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Geek Nation (English Edition) [Kindle Edition]

Angela Saini

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'Those who want to understand how India is shaping up as a scientific superpower will find it a worthwhile and engaging read'. New Scientist Many entertaining and informative stories. Sunday Times This is an engaging and eye-opening exploration of a subject that traditionally we rely on cliches to understand, providing a much more informed and effective understanding of the progress of Indian technology. Recommended. Popular Science GEEK NATION's emphasis on personalities and places provides an engaging introduction for those who want deeper understanding than facts and figures alone can provide. New Scientist With engaging first-hand accounts she explores gleaming technology hubs, visits space centres and labs researching GM do get a vivid impression of a nation emerging as a scientific contender. BBC Focus 'Saini has a genuine talent for describing science'. Sunday Times Culture 'Saini's vivid portrait of hi-tech India reveals a country in a hurry'. FT Weekend 'Eye-opening, warmhearted and cliche-free, her book gives Indians' minds the respect so often and so easily given to their spirit'. Wanderlust 'Saini has produced an eye-opening survey of scientists in today's India...engagingly written and remarkably, GEEK NATION shatters many myths while not discouraging guarded optimism'. Independent Saini is well qualified to explain why Indians are "famous for being swots, nerds, dweebs, boffins and dorks", and whether India can become a scientific superpower... Guardian


India: it's a nation of geeks, swots and nerds. Almost one in five of all medical and dental staff in the UK is of Indian origin, and one in six employed scientists with science or engineering doctorates in the US is Asian. By the turn of the millennium, there were even claims that a third of all engineers in Silicon Valley were of Indian origin, with Indians running 750 of its tech companies.

At the dawn of this scientific revolution, Geek Nation is a journey to meet the inventors, engineers and young scientists helping to give birth to the world’s next scientific superpower – a nation built not on conquest, oil or minerals, but on the scientific ingenuity of its people. Angela Saini explains how ancient science is giving way to new, and how the technology of the wealthy are passing on to the poor. Delving inside the psyche of India’s science-hungry citizens, she explores the reason why the government of the most religious country on earth has put its faith in science and technology.

Through witty first-hand reportage and penetrative analysis, Geek Nation explains what this means for the rest of the world, and how a spiritual nation squares its soul with hard rationality. Full of curious, colourful characters and gripping stories, it describes India through its people – a nation of geeks.
curious, colourful characters and gripping stories, it describes India through its people – a nation of geeks.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 498 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 289 Seiten
  • ISBN-Quelle für Seitenzahl: 1444710141
  • Verlag: Hodder (3. März 2011)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B004LX0D9U
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Nicht aktiviert
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #702.225 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.5 von 5 Sternen  2 Rezensionen
4.0 von 5 Sternen Is India a nation of geeks? 15. April 2014
Von Kevin Orrman-Rossiter - Veröffentlicht auf
Angela Saini, in her book Geek Nation: how Indian science is taking over the world, wants to convince us that Indian science is taking over the world. Now any well read student of the physical and mathematical sciences will be able to provide you with specific, notable Indian scientific contributions. Even the Indian constitution abjures: “It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to develop the scientific temper”. This is all very well, but does “Indian science” exist, and if so what makes it special?

First, pause and contemplate the following statistics. India is the world’s largest democracy: with a population over 1.23 billion (more than 1 in 6 of the world’s 7.14 billion total population are Indian). India has 415 living languages, with 22 having more that 1 million native speakers – 41% of the population speak Standard Hindi – India’s official language. Some states have their own language as the sole language; Maharashtra (capital Mumbai) has 72 million native Marathi speakers. There are 28 Indian states, the smallest Arunachal Pradesh has 1.3 million people, while the largest, the Hindi speaking Uttar Pradesh, has 199.6 million people, and includes the growing cities of of Lucknow and Kanpur. India is also birthplace to four of the world’s major religions, of which Hinduism has 80.5% of the Indian population as followers. India has a large Muslim following at 13.4% of its population, the third largest Muslim population in the world. Despite so many languages the 2010 adult literacy is 63%, with 8% internet users and a staggering 61 mobile phones per 100 of population. With an improved 88% having satisfactory water facilities only 31% of the population has satisfactory sanitation facilities.

These statistics underlie what a competent revelation Saini’s book is. The diversity of topics is to be applauded. Saini has a breezy, almost whimsical style in introducing topics and providing Indian settings for an perspective of each topic.

In particular I liked her mature handling of two hot-button topics: nuclear power and genetically modified foods. To many in the developed world energy and food security are lifestyle discussions – in India they are of life-and-death importance for many millions of the population, both now and the future.

Saini manages a well-reasoned discussion of the energy option for India – looking in detail at one important option. A visit to the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre provides a first hand glimpse of India’s nuclear aspirations, and reasoning behind it. The ensuing discussion on the indigenous development of thorium based nuclear technologies was both fascinating and compelling. From an economic point of view this development would seem to be a necessity if India is to manage its growth and not burn coal and become a major polluter such as the USA or China. They see this as a crucial intermediate step to a solar energy future. My caution is that India is yet to sign either nuclear ratification or nuclear weapons non-proliferation treaties, a point the author fails to mention.

Similarly a trip around the markets provides a great introduction into genetically modifies crops. India is by both legislation and custom a country of small rural-family run farms. These rural communities are poor and very much at the mercy of the elements. Saini presents a reasoned and sensitive discussion on the development of genetically modified crops (such as a long-life banana) that are relevant to ordinary Indians. There is a greater acceptance of these crops amongst the rural farmers than you first might imagine – provided they are cheap and preferably developed in India.

In addition Saini provides a fascinating look at the development of tuberculosis drugs, the use of electronic documents to speed up the notoriously slow bureaucratic and legal systems of India, as well as electronics and information systems companies. We are taken to the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre to get a first-hand update on the Indian space program and aspirations. Saini comments, “There’s something unimaginably ambitious about the speed and scale of India’s space programme, as if it’s no longer content fulfilling its early goals of sending up satellites so ordinary people could have colour television and cheaper mobile phone connections. Now it seems India has something else to prove.” With a successful first moon-shot India has established itself as a space power – only lacking a manned mission.

In amongst all of this excellent investigation and examination there was one discordant section. “The mindreading machine” discusses a the use of an Indian lie-detector test based on brain wave measurements. The test has been used as legal evidence in cases, including one of murder, in Indian courts. Saini voices disquiet at this ‘science’ yet at no stage does she state the obvious – that this is not science. There are no theories supporting its claims, no peer review nor double-blind tests to give any credence to the claims. I expect that a science writer would point this out, explicitly; Saini doesn’t.

Including this item in the book highlights a very fascinating aspect of what Saini sees as quintessential Indian science. Indian science nurtures the nutty, allowing questions to be asked and curiosity to be followed before they are shouted down by a conservative mainstream view of what is appropriate science. Interesting scientific and technological achievements aside this for me, is the book’s the defining point – India is having an impact far beyond the scientific statistics and measures. Saini’s book is a welcome and worthwhile look at the the idiosyncrasies and successes of the scientific and technological side of India. I’m not convinced it will take over the world, it will certainly influence and impact the direction of science and technology – that will be interesting to participate in.

This review first appeared on dragonlaughing.tumblr
2 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A must for europeans 28. Oktober 2011
Von Bsk77 - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
India is entering an age in history which reminds one of thousands years ago. The technology is being helpful in bringing a change from horse transport to jet transport. This book is a must for those who want to initiate business in india.
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