Spotlight on Development Practice: Venni Krishna

Professor in Science Policy at Jawaharlal Nehru University and Editor-in-Chief of Science, Technology and Society

As the Visiting Chair of the India Council for Cultural Relations at ISID in Fall 2016, Dr. Krishna’s research focused on the social history of modern science, particularly the way it acquired social legitimacy clearly depicts the science and society relationships emerging from the time of Galileo. From the time Francis Bacon characterized ‘knowledge as power’, the social institution of science evolved as one of the most highly influential, privileged and sought-after institutions in the world. In the post-war era, this ‘Endless Frontier’ of science coupled with the linear model of science and innovation powered the growth and prosperity of the industrialized world in Western Europe, North America and Japan.

In the last few decades, this frontier of science and new technological revolutions, particularly in ICT and biotechnology, coupled with globalization led to the rise of Asia and other parts of the world. Given hindsight, the power of globalization and associated regimes has generated lot of wealth and prosperity for firms and nations but at the same time led us to increasing inequalities, rising poverty and unemployment problems. Science is currently undergoing a radical transformation within the commodification of knowledge culture and market-oriented globalization. There seems to exist a considerable measure of public mistrust of science and uncertainty over technology today. What is at stake? Is there a significant change? How is globalization transforming the very social institution of science?

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