Anu’s observations on Indian science and Indian science journalism wouldn’t probably any different hadn’t she based her article on the political appointees of the ’09 govt. It is easier to say an unabashed refutation of “success of indian science” on its own would appear more systematic- because scientists in India are always clamoring to keep science (and education) clear of the political and bureaucratic meddling (by the professionals of these two fields, its okay if hobbyists do it). Nonetheless everything she says couldnt be any different otherwise. That makes me wonder how relevant the following passage is in relation to Indian science.
But nothing evokes as much hostility among intellectuals as the suggestion that social forces influence or even dictate either scientific method or the facts and theories of science. The Cartesian social analysis of science, like Cartesian analysis in science, alienates science from society, making scientific fact and method “objective” and beyond social influence. Our view is different. We believe that science, in all its senses, is a social process that both causes and is causes by the social organization. To do science is to be a social actor engaged, whether one likes it or not, in political activity. The denial of the interpretation of the scientific and the social is itself a political act, giving support to social structure that hid behind scienfic objectivity to perpechuate dependency, exploitation, racism, elitism, colonialism. Nor do absurd examples diminish the truth of this necessary enagement. Of course, the speed of light is same under socialism and capitalism, and the apple that was said to have fallen on the Master of the Mint in 1664 wold have struck his Labour Party successor three-hundred years later wit equal force. But whether the cause of tuberculosis is said to be a bacillus or the capitalistic exploitation of workers, whether the death rate from cancer is best reduced by studying oncogenes or by seizing controls of factories-these questions can be decided objectively only within the framework of certain sociopolitical assumptions.
R Levins and R Lewinton in The Dialectical Biologist