Is Indian science ready to tackle conflict of interest in a rational way?

E. Arunan writes in Current Science:

Almost everything about India predates India, as the country has been around for several millennia; nevertheless, it got independence from the British colonizers in
1947! Science in India is several millennia old as well with Aryabhatta (the scientist) and Ayurveda (medicinal science) predating by many centuries, the modern science
that engulfed the world in the second millennia.

Any critical analysis of science in India should ask the following question: If India had invented zero and Indian mathematicians had discovered calculus before Newton, why didn’t India progress the way the Europe did after Newton’s contributions in science? One can go on blaming the Mughals and British for all the ills we face. For a commoner in me, no one can fool you for long without your permission. Why did Ayurveda not progress beyond what was done by the founding fathers millennia ago? Did we have any fundamentals in our society that were wrong and prohibiting our growth?

This is too complex a question to be addressed in a two-page editorial. However, I do find one major problem in India and naturally in Indian science that could have partly or largely contributed to this. It is about time we address it head-on. The problem is ‘not recognizing a conflict of interest and doing enough to ensure that it does not affect the decision making process’.

Read the editorial in Current Science

Advertisements