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Home > News > The Indian institutes of fantasy

February 3rd, 2007

The Indian institutes of fantasy

We must demand that our next generation be exposed to the big, bold and beautiful ideas from all disciplines. This demand is not just pseudo-idealistic rhetoric; it is firmly rooted in reality. Consider: while mature fields have a clearly articulated set of unsolved problems (though the solution paths are yet to be discovered!), it's the disciplinary interstices that often offer scope for asking probing questions and for making exciting discoveries. Take, for example, nanotechnology — arguably the most happening field in the sciences. It straddles physics, chemistry, biology, and electronics. I can cite neurophysics and biochemistry as other examples of such mixed fields in natural sciences. In the social sciences too, scorching hot fields such as behavioural economics and psycholinquistics straddle multiple disciplines. Do we have examples of hot fields that span natural and social sciences? We sure do: econophysics, sociobiology and social networks.


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