Title: The story of India's earliest indigenous scanning tunneling microscope (STMs)
Speaker: Professor Pankaj Sekhsaria Centre for Technology Alternatives for Rural Areas (CTARA), IIT Bombay
Date and Time: 10 January, 2020; 9.45 Am
Venue: NISTADS Vivekananda Conference Hall
The presentation is based on Sekhsaria's doctoral research at Maastricht University, the Netherlands where he studied 'Cultures of Innovation in nanotechnology research for development in India'. The research spanning nearly five years was carried out in five nanoscience and nanotech labs across three cities of India and highlights how societal and cultural contexts deeply influence science, technology and innovation. It will draw on two case studies that make up his doctoral thesis and in particular on his new book Instrumental Lives - an intimate biography of an Indian laboratory (Routledge, xxii+126, (HB), ISBN: 9780367856298), which is an account of instrument making at the cutting edge of contemporary science and technology in a modern Indian scientific laboratory.
The presentation will locate scientific research and innovation within the social, political and cultural context of a laboratory’s physical location and ask important questions of the dominant narratives of innovation that remain fixated on quantitative metrics of publishing, patenting and generating commerce. It will story simultaneously be the story of the labs as it will be a story of his own journey of engaging and understanding the lab and its constituents and eventually telling that story. It will also delve into related issues of the history of S&T in India and of the contemporary S&T policy landscape of the country.