Saturday, January 13, 2007

J.D. Bernal: A Centernary Tribute

Arjun Patel, an experimental scientist, pays a tribute to JD Bernal and recalls his association with DD Kosambi.

The other episode relates to Kosambi. Bernal introduced A.R. Vasudev Murthy (a chemist and sanskritist) of Indian Institute of Science to D.D.Kosambi (Bernal uses Kosambi’s characterization of science as the ‘cognition of necessity’ in Science in History) during the Indian Science Congress in Poona in 1950. Kosambi told Vasudev Murthy that he intended to make a study of Indian history on the lines given in Engels’ “Origin of the family, private property and the state”. It was in this way that Kosambi’s collaborations with the scientific community in Bangalore began and stimulated them in lively debates on the social functions of science and the culture and civilization of ancient India, the outcome being Kosambi’s widely read monographs on the subject.

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