Revolutionary Papers

Revolutionary Papers is a transnational research collaboration exploring 20th century periodicals of Leftanti-imperial and anti-colonial critical production. Read More

Vijnan Karmee: Journal of the Association of Scientific Workers of India

Science and Solidarity: The Vigyan Karmee and the Quest for an ‘Afro- Asian Science’

The Association of Scientific Workers of India (ASWI) was formally founded in 1947, the same year when India gained Independence from colonial rule. The ASWI, as a trade union organization of scientists was part of global network of individual scientists and trade union organisation of scientists organized under the aegis of the World Federation of Scientific Workers (WFSW). The Vijnan Karmee as the mouthpiece of the ASWI published a variety of issues ranging from domestic science policy, disarmament, and history of science and working conditions of scientists. The monthly magazine slowly evolved as a platform for the articulation of a progressive vision of science, especially the role that science should play in a newly Independent country. In the 1950’s, the emergence of the Third World as a political imagination triggered an articulation for an ‘Asian Science’ in the pages of Vijnan Karmee.  As the solidarities among nations of the Third World crystallized into the Non Aligned Movement the Vijnan Karmee became the arena where Afro- Asian solidarity and collaboration for science found expression. In my paper I will argue that the Vijnan Karmee holds the unique reputation of being a periodical which was trying to articulate solidarity and collaboration for a progressive common Afro-Asian agenda for science. I will further argue that articles that appeared around this theme in the magazine didn’t just include an inventory of areas of research but also articulated the cognitive and historical need for such solidarities and collaboration.

Om Prasad

Om Prasad has completed his PhD in History of Science from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. His research interests include the history of movements of scientists, interaction of science and politics and the history of the modern university. He has been a recipient of a archival research grant from the Charles Wallace Trust and a […]