Centre for Contemporary Studies
Indian Institute of Science
invites you to a talk on
The Chromosome Woman:
E.K. Janaki Ammal and the re-ordering of the South Asian Environment (1897-1984)
Speaker: Dr Savithri Preetha Nair, London, UK (Fellow, New India Foundation, Bangalore)
Venue: Centre for Contemporary Studies Seminar Hall (Formerly TIFR mathematics Building)
Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560012
Tuesday, 13 April 2010
Time: 4.00 pm
(Tea/Coffee will be served at 3:30 pm)
In her illustrated talk, Dr Savithri Preetha Nair outlines the life and work of a pioneering Indian woman scientist, Edavaleth Kakkat Janaki Ammal (1897-1984), who played a significant role in shaping plant genetics and the debate on the role of science in the emergence of the Indian nation.
The first Indian woman to obtain a doctorate in the sciences, Janaki pioneered researches in academic ethnobotany, the systematic study of the dynamic relationship between peoples, plants and environments, to counter the aggressive strategies adopted by Indian agronomists, in the name of national security and progress. Pioneering a plant geography trajectory within the practice of plant breeding and genetics in India, Janaki’s focus was ecological rather than economic, nationalist or ideological. Very importantly, she saw herself as a member of the international community of science rather than as a representative of a specific caste, race, or nation. By mapping the origin and evolution of cultivated plants across space and time, through cytogenetics, plant geography and a sound knowledge of the cultural uses of plants, Janaki aimed to contribute to a grand history of human cultural evolution.
Dr Nair’s forthcoming book on Janaki will be the first ever full length study on the life and science of an Asian woman scientist.
If you manage to attend the talk, feel free to give your feedback here, as a comment!