Abstract: As a historian of twentieth century science with interests in the physical sciences, statistics and in global history my broad research interest is in the relationship between science and the state at the level of laboratory and field practices. In my completed and ongoing projects, I seek to understand how aspects of the state are realized or denied in scientific practice and how priorities of the state may or may not transform scientific practice. Moving away from historiographies that select science policy and science as ideology as the preferred ways to understand the relationship between science and the state, my work explores how science is actually done and to what consequences.
In this presentation, I will share findings from my research in on India during the long twentieth century to seek historically informed answers to one question: What was the space and place of the physical sciences and statistics in the transformation of the Indian sub-continent, and how was this constituted in practice?
About the speaker: Jahnavi Phalkey is the Founding Director, Science Gallery Bengaluru. A historian of science and technology and a filmmaker, she is the author of Atomic State: Big Science in Twentieth Century India and director-producer of the documentary film Cyclotron. Phalkey was awarded her PhD from the Georgia Institute of Technology and belongs to the first cohort of Junior Research Fellows at Imperial College London. She has taught at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, University of Heidelberg, Georgia Tech-Lorraine and most recently held a tenured position at King’s College London. Phalkey is on the editorial boards of the journals History and Technology; and the British Journal of History of Science.