Happy national science day to the readers of this blog.
Since we celebrate the national science day on the day of the discovery of Raman effect, here is some writings of Raman to dip into. His popular articles from magazines and newspapers like Hindu are great read, by the way.
For science to become a way of life, politics is essential. We owe the current scientific progress in India, partly at least, to enlightened politicians who decided to make science as the basis of their politics:
Our politics must either be those of magic or of
science. The former of course requires no argument or
logic; the latter is in theory at least entirely based on
clarity of thought and reasoning and has no room for
vague idealistic or religious or sentimental processes which
confuse and befog the mind. Personally I have no faith
in or use for the ways of magic and religion and I can
only consider the question on scientific grounds.
That is Jawaharlal Nehru; so, it is time to read some of those pioneers also.
By the way, I found that Gandhi could be contrarian and thought-provoking when it comes to discussions on science based politics. Reading Gandhi to see how far one agrees with him or how one may refute his arguments can be quite challenging and fun. Personally, I found that I neither agree with Nehruvian science policies nor with Gandhian — completely and unequivocally; personally, I have come to the conclusion that we have to have Nehru’s scientific temperement — to make progress, but be tempered by Gandhi’s admonitions to keep us on track for such a progress to be sustainable.
Finally. here is a video of an interview with Feynman to watch, wherein he talks about taking the world from another point of view. In this interview, he tells about the kind of people with whom he finds he can have an useful conversation (about 1.40 minutes into the video). After fumbling a bit (and that is great to see how he fumbles and recovers from the fumble, by the way), Feynman calls some people as deep — those who have stretched themselves to the maximum thinking about some stuff so deeply that they have reached mysteries on all sides of their understanding; Feynman says that talking with them gives him the thrills. And, for me, science is one of the areas where such deep thinking is fairly easily available — to anybody who puts in a bit of effort. So, this science day, do also spend time browsing through some of these videos in YouTube and wonder about the things that you have taken for granted till now.
Have fun — that is what science is all about in the end!!