37 professors from top education institutes demand that the association should be more careful in choosing its speakers in the future.
New Delhi: Faculty from top education institutes such as the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs), Indian Institute of Science (IISc), among others, have written to the president of the Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) expressing shock over some of the outlandish comments made by speakers at the 106th Indian Science Congress held in Jalandhar recently.
The five-day event ran into a controversy when two speakers, including a scientist and a vice-chancellor of an Indian university, made unscientific comments while delivering a talk. While one questioned the scientific theories of Newton and Einstien, another said that Kauravas were test-tube babies.
‘Pick speakers carefully’
The letter, signed by 37 professors from IITs, AIIMS, IISc and some state universities, demands that the association should be more careful in choosing its speakers in the future.
“We are deeply shocked and disturbed that false claims, based on confusing episodes in mythology as science, have been made in the 106th Indian Science Congress, that too in scientific presentations made to the Children Science Congress,” the letter says.
“Such content in the ISC undermines the long scientific tradition of the ISC which, in the past, has been led by outstanding scientists such as Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray, Sir Ram Nath Chopra and Prof. P. Parija. Such claims tarnish the image of Indian science globally,” it adds.
The letter further says that stories from the epics are poetic, enjoyable, rich in moral elements and in imagination, but are not scientifically constructed or validated.
Even as the ISCA vowed to pick speakers more carefully from now on, the academic community has requested it to find out how the current speakers were chosen.
“We hope you will find out how the speakers were deemed fit to address the gatherings, and we hope stronger steps are planned to ensure that the ISCA actually promotes and advances the cause of science,” the letter adds.