thus modern science in many civilizations appears as an import. Underdevelopment results from unequal access to production, development and deployment of modern science. During the high noon of colonialism, many European scholars presented modern science and rationality as a uniquely European cultural product. The ideologies of ‘civilizational sciences’ (non-western, Islamic, Hindu and Eastern) continue to propose modern science as a European civilizational thought.
Joseph Needham famously showed that civilizations across the world, like ancient China, were equal contributors among the tributaries that flowed into the river of modern science, contesting the then-dominant view of modern science as a European intellectual achievement. In this framework, the contribution of many civilizations went into making modern science a common heritage of humankind. Teasing out the western cultural imports in modern science, not falling into the trap of the ‘civilizational science’ paradigm and simultaneously presenting it as a shared human heritage is a particular challenge for third-world science journalists. The talk would present some of the strategies used by the speaker to address this challenge.