‘Pseudo-scientific discourse unfortunate’

Principal Scientific Adviser slams remarks made at of the 106th Indian Science Congress Responding to pseudo-scientific discourse at the ongoing 106th Indian Science Congress (ISC) in Punjab, India’s Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA), K. VijayRaghavan, in blog post, said that a formal complaint should be lodged against the speaker, and India’s science academies must voice their objection. “It is unfortunate that the sitting Vice Chancellor of a great State university — and a biologist to boot — says something that is scientifically completely untenable. His Chancellor should receive a formal complaint from those who were present in the audience, and he will also surely hear from individual scientists and our vocal science academies,” he noted in his blog. VijayRaghavan was referring to a speech last Friday by Andhra University Vice Chancellor, G. Nageshwar Rao, who said that the Kauravas of the Mahabharata were born due to stem cell and test tube technologies, and that India possessed knowledge about guided missiles thousands of years ago. “When lay people, including politicians, make random and erroneous statements linking religion, culture history etc., to science, the problem must be addressed by collegial communication. When scientists make such links, they should be addressed more squarely. If there’s a chance that such views may enter policy, the amount of engagement needs to go up,” he noted in the blog. VijayRaghavan, a biologist and former Secretary of the Department of Biotechnology, listed out examples of how pseudo-science, when it made its way into policy, had caused harm. For instance, when former South African President Thabo Mbeki and his Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msiang advocated that HIV did not cause AIDS, this led to an unnecessary loss of life. Professor VijayRaghavan, however, emphasised that the proceedings at the ISC weren’t “emblematic” of Indian science.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/complaint-against-pseudo-science-speaker/article25936075.ece

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