Pseudoscience Infiltrates Indian Science Conference
On Saturday January 3, the Indian Science Congress Association will hold its annual meeting at the University of Mumbai. Nearly seven-thousand attendees are registered as speakers will present on emerging technologies and focus on involving women and children in science and the importance of science communicators. Unfortunately, on day two of the conference, there will be a half-day session devoted to “Ancient Sciences through Sanskrit,” during which there will be a presentation called “Ancient Indian Aviation Technology.” The presenters will describe ancient Indian planes that they claim could fly omni-directionally and travel across the solar system.
Dr. Ram Gandhiraman, a NASA scientist, began a petition to cancel the session and collected signatures from hundreds of scientists around the world. CNET quotes Gandhiraman,
“We as scientific community should be seriously concerned about the infiltration of pseudo-science in science curricula with backing of influential political parties,” the petition reads. “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. If we scientists remain passive, we are betraying not only the science, but also our children.”
The flying machines described in the ancient texts have been studied exhaustively by aviation experts who concluded that they would have been largely incapable of flight. After an impressive year of scientific achievement by India, it is disappointing to see pseudoscience infiltrating a national science congress.
Happy New Year everyone… it looks like we still have a lot of work to do.
View the full schedule of the congress here.
Image [Public domain or Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons