(This article was first published in The Wire)
2020 was a disaster year for almost everyone – but it was a unique opportunity for Indian science. An oft-neglected enterprise, it received unprecedented attention as scientists tried to innovate in the diagnostics, treatment and vaccine spaces. Taken together, this was an opportunity to demonstrate India’s capabilities and expertise – not just for a domestic audience but the international one as well.
The obstacles 2020 brought were a ladder for Indian science to rise up to a leadership position and become a driver of the Indian economy.
But opacity, ambiguity and distrust have squandered this opportunity. Only two weeks into 2021 and India has claimed a major casualty – scientific temper – and the suspects are not the usual zealots or the so-called “lay people” but the very custodians of the ‘temple’ of science. (Read more)