• How does one create a framework of controversy which neither econ- h
omizes science by instrumentalizing it or reduces it to a battle between 3
scientific fundamentalism (positivism and reductionism) and religious fundamentalism?
£ • What concepts do we need which go beyond rights, cost-benefit, objectivity and efficiency? What one hopes to present is the framework jP and the repertoire of tactics and concepts generated.
One realizes, of course, that a wide variety of movements is grouped under the same rubric here, but it is important to capture the unity of this great parliament of science whereby civil society - particularly grass-roots groups and dissenting academics - built a more democratic framework for science. What emerges is not only a great exercise in democratic theory, but also a contribution to the philosophy and history of science.
The initial critical moves emphasized the latter half of the innovation chain. The first major critiques came both from the Bernalians within the state and from left-leaning movements such as the Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad (KSSP)1 and the Delhi Science Forum. Their dream of democracy was still diffusionist. It was a dream of taking science to the villages. What was invented was the idea of the scientific temper, a pedagogic vision that a scientific world-view could be induced in a people. Unfortunately the radical scientist often visualized the scientific temper as an intellectual vaccine that could eliminate superstition, magic and religious fundamentalism. The left-leaning movements carried this same scientific view through science quizzes celebrating Newton, Bernal and Darwin. Here civil society and the progressive state shared a common vision of a positivist science. But in the later debates there came a split between the science policy of the state and the critiques of science by civil society. It was a science war, which emphasized that the citizenship provided by the new social contract was inadequate because it was a citizenship based on an industrial premise, which saw the citizen as a consumer and not an inventor of knowledge. It also realized that both science in India and the Indian constitution were disembedded knowledges.
The critique of science began as a human rights problem because development projects either marginalized or cannibalized the culture of tribes, slums or the peasantry. The standard notion of human rights did not work because, while it was adequate at the level of the individual, it was unavailable at the level of the group. Second, what one needed was a science that realized that nature was not just an object of an experiment or a resource but part of a way of life. As Tom Kocherry, leader of the Kerala Fishers Forum, claimed: 'Seventy per cent of India depends on nature for its livelihood.' Nature was thus not only a mode of production but a mode of thought. The movements realized that there were few life-affirming notions of nature within science. The concept of wilderness used in American ecology was inadequate because for the American the wilderness was an unpopulated monument. One needed something beyond the American dialectic of wilderness and frontier or the British obsession with gardens. The world-view of the Bishnois2 or the Chipko3 movement came from their religious cosmology. It was not anti-science but a critique only of a statist science, which saw the pulp and paper industry as a more eligible citizen than the tribes foraging for food and medicines. In the new model of development as an enclosure movement not only were tribals and marginal peasants displaced, they were rendered illegal. What was destroyed was not only the forest but a common body of knowledge about trees, fodder, forest produce, seeds, medicines, building. This was not merely a resource pool but a way of life that sustained a way of knowledge (see also Wynne 2005).
The movements were confronted with two facts. First, the idea of rights was adequate for torture but helpless against science-induced displacement, obsolescence or even genocide. Second, they realized that in the battle called development the idea of nature itself had changed. It was not just farm, fish and fowl, it was also hybridized with technology. The citizen lives simultaneously in a natural, technological, biotechnological and information environment (Whiteside 2002). One had to confront these different hybridities simultaneously. One needs not only a new ethic for nature in science but a new ethic of technology. They also sensed the iatrogenic nature of science policy, created particularly by the reductionist nature of scientific expertise. But the answer was not Luddism. The modern Luddite cannot smash the abstract machine, only rework the classifications behind abstract thought. S/he must become futurologist, epistemologist and constitutionalist, and must also realize that the new politics of science is created by dissenting imaginations within and alternative imaginations without. A critique of science as an ongoing exercise cannot be located in fundamentalisms, only in competing and reciprocal criticalities. For every Shiva or Medha Patkar there is a Chipko and a Narmada movement. Further, there is no one construction of Chipko, Narmada or Balliapal, any more than there can be one master narrative of science. The power of the movements lay in i the fact that they realized that politics is not just a protest against a dam ^ or a forest bill. It must extend a challenge to official narratives of science V and to the epistemologies that underlie it. Or, to put it bluntly, how do a non-violent movements search for a non-violent science? h
The movements realized that the politics of time was crucial at three
J£ levels of science: first, the politics of the history of science; second, the politics of memory; and finally the politics of multiple time.
The history of science has always constructed itself as a rational, | cumulative, continuous exercise. Science as an exoteric internalist narra-jP tive constructs itself in linear and progressive time. Science is conducted ■g in victorious time, which has no place for defeated knowledges. While ^ science deals with a diversity of times - mechanical, historical, evolutionary and quantum (nanosecond) - its own narratives are constructed in the impoverished time of unilinear narratives. For the movements, science fails as a narrative and as an act of storytelling, and yet they realize that it is the very unilinearity of time which provides its cognitive power. As Kuhn (1970) remarked, the textbook as a reflection of a cognitive regime rewrites histories where defeated or alternative hypotheses have little place.
The politics of memory is a close corollary to the first because the progressive rhetoric of science is an amnesiacal one. It museumizes other forms of knowledge in the name of progress. It also renders obsolescent ways of life, which are abandoned because of the changing nature of technology. The innovations of science take place in standardized time. Science understands the grammar of progress but not the logic of obsolescence as a lived world. The paradigm as a monoparadigmatic space comes with an indifference about certain forms of time. Within the innovation chain, Socrates becomes a Schumpeterean idiot.
Democracy needs a multiplicity of times. A tribesperson involved in shifting cultivation operates in a world of over twenty different kinds of time, which emanates from the way s/he deals with soil, seed, seasons, rituals, fast, feast, rest, work, domestic and communal space. Farmers, women, patients and tribespeople live in a variety of times, which they need access to and which science denies them. It is within this context that ecology is as vital to science as quantum physics. What ecology smuggles into science is a notion of memory as a thesaurus of times. What the movements emphasized is that a democracy based on standard factory time is literally an oxymoron. At this point one must emphasize the difference and overlap between the different politics of memory. Ian Hacking talks of three forms of Foucaultian politics (Hacking 1995). The first dealt with the politics of the body, the second with the politics of populations. Hacking adds that the third form of hegemony is the politics of memory as an act of scientization. But the politics of the second idea of memory deals with a liberation from history as the only form of memory with a plurality of times. The trouble with the official idea of sustainability is that it lacks such a repertoire of times.
Once the framework of multiple time is established, the abstractness of science is challenged. Science, as the movements and the dissenting academics suggest, is not merely an object of production created through the optical gaze of the Enlightenment but a subject of consumption and validation. The tacit division of labour between an expert who produces knowledge and a citizen who consumes it has to be rendered less asymmetrical by understanding the citizen as a person of knowledge. The worker, the peasant and the craftsman are all citizens of knowledge about science. This understanding cannot be devalued as 'ethnoscience' while expert understanding is 'philosophy of science'. Such a hierarchy or devaluation creates the possibility of the museumization or appropriation of these other knowledges. Strangely, even at a time when science is appropriating and patenting peasant knowledges, there is no epistemic acknowledgement of their status. Science begins a form of strip mining, where knowledge about local drugs, therapeutics, soils and seeds is abstracted without considering the philosophies they are embedded in.
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