The truth knocks on the door and you
say, ‘Go away, I am looking for the truth, and it goes away. Puzzling.
- Robert M. Pirsig*
There is an original and there is a copy.
The copy can never achieve the status of an original. This is true not only of the arts, but of research as well, for there
is original research and there is replicative research. But even replicative research has its own potential. It helps determine
whether the original research findings are universally applicable, and/or whether they are faulty in methodology and design.
Corrections are then possible. And this is how scientific research has progressed anyway.
A lot of Indian research is replicative in
nature, but it can as well be useful if it does not lose sight of this perspective. And how do we involve Indian Science
into original research? Well, that’s a different ball game altogether, not that it's not already been played here. However,
it needs a different mental set, and social ethos, which are discussed in the monograph that follows.
What is scientific temper? How does it differ
from other attitudes? How should it handle religion, faith, superstition and other such entities? The corner stone of scientific
temper is the worth of evidence, howsoever damning to the most established of theories and paradigms. And the ability to withhold
comment, or to take sides, till suitable evidence is available. Which means a true scientist should not act a know - all,
nor need he have a viewpoint to air on everything under the sun.
Is Science for Man, or Man for Science? This
is a disturbing but fundamental question which all scientists, moral philosophers and other thinkers, must indeed attempt
to answer. The two sides of this argument are presented in this essay to generate further dialogue.
* Cohen and Cohen (1986).
Mens Sana Monographs [MSM]: A Mens Sana Research Foundation Publication