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In Nucleus and Nation, the author, a seasoned India hand, explores the complex relationship between the culture of science, the dynamics of scientific.
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This landmark study, the outcome of four decades of careful archival and ethnographic research, has been long awaited. It is by far the most comprehensive study of the international and domestic networks of scientists and scientific policy makers ever completed.


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Nucleus and Nation is a complex, wide-ranging, and engaging work. Nucleus and Nation embraces a breathtaking range; it includes incisive portraitures of key participants, analysis of political events, and deep insights into social and public contexts of modernization and industrialization that reveal the links between the public and the private at significant junctures in Indian history.

Nucleus and Nation: Scientists, International Networks, and Power in India - ProQuest

Anderson's mastery of his archival materials and their narrative exposition, as well as his personal observations about the functioning of scientific institutions in India combined with his informed grasp of science and debates within Indian nationalism and the contentious context of globalization, make the book one that many of us working in this area have been waiting for. But the technological progress that facilitated that feat was set in motion many decades before, as India sought both independence from the British and respect from the larger world. Over the course of the twentieth century, India metamorphosed from a marginal place to a serious hub of technological and scientific innovation.

It is this intriguing tale of networks and transformation that Robert S. Anderson recounts in Nucleus and Nation. By contextualizing Indian debates over nuclear power within the larger conversation about modernization and industrialization, Anderson hones in on the thorny issue of the integration of science into the self-reliant ideals of Indian nationalism.

In this way, Nucleus and Nation is more than a history of nuclear science, engineering, and the Indian Atomic Energy Commission; it is a unique perspective on the history of Indian nationhood and the drama and politics of its scientific community. Building Scientific Careers in the s: The Bangalore Affair, Scientists and Conflict around C. Imagining a Scientific State: Nehru, Scientists, and Political Planning, Five. Indian Scientists Engage the Empire: Saha, Bhatnagar, and Bhabha in Contrast, Eight.

Meghnad Saha's Institution-Building Nine. A Scientist in the Political System: Professor Saha Goes to Parliament, Fourteen. The Indian Cabinet and Scientific Advice in the s and s: A New Scientific Elite: While the book is not exclusively about nuclear weapons or nuclear power, they are a recurrent theme, and understandably so, given their symbolic value in the global techno-strategic environment.

Nimbly linking many disciplines from scientific postulates to cultural studies to colonial theory and gender sensibility, the author presents a persuasive and innovative trapeze that connects nation and nucleus with power and networks. In the Indian case, the indigenous atomic quest was further compounded by the prevailing global strategic power orientation, by which the country was sought to be kept out of the exclusive nuclear club. Saha, the son of a poor shop-keeper in the then East Bengal; Bhatnagar, who hailed from a village in Uttar Pradesh; and Bhabha, the scion of a wealthy Parsi family from Bombay.

The persona of Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, who served as Prime Ministers for extended periods, permeates the book.

About the author

In retrospect, one could say that independent India has been fortunate in having enjoyed enormous official and political support from them for its indigenous scientific endeavour. The abiding challenge of providing affordable electricity through the nuclear option receives considerable attention. Thus, while [End Page ] certain individuals and institutions hold center stage, the author presents a wide range of characters as influencing the development of India's technoscientific capabilities in general and nuclear power in particular.

The result is an authoritative study of the social history of science in India and the transmutation of technoscientific culture that has made India what it is today.

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