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Stop providing a platform for pseudo-science in 102nd Indian Science Congress

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India’s prestigious 102nd Indian Science Congress will be held in Mumbai, India from 3rd to 7th January. The conference will have high profile scientist speakers from India and Abroad including Nobel Laureates. What is strange about this India’s highly prestigious and historical conference is that, in a session on  “Ancient Sciences through Sanskrit”, Mr. Bodas and Mr. Jadhav will be delivering a talk titled “Ancient Indian Aviation Technology”. 26th December 2014 Mumbai Mirror news paper reports that the speaker Mr. Bodas had told the following when questioned about his talk.

 “The Vedic or rather ancient Indian definition of an aeroplane was a vehicle which travels through the air from one country to another country, from one continent to another continent, from one planet to another planet. In those days aeroplanes were huge in size, and could move left, right, as well as backwards, unlike modern planes which only fly forward."

Providing a scientific platform in a prestigious science conference for a pseudo-science talk is appalling. It questions the integrity of scientific process. It also appears that this is the first time such a session is held in Indian Science Congress. This talk is not an isolated incident to shrug off.  A google search with key words “Indian Prime minister plastic surgery”, “Indian Home minister Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle”,  “Indian Health minister sex education ban”, “Gujarat school books science myths” etc., will give plenty of alarming developments happened over the past 6 months. We as scientific community should be seriously concerned about the infiltration of pseudoscience in science curricula with backing of influential political parties. The accelerated pace with which it is being promoted will seriously undermine nation’s science and it will have a disastrous effect on the future generation scientists. Giving a scientific platform for a pseudo-science talk is worse than a systematic attack that has been carried out by politically powerful pseudo-science propagandists in the recent past. 

Scientific temper and the accompanying curiosity to understand the universe had always existed throughout human history. Today, we live in an era which has seen amazing technological advancement. And we are able to understand our universe in a way that is far superior than our ancestors did at any point in human history.   Pseudo-Science does a great disservice to science and it is the responsibility of the scientists to stand up and defend the science.  If we scientists remain passive, we are betraying not only the science but also our children.

Please sign this petition requesting the Indian Science Congress to stop providing a platform for pseudo-science.

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