Science relies and thrives on facts. INSA advocates the use of verifiable evidences in a logical manner to arrive at any inference.
Certain statements, recently made by the Vice Chancellor of Andhra University and several others during the Science Congress at Jullandhar two weeks ago, regarding the knowledge of in-vitro fertilization, stem cells and the comments on the theory of relativity and gravity, have startled the scientific community.
The Indian National Science Academy, (INSA) a body of about 1000 eminent scientists and technologists, categorically rejects and dismisses these and any such claims as, such statements are not based on scientific evidence and logical interpretations of verifiable data. It also dismisses many other such claims that are devoid of robust evidence and logic, and have been made without scientific scrutiny. Science relies and thrives on facts. INSA advocates the use of verifiable evidences in a logical manner to arrive at any inference. Statements, such as those made recently are far from any scientific rigor and therefore need to be discarded and ignored, sensu-stricto. Stretching poetic imaginations to suggest scientific advancements several millennia in the past is certainly not acceptable.
As a scientific body, INSA is proud of India’s rich tradition of achievements in Science and Technology in the areas of Architecture, Astronomy, Ayurveda, Chemistry, Mathematics, Metallurgy and the like. INSA, therefore, encourages research in the History of Science and supports serious research projects and even publishes a widely circulated research journal on this subject. Numerous, well researched books have also been published on these achievements and are available to all as open access.
INSA did not, does not and will not support any of such un-substantiated ideas even if these are propounded from prestigious platforms like the Indian Science Congress and by persons of administrative eminence, at any level. There is a need to sift facts from fiction, despite the allurement of temporary media fame.
INSA urges caution at all levels and suggests that due scientific process of enquiry is undertaken before such statements are made in the public domain. Such due diligence will be a service to the public and students will enhance the scientific temper in the society and thereby buttress the development process.
Thus, to reaffirm, INSA considers it unethical to furnish ancient literature as facts/evidences as these cannot be subjected to any scientific analysis. Such practices are patently, undesirable. Imagination has very important role in science as well as literature but taking liberties with these, is Grossly Unscientific.
This statement was published on the official Facebook page of Indian National Science Academy, on 23-January-2019, and has been reposted here with permission. The original statement can be found here.
Update (04-Feb-2019): The link to the pdf on INSA website has been added.