Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Science in India

I came across an abstract by Meera Nanda in a conference-to-be-held. It was on "Scientific Temper, Hindu Scientism and the future of Secularism in India". The abstract can be found here. I completely agree with the views presented in the abstract. Science teaches one to think objectively; to believe only after testing and experimentation rather than blindly accepting. Science, or for that matter, education, should teach one to respect each other and accept them for what they are, evaluate tasks objectively for progress. It is this quality that needs to be inculcated in the minds of the people. Leaders like Nehruji probably emphasized on science and education having these ideas in mind. But the so-called Hindu society pushes aside these notions as 'western influence' and is still drenched in old practices of god-men and gurujis. Worst to the fact, even educated people, holding highly respectable positions, fail to understand their duty and are driven by the 'kick' of power and do not work for the progress and development of the people. Well, this is the Indian society...a society that does not respect an individual nor do the people themself have responsibility. Dr. Kalam rightly chose the younger generation to reform!
Are you fooling yourself?

“I am unworthy of doing a PhD”, “My supervisor is soon going to find out that I am not capable of doing research”, “I am going to be thrown out of the grad school soon”.
- Have you ever lived with any of these fears in mind? If yes, continue reading to know that it is just a common syndrome among highly successful people and is called the ‘Impostor syndrome’.
The condition was first identified in 1978 by the psychologists Pauline Rose Clance and Suzanne Imes among ‘gifted women’. Slowly, it was realized that this condition is common among people in different walks of life, irrespective of gender.
The impostor syndrome is defined as the inability to internalize success. One feels that he/she is not really successful, competent and smart and is only imposing as such. They are in constant fear that their inabilities would be found out and shall be thrown out soon! They may also attribute success to other external sources (such as a computer error!) or luck and not to their own abilities. This is not an all or nothing syndrome. Some of us may be able to associate our self with a few statements. Some of us may identify with impostor feelings in some situations and not others or may not even identify these feelings but have friends who do. To read more about it and for ways to overcome the impostor feeling, the following pointers may help:
1. http://www.counseling.caltech.edu/articles/The%20Imposter%20Syndrome.htm
2. http://www.news.cornell.edu/chronicle/03/10.30.03/imposter_syndrome.html
3. http://chronicle.com/free/v54/i11/11a00101.htm