Nobel laureate Venkatraman Ramakrishnan has aptly said good science is not possible without freedom of thought (Dec. 30). It is very rare that scientists from the subcontinent boldly state the importance of observation, which should prevail over belief. As implied in his observations, this is the reason science had come out of the shackles of the oppressive clergy, since the era of Reformation and Renaissance in Europe. This was the key reason science and technology took giant leaps in Europe, and not in India and the Arabian Peninsula, though zero and algebra were discovered in these lands during the so-called Dark Ages. Unless the importance of developing a real scientific temper prevails over the mental blocks created by different belief systems, the real impetus to develop a strong research-oriented scientific fraternity will not fructify.

Kasim Sait,

Chennai

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