Indian Independence, Science and the World: A view from the Archives
by Ms. Indira Chowdhury
This presentation uses archival material to connect the history of Indian science to World War II, Indian Independence, the Partition and the international aspects of institution building that Homi Bhabha initiated at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. Archival material in the form of documents, photographs and oral history interviews enable us to understand scientific institution building in Independent India as well as the impact of larger political events on scientific practice. Through the excavation and analysis of stories available at TIFR and in other Archives, this talk offers an alternative way of understanding the history of science alongside the histories of nation building and international politics and also addresses the question - why are archives important?
About the Speaker: Indira Chowdhury was the first archivist of the TIFR Archives. A Ph.D. in history from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, she is now the director of the Centre for Public History at the Srishti-Manipal Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bengaluru. She is an avid collector of stories and has conducted oral history interviews with a range of people - from scientists and museum curators to traditional midwives and folk performers.