I have often been asked why a discussion on the history of Indian science doesn’t get past her science icon triad of Bose, Raman and Saha. It is as if the inspiring figures of India’s science are frozen in a time pre-1970s. My usual retort is: this isn’t the case. However, I have to concede that we do not celebrate contemporary science icons the way we revere the work of these greats.
Nature India is all set to change this.
In 2007, the Nature Publishing Group felt the need for an online platform to capture the booming science scene in India. Nature India was born in February 2008 with an archive dating back to May 2007. In seven years of covering science in the largest democracy of the world, Nature India has closely witnessed some world-class science and scientists changing the face of science in this country. Deservedly, they should go down in history as pioneers of this new scientific boom.
Beginning 2014, therefore, Nature India plans to chronicle the contemporary history of science in India through annual compendia. For the first special volume, that has just gone to print, a group of editors and eminent scientists have handpicked contents from our coverage between 2007 and 2013. The subsequent volumes will be annually compiled.
In the introduction to this volume, Mamannamana Vijayan, a highly respected scientist serving the country for 50 years, gives us a peek into India’s science faring history and suggests the way forward. “In global scientific literature, Nature represents excellence. Nature has also been concerned with science policy, the impact of scientific discoveries and science-related societal issues. True to this tradition, Nature India has addressed these concerns with particular reference to India. The compendium presented in this volume provides an excellent picture of the issues that have been addressed during the past seven years,” he says in the introduction.
Besides featuring what’s right and what’s not with science in India, the annual volumes hope to be an important addition to the science calendar of the country – a must have for anyone interested in keeping abreast with the research highlights of the year, newsmakers, trends in R&D, careers and policy issues.
More on the content and subscription of the issue here.
As always, we welcome readers’ feedback on the special volume and will continue our efforts to to do justice to Nature India’s tagline: “All about science in India”.