By Robert S. Anderson
In 1974 India joined the elite roster of nuclear international powers while it exploded its first nuclear bomb. however the technological growth that facilitated that feat was once set in movement many a long time sooner than, as India sought either independence from the British and recognize from the bigger global. Over the process the 20th century, India metamorphosed from a marginal position to a significant hub of technological and medical innovation. it really is this story of transformation that Robert S. Anderson recounts in Nucleus and country. Tracing the lengthy institutional and person arrangements for India’s first nuclear attempt and its results, Anderson starts with the careers of India’s well known scientists—Meghnad Saha, Shanti Bhatnagar, Homi Bhabha, and their buyer Jawaharlal Nehru—in the 1st half the 20 th century earlier than targeting the evolution of the big and complicated medical community—especially Vikram Sarabhi—in the later a part of the period. through contextualizing Indian debates over nuclear energy in the better dialog approximately modernization and industrialization, Anderson hones in at the thorny factor of the mixing of technology into the framework and self-reliant beliefs of Indian nationalism. during this method, Nucleus and kingdom is greater than a heritage of nuclear technological know-how and engineering and the Indian Atomic strength fee; it's a detailed point of view at the historical past of Indian nationhood and the politics of its clinical neighborhood.
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Extra info for Nucleus and Nation: Scientists, International Networks, and Power in India
3 Though important and interesting, this theme of the bomb should not mislead us into thinking that those threads, broken or interrupted in places, stand all on their own; this book is about a texture, not some threads. Nor should we think that physics and engineering stand in for all the sciences; each has its distinct history, all forming part of the texture. Nucleus and Nation Although great attention has been paid to why India developed an atomic bomb, much less attention has been paid to how this was done, by whom, and with what means and objectives.
16 It is sometimes said in India that to examine these great scientists’ lives carefully is to disrespect them. But this is like saying that the critical analysis of poetry demeans it. We need to understand how these scientists and technologists overcame the many obstacles they faced and to understand the lessons their lives teach us. If we make a critical examination, then their achievements stand out more clearly, along with their own critical assessment of national development. The lives of scientific leaders under historical analysis become exemplary in a new sense; no longer are they superhumans or saints.
Mukherji, all of whom became active scientists; Bose was soon to be the co-discoverer of the Bose-Einstein statistics. Nil Ratan Dhar, who found an open position at the university and encouraged Meghnad to come to Allahabad in 1922, was two years his senior, and P. C. Mahalanobis, who later founded the Indian Statistical Institute, was one year his senior. They were all taught at Presidency College by chemist and industrialist Prafulla Chandra Ray and biophysicist Jagadish Chandra Bose, although Meghnad primarily studied applied mathematics and was only secondarily in physics.