Bose Institute, 100, to house museum on history of Indian science

One of the pages of J.C. Bose’s notes. Photo: Special Arrangement  

Bose Institute, one of India’s oldest research institutes, will house a museum highlighting the history of Indian science. The decision was taken during the recently-concluded centenary celebrations of the institution, set up by Jagadish Chandra Bose in 1917.

“The History of Science Museum will be located in the campus of Bose Institute on Acharya Prafulla Chandra Road in Kolkata. We are in touch with the National Council of Science Museums for its construction. There will be 50- 60 panels in the first phase which will be completed by 2019,” Siddhartha Roy, director of Bose Institute, told The Hindu.

According to Prof. Roy, the museum will cover four disciplines — physics, astronomy, mathematics and medical sciences — and trace the journey of Indian science from the ancient times.

“Depending on the themes we can have the gallery tracing the development from the Harappan times,” he said.

Professor P.P. Divakaran, who was present at the centenary celebrations of Bose Institute last month and gave a lecture on The Mathematics of India : From Counting to Calculus, welcomed the idea of the museum and said he was “pleasantly surprised “to find a section dedicated to mathematics.

“For most of the time till 1600 AD, India had one of the most advanced mathematical cultures among the world,” Prof. Divakaran said.

Prof. Roy pointed out that modern Indian science may have started with J.C. Bose but there were many who did pioneering work but people were not aware of their contribution.

“In terms of advancements in medical science, the museum will highlight the likes of U.N. Brahmachari, who discovered the treatment for kala azar, and Sambhu Nath De, who discovered the cholera toxin,” Prof. Roy said.

Renovated museum at Bose Institute

Interestingly, as part of its centenary celebrations, the Bose Institute recently upgraded the existing museum on J.C. Bose by displaying 12 digitised volumes of the scientist’s handwritten notes and dairies.

These diaries include the notes he took while attending classes by Francis Darwin (son of Charles Darwin) at Christ’s College in Cambridge. The museum, which also has on display the microwave apparatus developed by J.C. Bose in 1894, has also brought to light the scientist’s communications with personalities such as Mahatma Gandhi and Sister Nivedita.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 3:22:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/bose-institute-100-to-house-museum-on-history-of-indian-science/article21250124.ece

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