Working Hours Monday - Friday 08:00-16:00
Toll Free 1800.899.900



Science has changed itself and the world unrecognisably. In the early 20th century the icons of science were usually in Europe, few in America. In colonial India, a few bright people used institutions, built to create administrators for the Empire, to do pathbreaking work. These names are familiar to many. We, in India, recognise them as heroes and sometimes ask why we do not have such people in science any more. But, we do! And the juxtaposition of old and new in this collection shows us just that.

After the Second World War, science grew from the quests of individuals to become institutionalised. With the exponential rise in the size of the global scientific enterprise, the relative size of the Indian effort appeared small, even as it grew hugely in absolute terms. Given the large number of excellent scientists in the world today, easily several hundred times more that in the early 20th century, many successes, local and global, are not sufficiently well recognised.

Here, we have tried to capture features of scientists, who have worked or are working in India, so that their story can reach more people across the world. The presence of some names need explanation. Ronald Ross did his work in India. Just as America claims the successes of Indians working there as their own, India may want to claim Ross, at least in part. Subramanyam Chandrashekhar formulated key aspects of his Nobel-prize winning work while on a boat to England. India should claim him a little more, perhaps, than we do. Others, such as Shambu Nath De are not widely known, even though his contributions are immense.

There are also many, many omissions. This collection, is a work in progress. Each year we hope to add a few more people and the exhibition to which it is linked will also expand. We also hope to have this book and the exhibition in our regional languages, with the QR reader linking to a website in multiple languages.

In the midst of all our chaos, there is brilliance, grit and ambition amongst some. These people have shown the way to others. They are inspirational and, through teachers, we hope the science behind their lives reaches the young widely. Not so that these lives are to be imitated, but so that their quest for knowledge and their zeal for discovery, against many odds, can be emulated. Such a project needs support of people and monies. Just as there are hidden gems in our science, we expect that there will be generous support for this enterprise from our society.



Department of Biotechnology

Scientist Quotes

Scientist Quotes

The true laboratory is the mind, where behind illusions we uncover the laws of truth.

Jagsish Chandra Bose

Science is a perception of the world around us. Science is a place where what you find in nature pleases you.

S. Chandrasekhar

We must teach science in the mother tongue. Otherwise, science will become a highbrow activity. It will not be an activity in which all people can participate.

C. V. Raman

Math has the beauty of poetry, its abstractions are combined with perfect rigor

Raman Parimala

It is the question that counts.

Obaid Siddiqi

Doing physics is a lot of fun if you like it…

Ashoke Sen

My being a woman had absolutely no bearing on what I chose to do with my life.

Anna Mani

Science is the differential calculus of the mind, art the integral calculus; they may be beautiful when apart, but are greatest only when combined.

Ronald Ross

The use of languages being considered crucial in the evolutionary history of human beings, naming and classifying became a crucial activity.

K. S. Manilal

The flight of imagination has no limit - except the one that you put on your own mind.

R. A. Mashelkar

We need new ways of doing things and new ways of thinking. We cannot be doing the same things. The atmosphere itself should encourage innovation.

C. N. R. Rao