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India''s contributions in the field of science have been very influential in the development of human civilisation. The decimal place value system and the Ayurvedic way of life are just two well-known legacies of this ancient culture. Yet there are only a few books which provide an unbiased and authentic view of this world. One reason for this is that the study of Indian science through the ages involves the complex integration of the knowledge of many languages and diverse scientific disciplines. Through the years, there has been growing interest in this study as an important aspect in understanding man''s interaction with nature, his material life and cultural patterns. The Indian National Science Academy, through its History of Science Board (1958) and the National Commission for the Compilation of History of Sciences in India (1967) renamed in 1989 as the Indian National Commission for History of Science sought further means to stimulate this interest among universities and scholars. The result was the publication of A Concise History of Science in India.
This book attempts to present a brief account of the development of science from early times to Independence, in one of the most ancient civilisations of the world. After nearly four decades since its publication, A Concise History of Science in India remains one of the most extensive and authentic account of Indian science through the ages. Yet further studies in the field have brought to light new material. This revised edition, taken up by B V Subbarayappa, one of the three original editors, seeks to integrate the new information with the knowledge already at hand.
D M Bose (1885–1975) obtained his Ph D in physics from the Berlin University in 1919, where he designed a modified Wilson type cloud chamber. Besides extending Sir J C Bose’s plant physiology investigations, Bose also made significant contributions to the field of magneto-chemistry. He joined the Bose Institute as Director in 1938 and served the Institute with distinction until he retired in 1967. Apart from his academic interests, Bose took a keen interest in the progress of social and cultural organisations in the country – for several years he held the post of Editor-in-Chief of Science & Culture. He was also deeply interested in the history of science and was the editor of the Indian Journal of History of Science when it first started in 1966.
S N Sen (1918–1992) was Registrar of the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Calcutta from 1947 to 1978. Working for the UNESCO from 1947 to 1949, he came in contact with Sir Joseph Needham, who kindled Prof Sen’s interest in the history of science. He wrote Vijnaner Ithihas (History of Science in Bengali) which won him the Rabindra Puraskar in 1955-56 and was the editor of Science & Culture from 1952 to 1982. He took keen interest in programmes on history of sciences in India and completed several important projects after his retirement. He was associated with the INSA as a scientist until the day he died.
B V Subbarayappa was formerly Executive Secretary of the Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi; Project Coordinator and Member Secretary of the National Commission for the History of Science in India; and Director of the Discovery of India Project at the Nehru Centre, Bombay. He was the President of the Science Division of the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science (1997–2001). He is also the recipient of Honorary Doctorate from the University of Bologna, Italy; Copernicus Medal from the Polish Academy of Sciences; and R C Gupta Endowment Prize and Medal (2003) for History of Science from the National Academy of Sciences, India in Allahabad.