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Asunto:[LEA-Venezuela] El papel de la Ciencia y la Tecnologia para una Sociedad amante de la paz y no explotadora
Fecha:Jueves, 2 de Mayo, 2002  14:14:30 (-0400)
Autor:interfaz <interfaz>

Breve: sabian Ustedes que Rabrindanath Tagore y Albert Einstein durante sus
vidas sostuvieron interesantes reuniones filosoficas acerca de la verdad del
cosmos, la
realidad humana, cada uno desde su punto de vista...

Este escrito nos trae en ingles estas historias y tambien excelentes
disertaciones y conclusiones acerca de la ciencia moderna y la
ciencia-religion tradicional hindu expresada en los Upanishads y otros
escritos vedicos, esta muy buena esta disertacion.

Este escrito asi como el otro que envio en ingles hoy acerca de la
democracia de la tecnologia evidentemente son muy largos para que un
traductor voluntario los traduzca pronto, asi que por lo menos les prometo
hacer un resumen en español de ambos escritos cuando tenga algo de tiempo...
Pero algo si les digo, siento que estos dos escritos en ingles, junto con el
esta en español acerca de las nuevas redes de comunicacion global, me parece
que son los tres unos articulos que apuntan en la misma direccion, seria
interesante leerlos y entenderlos para ayudar un poco mas poderosamente a
un partido politico ecologico verdaderamente ecologico-social.

Jose Rafael Leal

El Papel de la Ciencia y la Tecnologia para una Sociedad Amante de la Paz y
No Explotadora
Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi
Hon'ble Minister for
Human Resource Development, Science & Technology
and Ocean Development


Role of Science and Technology
for a non-exploitative peace loving society
Address by

Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi
Hon'ble Minister for
Human Resource Development, Science & Technology
and Ocean Development

June 21, 2000
University of Bonn

        I must confess to great excitement in being here, in this great
city, fittingly called the Benares on the Rhine, which symbolizes one of the
richest, most loving, most non-exploitative and most profound relationships
between two great   civilizations.  Most relationships between nations,
particularly  of the west with the east, have had a history of plunder and
pillage, imperial aggression, the politics of subjugation and colonization.
The uniqueness of the association between our two countries has been the
refreshing absence of such exploitative modes of transaction. Our
transactions have been at the deepest levels of human endeavour - that of
the mind, the intellect and the spirit - and surcharged with mutual love,
respect and admiration.

        The quality of this relationship was perceptively noticed by the
great Heinrich Heine in a letter in 1821 to August Wilhelm Schlegel to whom
he was sending a copy of his Sonettenkranz. I quote -

"As to the study of Sanskrit time alone will tell how useful it may be. Year
after year, Portugese, Dutchmen and Englishmen have been dragging home the
treasures of India in their big ships; we Germans have been mere onlookers.
Yet the spiritual treasures of India shall not escape us. Schlegel, Bopp,
Humboldt, Frank. Etc. are our present East India travelers; Bonn and Munich
will make good trading stations.

As a student of Sanskrit, of spirituality and of science and as someone who
has grown up in another sacred city on the banks of the holy Ganga, - the
Prayagraj or Allahabad, I feel proud to be in this centre of learning. Bonn
is one of the oldest seats of Indology established by A.W. Schlegel a
hundred and eighty two years ago. What a galaxy of scholars of Indology your
city has had! Franz Bopp, who had, in fact introduced A.W. Schlegel to
Indian studies in the first place, and one of the greatest philologists and
scholars of comparative linguistics of all times, followed by Christian
Lassen, Theodor Aufrecht, Hermann Jacobi, Willifold Kinfel and Paul Hacker.
It is this tradition which makes Bonn so special for an Indian visitor. In
1954, Dr. V. Raghavan, a Professor of Sanskrit in the University of Madras
had this to report after a visit to Europe: (Quote)

"Though the credit of discovering Sanskrit for the West goes to England and
though it was a the feet of French pioneers that the first German
Sanskritists like Bopp and Schlegel sat, Germany had taken to Sanskrit
studies with such enthusiasm and disinterested love, that outside India, one
can say without exaggeration, that it has been a second home of Sanskrit.
Before the war there were fourteen full chairs for Sanskrit at German
universities, which is something that could not be said of even India; even
after the war, there are no less than ten full Professorships and some more
Sanskrit  departments of the second or third order. Max Muller and Deussen
had captured the imagination of India and Bonn had played the role of
something like a Benaras to entire Europe. To give an account of German
contribution to Sanskrit would be to write the history of Sanskrit studies
in modern time." (unquote)

       I take this opportunity to pay a tribute to the unmatched range and
depth of German scholarship of Indian traditions, language, grammar,
philosophy, literature, the visual arts and medicine. More so when we know
of the deep impact this scholarships has had on German philosophy and
literature. In philosophy the name of Gottfried, Leibniz, Immannuel Kant,
Schelling, Schopenhauer, of Hermann Oldenberg spring to mind especially in
terms of the impact of Buddhist thought. In literature, Georg Foster,
Goethe, Schiller, Herder, Heinrich Heine, Hardenberg were deeply influenced
especially by Kalidasa and his Abhigyan Shakuntalam, so much so that the
poem is said to have touched the hearts of possibly the greatest Western
classical composer of all times - Beethoven.

       No tribute to German scholarship of Indian thought and literature can
be complete without homage to the contribution of Max Muller, given the
Indian name of Moksha Mula (the root of salvation) by Maharshi Dayanand
Saraswati one of the great saint - reformers of the nineteenth century.

        As a scientist, I wish to take this opportunity to celebrate one of
the most special Indo-German relationships of modern times between
individual scientists - that between Albert Einstein and Satyentranath Bose.
In 1924 Bose wrote his famous paper 'Planck's law and the Hypothesis of
light quanta' as a young, relatively unknown lecturer, and set it directly
to Einstein, followed by a second paper on 'Thermal Equilibrium in the
Radiation Field in the presence of Matter'. It was the greatness of
Einstein, already a Nobel prize winner, to immediately recognize the
potential in Bose's work and not only have it published in 'Zeitschrift fur
Physick' but also present them to the Prussian Academy of Sciences. Einstein
also further extended Bose's derivations and methods to particles other than
photons. From this initial contact developed a very productive relationship
between two scientists which has served as a model for Indo-German
co-operation in science ever since.

        Talking of Indo-German scientific encounters reminds me of a
published dialogue between two great figures of the last century - Albert
Einstein and Rabindra Nath Tagore - which in many ways also captures the
essence of what I intend to discuss today - the role of Science & Technology
in building a non-exploitative, peace-loving society. In the second half of
1930, Tagore and Einstein met each other four times or more in Berlin and in
New York. Two of these conversations were published. The first one, which
appeared in New York Times in August, 1930 and in 1931 as on appendix to
Tagore's. 'The Religion of Man' is of great significance for the kind of
Science we need to move towards.

        As he aged, Einstein's commitment to realism had hardened. Like
Descartes and Newton, he had faith in the existence of a world 'out there',
of truth independence of man: the moon was there, whether one looked at it
or not, as he later famously queried. And the same was so, he believed, in
the sub-atomic world. This brought him into conflict with quantum theorists
such as Werner Heisenberg and Niels Bohr. They believed that it was 'wrong
to think that the task of physics is to find out how nature is. Physics
concerns what we can say about nature' (to quote Bohr). Their arguments with
Einstein over quantum theory, which began around the time of Einstein's
first meeting with Tagore in 1926 until Einstein's death in 1955.

        Tagore fundamentally disagreed with realism of the Einsteinian kind.
'We can never go beyond
man in all that we know and feel'. This was from The Religion of Man, and it
summarized Tagore's position vis-à-vis Einstein's.

        They met at Einstein's summer villa at Caputh, outside Berlin. One
of those present, Dmitri Marianoff, a journalist who later married Margot
Einstein, noted the conversation and probably acted as interpreter.
(Einstein understood English but spoke in German). 'It was interesting to
see them together- Tagore, the poet with the head of a thinker, and
Einstein, the thinker with the head of a poet'. Neither sought to press his
opinion. They simply exchanged ideas. But it seemed to an observer as though
two planets were engaged in a chat'. This is from the published account:

Einstein: There are two different conceptions about the nature of the
universe - the world as a unity dependent on humanity, and the world as
reality independent on humanity, and the world as reality independence of
the human factor ..

Tagore: This world is a human world - the scientific view of it is also that
of the scientific man. Therefore, the world apart from us does not exist; it
is a relative world, depending for its reality upon our consciousness.

        A  little later, Einstein took up the point again:

Einstein: Truth, then, or beauty. is not independent of man?

Tagore: No.

Einstein: If there were no human beings any more, the Apollo Belvedere no
longer would be beautiful?

Tagore: No.

Einstein: I agree with regard to this conception of beauty, but not with
regard to truth.

Tagore: Why not? Truth is realized through men.

        Here, according to a later account by Marianoff, there was a long
pause. Then Einstein spoke again very quietly and softly: 'I cannot prove my
conception is right, but that is my religion'.

        After some further discussion - in which Einstein asserted, 'I
cannot prove, but I believe in the Pythagorean argument, that the truth is
independent of human beings', and Tagore, for his part, countered with a
reference to Brahman, 'the absolute truth, which cannot be conceived by the
isolation of the individual mind or described by words' - Einstein became

Einstein: The mind acknowledges realities outside of it, independent of it.
For instance, nobody may be in the house, yet that table remains where it

Tagore: Yes, it remains outside the individual mind, but not the universal
mind. The table is that which is perceptible by some kind of consciousness
we possess.

Einstein: If nobody were in the house the table would exist all the same,
but this is already illegitimate from your point of view, because we cannot
explain what it means, that the table is there, independently of us. Our
natural point of view in regard to the existence of truth apart from
humanity cannot be explained or proved, but it is a belief nobody can lack -
not even primitive beings. We attribute to truth a superhuman objectivity.
It is indepensable for us - this reality which is independent of our
existence and our experience and our mind - though we cannot say what it

Tagore: In any case, if there be any truth absolutely unrelated to humanity,
then for us it is absolutely non-existing.

Einstein: Than I am more religious than you are!

Here, wrote Marianoff later, Einstein 'exclaimed in triumph'.

        A complete non-meeting of minds', Sir Isaiah Berlin said of this
exchange. 'I do not believe that,  apart from professions of mutual regard
and the fact that Einstein and Tagore were both sincere and highly gifted
and idealistic thinkers, there was much in common between them - although
their social ideals may well have been very similar. This is true, and is
supported buy the fact that Einstein in later years referred to Tagore
punningly (and no doubt ironically) as 'Rabbi' Tagore. But equally true is
that Einstein's basic view of sub-atomic nature has been abandoned by most
quantum physicists, who have adopted a position that bears considerable
resemblance to the one taken by Tagore.

        What is of particular interest here is how certain notions of
scientific rationality have held a vice-like grip even over such radical
minds as that of Einstein and how these notions are at the root of the
problems created by contemporary science. These notions have acquired claims
of epistemological, universality, authority and superiority at the cost of
other modes of inquiry. I would like to argue that for science and
technology to grow and to contribute to a creative and convivial social
order it is imperative to discard some of these notions, feed deep into the
reservoirs of our ancient, spiritual knowledge and insights and though,
synthesis create a new scientific world-view, a new 'common-sense'. Werner
Heisenberg, another great German scientist of our times said this to his
student, Jagdish Mehta, in 1975:

        "You know, in the West we have built a large, beautiful ship. It has
all the comforts in it, but one thing is missing: it has no compass and does
not know where to go. Men like Tagore and Gandhi and their spiritual
forebears found the compass. Why can this compass not be put in the ship, so
that both can realize their purpose?

        In a very similar vein Swami Vivekananda said in a lecture in New
York in 1896:

        "Each of these types has its grandeur, each has its glory. The
present adjustment will be the harmonizing the mingling of these two ideals.
To the oriental, the world of spirit is as real as to the occidental is the
world of senses. In the spiritual, oriental finds everything he wants or
hopes for; in it he finds all that makes life real to him. To the occidental
he is a dreamer; to the oriental the occidental is a dreamer playing with
ephemeral toys and he laughs to think that grown-up men and women should
make so much of a handful of matter which they will have to leave sooner or
later. Each calls the other a dreamer. But the oriental ideal is as
necessary for the progress of the human race as is the occidental."

        It is important at this point to recall the origins of this
dichotomy between the world 'out there' and 'in here' and how this dichotomy
became such a dominating characteristic of western science. It was during
the philosophical revolution which took place in Western Europe in the
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that the general validity of a secular
mechanistic science as a natural philosophy began to be accepted on a broad
social scale. Breaking away from the essentially non-functional traditions
of Greek science, the first modern scientists, including figures such as
Copernicus, Galileo and Bacon began to realize the potential values of
scientific knowledge to society as providing it with the means not only to
interpret the world but also to change it. The philosophical basis of this
notion of science was provided by Descartes, whose strict division of
reality into the categories of subject and object and whose image of Nature
as a Great Machine subject to potentially discoverable and explicable
universal laws provided the basis of the practice of Western science for
more than three hundred years.

        It would be interesting to study historically, how and why Cartesian
and Newtonian notions came to hold such a powerful away over the Western
mind at the cost of alternative philosophies such as those of Leibniz.
Lebniz postulated an alternative interpretation of reality in his
Monadology. The philosophy of monads was premised on concepts of wholeness
and emphasized the relationships between phenomena and between events rather
than the distinctions which separated them. However, such a philosophy
precluded the possibility of a scientific method that would allow men direct
access to the forces of nature and was hence unable to ally itself to an
instrumental material base. It was Cartesian logic that held the day and
Leibniz's ideas were allowed to fall into obscurity. One consequence of this
was the apparent social acceptance of a cleavage between 'values' - the
realm of the 'subject' - and 'facts' - the realm of the 'object'. This, in
turn, appeared to legitimate the separation of feeling from thought, of
poverty from prose, of science from non-science. As Rousseau later claimed
that 'Descartes' philosophy had slit the throat of poetry'

        This whole process was accompanied by the emergence of the notion of
purity of science, consciously divorced from its social applications and
frequently justified in its own terms as the disinterested pursuit of
knowledge. This idealistic concept of the intrinsic value of scientific
activity, divorced from its social role hides an important paradox. Advanced
industrial societies tend to be characterized by a strong moral and cultural
emphasis on the value of abstract scientific knowledge - even that with no
apparent application insight - and on the apparent need to relentlessly push
back the 'frontiers of scientific discovery'. Yet the fruits of the
application of this knowledge to practical tasks are an essential element in
the efficient operation and expansion of industrial and technological
societies. The stress placed on the cultural importance of abstract science
legitimates the ideology of scientism, yet disguises not only the
exploitative way in which science is put to practical use through
technology, but also the very fact the existence of contemporary science
results directly from this practical use.

        Another paradox which the ideology of scientism hides is that while
it purports to eschew religion and provide a rationality that has
superseded, and hence can be considered superior to previous forms of
religious or socio-political rationality, it actually becomes the substitute
for religious truth. Its ideological and dogmatic nature - by definition
imperceptible to those who believe it - is no less dangerous than any form
of doctrinaire, religious fundamentalism. For by attempting to set up a
rationality that is apparently above man, it distracts attention from the
way such a rationality can be used to obscure the relationships between men.
Furthermore, by maintaining the Cartesian split between the abstract world
of the objective, the ideology, the religion of scientism., legitimates the
idea that conception of a particular line of action can and should be
divorced from execution and theory from practice.

        One of the most telling arguments against scientific rationality has
come from the German anarchist philosopher of science, Paul Feyerabend, in
his well known work 'Against Method' he says :


".....the separation of science and non-science is not only artificial but
also detrimental to the advancement of knowledge. If we want to understand
nature, if we want to master our physical surroundings then we must use all
ideas, all methods and not just a small selection of them. The assertion,
however, that there is no knowledge outside science is nothing but another
most convenient fairy tale. Primitive tribes have more detailed
classifications of animals and plants than contemporary scientific zoology
and botany, they know remedies whose effectiveness astounds physicians, they
have means of influencing their fellow men which science for a long time
regarded as non-existent (Voodoo), they solve difficult problems in ways
which are still not quite understood, there existed a highly developed and
internationally known astronomy in the old Stone Age, this astronomy was
factually adequate as well as emotionally satisfying, it solved both
physical and social problems and it was tested in very simple and ingenious


        It is ironical that science itself is beginning to realize the
limits of a dichotomous scientific rationality. As a student of physics I am
acutely aware that in the new paradigm of quantum mechanics, Newtonian and
Cartesian certainties have come crashing down and that one can never know
what a fundamental particle is, that in the sub-atomic world the strict law
of cause and effect breaks down and that the division between an observer
and the observed withers away. Rational empirical reasoning based on the
'scientific method' - i.e. experiment, observation, deduction, hypothesis
falsification is no longer capable of offering satisfactory explanations.
Paradoxically again such a conclusion has been reached on the basis of
scientific experiments themselves. Through experiments we now know that the
universe is really indeterministic at its most basic level. I have
elaborated in my Bose-Einstein lecture that the natural corollary of the
Heisenbergs principle of uncertainty and of the Copenhagen Interpretation of
quantum mechanics is that a complete comprehension of reality lies beyond
the capabilities of human thought and that the world 'out there' is
inseparable from the observer 'in here'. In the words of Lincoln Barnett in
his study of Einstein:

        "In the evolution of scientific thought one fact has become
impressively clear: there is no mystery of the physical world which does not
point to a mystery beyond itself. All highroads of the intellect, all byways
of theory and conjecture lead ultimately to an abyss that human ingenuity
can never span. .... Man comprehends but little of his organic processes and
even less of his unique capacity to perceive the world around him, to reason
and to dream. Least of all does he understand his noblest and most
mysterious faculty: the ability to transcend himself and perceive himself in
the act of perception."

       It is my firm conviction that for science to proceed further, for
science to create a non-exploitative, peace-loving society it has to return
to using an epistemology which was never premised on the dichotomy between
the rational and the mystical, or the rational and the moral. It is here
that ancient Indian wisdom, as expounded in Vedanta, provides a sound
framework which can be intellectually rigorous and elegant, ethically sound
and emotionally and spiritually satisfying.

        In a lecture on 'Cosmology' Swami Vivekananda said :


        "There are two worlds, the microcosm and the macrocosm, the internal
and the external. We get truth from both of these means of experience. The
truth gathered from internal experience is psychology, metaphysics and
religion from external experience the physical sciences. Now a perfect truth
should be in harmony with experiences in both these worlds. The microcosm
must bear testimony to the macrocosm; and the macrocosm to the microcosm;
physical truth must have its counterpart in the internal world, and the
internal world must have its verification outside."


        The investigation into the nature of man in Vedanta led to a
fundamental discovery: Man in his essential nature is divine. Behind the
finite man is the Atman, ever free, ever pure and perfect. The body, the
mind and the ego are merely the externals of the real man who is immortal
and divine. The discovery led to the further discovery that the same
divinity is the basis of the universe as well. This the saged termed as
Brahman - the totality of the Self and the Not-Self which they characterized
as Satyam, Jnanam, Anantam ( ) - Truth, Awareness, Infinity'. In the Mundaka
Upanishad, an earnest student asks this question of a great teacher - Kasmin
no bhagavo vijnate sarvam idam vijnatam bhavati? ( ) What is that reality, O
Blessed one, by knowing, which we can know all that there is in the
universe? To this, the teacher gave a surprising reply: Dve vidye
veditatavye iti Brahmavido Vadanti para cha apara cha - ( ) there are two
types of knowledge to be acquired by men, so say the knowers of Brahman. One
is called 'paravidya', i.e. higher knowledge, the other is called
aparavidya, lower knowledge.

        The Upnishad goes on to say that both types of knowledge are
critical. The lower knowledge consists of the sacred vedas themselves,
phonetics, the code of rituals, grammar, etymology, prosody and astronomy.
The category of Paravidya is described thus:

Atha para yaya tat aksaram adhigamyate - That is para by which the
Imperishable is realized.

The burden of the argument is that for reaching a state of total
realization, the path of lower knowledge, e.g. scientific knowledge has to
be traversed before one attempts to go beyond to higher knowledge. In other
words Indian philosophical thought does not require a separation or
dichotomy between scientific reasoning and religious belief but in fact
treats it as an essential route to higher forms of knowledge. The scientific
spirit of questioning, of searching is integrally built in into the process
of religious discovery. Science is, therefore, to be seen in the true spirit
of its root Latin meaning - to know.

        A significant aspect of Indian epistemology which distinguishes it
from the dominant western discourse is the inseparable link between
epistemology and ontology and of both with ethics. Knowledge and moral
perfection are regarded as complementary to each other in almost all systems
of Indian thought. Sometimes knowledge is regarded as the means to the good
life, sometimes again moral purity is indispensable for perfect knowledge so
that morality and language are regarded as two inseparable aspects of
perfection. The second distinguishing characteristic is the absence of
binary approaches to the attainment of knowledge, whereby no dichotomy is
seen between the empirical, rational and analytical modes of knowing and the
mystical and intuitive modes. In fact both modes of knowing reinforce and
sharpen each other.

        I have laboured much on the philosophical issues relating to western
scientific rationality because I am convinced that unless we dislodge
scientism from the hegemonic position it occupies today, and puncture this
uncritical faith in Science and Technology as an Omnipotent God and as a
universally valid prescription for what ails the society, we will be unable
to use science to enlarge the sphere and range of each persons competence,
control and initiative, limited only by other individuals claim to an equal
range of power and freedom. The development of modern science as a timeless,
socially autonomous, value neutral field of enquiry and the social
acceptance of this autonomy and neutrality has led to a civilizational
crisis. Science has proceeded on the assumption that pursuit of science and
of technology is a value in itself and cannot be subjected to the social and
ethical codes applicable to the rest of humankind. Thus, in the name of
scientific progress, it justifies development of weapons of mass
destruction, rapacious consumption of energy and materials oblivious to the
consequential devastation of the environment, appropriation of traditional
community owned knowledge to achieve intellectual property rights by
individuals and firms. Should we continue to accept this situation as
justified in the interests of science?

        The restoration of the centrality of ethical and moral issues to the
development of science and technology is in my view the most important task
for scientists today. Science needs a paradigm shift to build in ethics as
an integral part of the standards of what constitutes 'good' science. In
bringing about this paradigm shift scientists have to engage in a deep and
meaningful dialogue with social scientists, artists, philosophers, mystics
and men of religion, at the level of philosophy and epistemology as well as
at the level of methods and practice. This can only happen through a
collective, democratic effort at a churning of ideas with wide open minds
and a Kierkegardian 'passion' for creativity.

        Let me now turn to the issues of technology because what is true of
the limits of science is equally true of the limits of technology.
Fundamental questions need to be raised about the nature of our
technological processes and the directions of technology growth. The myth of
social, cultural and ethical neutrality of technology is a myth perpetuated
by the dominant scientific ideology I have already referred to. A corollary
of this is that it is claimed that social problems apparently created by
technology can be solved by the application of yet more technology. Such an
argument completely ignores the social and political roots of the problems
that it seeks to solve and subsequently pretends that solutions can be
achieved merely through technological means.

        By now, we know well that technology has often led to the oppression
and the manipulation of the individual, to the widespread destruction of the
natural environment and the depletion of the world's finite supply of
natural resources. At the same time. Technological skills have so far failed
to provide effective solutions to many of the worlds major problems, in
particular those of mass poverty, starvation and international conflict.
'Fuel shortages and power cuts have made man aware of the precariousness of
his technological existence. Weapons of mass destruction have provided a
sinister back-cloth against which international power struggles are acted
out. The individual in contemporary society feels himself increasingly
trapped by powerful forces outside his control. He is reduced to little more
than an economic cipher, continuously and uncomprehendingly manipulated
within a vast inhuman complex. Technology, originally developed as a means
of raising man above a life of poverty, drudgery and ill-health, now shows
its other face as a major threat to his sanity and survival. Not
surprisingly many have begun to feel that our technological society has
opened the real Pandora's box, and is finding itself rapidly overcome by the
content' - (David Dickson - Alternative Technology and the Politics of
Technical Change).

        The two factors which have had the greatest impact on circumscribing
the unchecked advance of the technological juggernaut are the emergence of
environmental and gender concerns to the forefront of public policy and
action. The poisoning of river systems by industrial effluents, the lung
diseases induced by atmospheric pollution, the desertification of vast
tracts of land, the disappearance of tropic rain-forests and mangroves, the
scleroisis of our cities caused by the private motor car have brought home
the perils and the tyranny of modern technology with great force. Community
and people led resistance to the onslaught of technology has led to a global
movement demanding ecological sustainability to be the cornerstone of all
economic action whether on the part of Governments or the corporate world.
The ecological and green movement in Germany has played a pioneering role in
this process. Such has been the power of the green movements that today even
the most die-hard supporters of high energy consumption have to accept green
constraints as imposing limits to technology growth. The real challenge
among our technologists, however, is not merely to accept environmental and
ecological considerations as constraining forces but to alter the way in
which we think and design technology. Developments in the field of solar
energy, of hydrogen fuel-cells bio-fertilizers, herbal curves, bio-diversity
conservation, water-harvesting, are all pointers to the directions in which
technology must advance. The concept of sustainability has now acquired
ready currency. However, it is not possible to speak of sustainable
development unless we first address the issue of sustainable consumption. As
long as the ideal of unlimited consumption as a measure of progress remains,
technology will continue to exercise its tyranny in its attempts to meet the
ever-expanding demands of human greed and rapacity. To change patterns of
consumption we need to (a) develop respect for Nature and the limits imposed
by it as sacred (b) recognize that ethical values are absolute and that we
need the ability to discriminate between 'good' and 'bad' technology and (c)
bring about a shift in control and power over technological processes from
the private firm to the community, the family and responsible individuals.
The developments in Information Technology, especially the miniaturization
and the ability to be fully networked enables us to acquire greater control
over production processes, but the same technology can also be used by giant
corporates to create an Orwellian nightmare. Issues of social control, of
ethical regulation, of innovative management, of moving from a
strategy-structure-systems model to the purpose-process-people model, of
protecting traditional knowledge systems from predator firms, are now the
central issues for technology governance.

        Let me now turn to the positive aspects of scientific and
technological progress and the unprecedented opportunities this has created
for a multi-disciplinary, multi-dimensional and integrative strategies of
technology of development. It is by now becoming cliched to talk of the
world in the new millennium as a world dominated by knowledge. It is
interesting to note how quickly in popular parlance we have transited from
speaking of 'Information Technology' to speaking of 'knowledge economy',
knowledge capital' and 'knowledge industry'. Technology has already widened
to the usage of a more comprehensive word, because 'knowledge signifies much
more than 'information technology' did. The paramountcy of knowledge in
every sphere of human activity is expected to be such that in this
millennium the economies of the world will be knowledge driven. This
represents a major shift in the balance of power from brawn to brain, from
brute technology and hardware to creative thinking and software.

        The growth of knowledge industry offers the potential for changing
the means not merely of accessing and retrieving knowledge but of producing
it. Every human being has the potential of becoming an active producer of
knowledge instead of being a passive consumer. This is a development of
overwhelming significance for our educational processes. To realise this
potential, to harness technology for the democratisation and the
decentralisation of our educational processes needs scientific creativity of
a different order. Similarly increasing miniaturization and increasing
affordability of digital systems is beginning to change notions of scale of
production, of scale economies. The impact this will have on the empowerment
of small communities and voluntary groupings is yet to be understood. What
role can the sciences play in creating a better understanding of these
changes, of facilitating the process of empowerment? These are questions of
tremendous urgency and Importance and we need to come up with bold and
imaginative answers.

        To enable science and technology to play a meaningful role in
building a non-exploitative, peace-loving society, we had a scientific
method scientific method which is value based and which synthesizes the
spiritual and the moral with the rational. We need to understand the limits
to technological growth fuelled by untrammeled consumerism. This requires
action at the level of public policies, consciousness creation, community
control over resources, ethical regulation and innovative management. We
need changes of strategy. We need a new architecture of governance which is
ever more democratic and more decentralized. Mahatma Gandhi's concept of
village republics needs a contemporary renaissance. New forms of
co-operative action need to be designed. Sustainable consumption practices
have to be ingrained into our life-styles. We need to empower women to play
a more decisive role in determining community priorities so that the
community agenda is 'feminized' and informed with the values of gentleness
and consideration for the other. The Mantra of 'Back to Nature' will have to
be repeated again and again not only to change our life styles but to look
at technology development in a completely different manner where we learn
from nature how to convert energy into useful matter and reach similar
levels of energy conversion efficiency. This will require a complete
reorientation of our R&D strategies as well as production strategies.

I hope I have been able to give a few indicators of the directions in which
we need to move to make Science & Technology, a powerful means of creating a
new, humane, non-exploitative, peace-loving social order. In Indian
philosophy there is no contradiction between action and the precept and,
therefore, all branches of science & Technology at all times aimed at
creating a respectful disposition for all the elements closely connected
with human beings. The concept of peace, therefore, is so ingrained in the
Indian mind that on all auspicious occasions are we prayed for the peace.
For the peace on space, on earth, on waters, on the herbs and vegetations on
all the divine forces and the entire cosmos. We rejected inauspicious
thoughts and welcomed the ideas that were conducive to the entire mankind.
We never thought of dividing humanity in terms of national territories and
identities but treated the entire human kind as one family. With your
permission, Sir, I will read this Vedic universal prayer in Sanskrit for the
peace not only in the world but in the entire cosmos.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you for listening to me patiently.

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