Tuesday 12 September 2017

The course on the history of science was launched in 1994 by Asian society following attempts by Samarendra Nath Sen, an Indian historian of science. The writer, Professor Sushil Kumar Mukhejee tries to find an answer to the question Why we should learn the history of science. Science, unlike other phenomena, has continued growth. Science has brought revolutionary changes in the world order.
The Need for Studies in History of Science by sushil kumar mukherjee
The Need for Studies in History of Science 

A scientific revolution has allowed mankind to emerge from the feudal system. With the Industrial Revolution, science has assumed a high position as the most productive force in society. Science has therefore become powerful as political and economic forces. John Bernal, an Irish scientist, says: "If capitalism made science possible, science in its turn was to make capitalism useless."

Sushil Kumar Mukherjee's The Need for Studies in History of Science

In the seventeenth century, science made a new world order. The world of Aristotle has been replaced by the world of Newton. Although the industrial revolution was the result of the scientific revolution, the downturn in science took place after the industrial revolution, with industries concentrated in certain places. At the initial stage of the revolution, the contribution to science was nominal. The steam engine was an excellent contribution of the period. Later, industries were demanding more and more. The spirit of science has led to the exchange of information between scientists to improve and develop the quality of products.

Unlike in Europe, countries like Babylonia, Egypt, China, India, Greece and Arabia have a history of scientific activities. The history of science in India after the Harappan civilization was that of the Vedic people. During the post-Vedic period, there was Ayurveda and industries such as ceramics, iron, glass and agriculture also made rapid progress.

The Need for Studies in History of Science Summary

During 400-900 AD, different branches of science such as mathematics, astronomy, medicine, chemistry, alchemy, atomism, agriculture etc. Have made great strides. During the medieval period, astronomy, mathematics, medicine, etc. Have made progress. China and India made wonderful inventions long before the scientific revolution. But modern science has not evolved in these countries. The mystery behind this will be answered only if we learn the history of the social conditions of these countries.

The Greeks and Babylonians also have a great history of science. But these cultures could not contribute to modern science. Culture, myths, and historical and philosophical aspects contributed to this. The Europeans concentrated on the laws of nature. The Japanese believed that science and technology aimed at material progress. To develop physical and applied science and not biological science. They did not concern the philosophical and theoretical details in which Europe was. The Japanese regarded science as a political faculty rather than a cultural system.
The Islamic civilization used science for the regulation of religious functions. They focused on astronomy and geography to regulate their prayers and religious practices. Looking at the history of science, we can see that science has no linear progression. It has developed in various cultures at different times. The Greeks owe their development to the Babylonians and the Egyptians and Indian science has contributed to the scientific spirit of the Arabs and they spread the science in Europe.

Science has duality. There is a scientific aspect of science: experimentation, observation and verification: the subjectivity and universality of science. There are other aspects of science: the cultural, economic and political forces that contribute to science. The development of a particular branch of science in preference to the other, whether science is used as a source of power for oneself or to dominate others, depends on the will of society. The progress of science depends on social, cultural, philosophical, religious, economic and political factors.

Joseph Needham, a historian of science, technology and Chinese medicine, in his foreword to "Science and Technology in Ancient India" by DP Chattopadhyaya wrote that there were attempts to Liberate science from religious and societal laws. But Needham commented that today, ethics is more necessary than ever in science, regardless of its attitude toward religion.

John Bernal stresses that capitalism has prevented science from being used for human progress. Science is used for destruction, pollution, genetic engineering, loss of privacy through information banks, and so on. Science is an inevitable part of civilization. During the wars, new sciences developed. This raises the question of whether wars are necessary for the progress of science. The study of the history of science may possibly answer many questions about the development of science and therefore the history of science should be studied with respect.


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