Self-sufficiency in a globalised world
in The elephant and the dragon in contemporary life sciences
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India may not yet be leading global science, but it is clear that scientific advancement in India has been pulling and pushing global science in various ways that force attention. Following an overview of Indian’s science structure, this chapter focuses on two critical events. Central to India’s Bt crops saga is the question ‘who is “worthy” of being heard’. One striking character of the Bt crops disputes was that there was no readily-available categorical term to distinguish the pro- and anti-GM camps, for they were both formed by a coalition of government institutions, scientists, civil groups and industries and both evoked a post-colonial rhetoric and the necessity for ‘good science’. Conventional ways of designing and delivering regulations can easily be trapped in a self-referential ‘bureaucratic amplification of credibility’ which has limited ability to speak, let alone respond to diverse risk preferences. Meanwhile central to the global controversies stirred up by Indian experimental stem cell therapies was the question ‘who could do science’. Geeta Shroff captured Western attention perhaps partly because she presented an enigma about who could ‘afford’ to be defiant to conventional scientific communities – communities she didn’t align herself with but whom she impacted nonetheless. For governance to be effective, it has to stay relevant to the subject it aims to govern. This chapter argues that the legitimacy and authority of the global governance of science is becoming ever more dependent on its perceived fairness and inclusivity of diverse groups of practitioners.

The elephant and the dragon in contemporary life sciences

A call for decolonising global governance


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