Philosophy of
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

The aim of this forum is to initiate conversations and create a public discourse around topics in the philosophy of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. While institutions of science and engineering have grown, there is a lack of work on the various cultures around the idea of science. The aim of this forum includes the following::

  • Discussion meetings with faculty from different departments on scientific topics with the addition of historical and philosophical analysis.
  • Catalyse a deeper reflection on the processes of science by scientists, humanities scholars as well as the public through meetings.
  • Discussion meetings with students of science to better understand the structure and practice of everyday science in the hope that it will catalyse new and original work in the sciences.
  • We also hope to use this forum as a nodal point to network with the various humanities and social science departments in the IITs, IISERs and universities in order to produce teaching material, lecture notes, sharing of lectures and courses, and textbooks in the fields of history, philosophy and sociology of science.
"The aim of this forum is to initiate conversations and create a public discourse around topics in the philosophy of science, technology, engineering and mathematics."
Prof. Sundar Sarukkai
Visiting Faculty,
Centre for Society and Policy, IISc

News & Events

Professor Sundar Sarukkai is going to address the gathering in the IISER Bhopal’s online lecture series on March 18th, 2021 (06:30 pm IST). The event is open to all and please log on to the Zoom link at the event’s time.

  • Speaker: Prof Sundar Sarukkai
  • Topic: Cultures of Mathematics and the Local
  • Event: Online Lecture Series on Science and the Local
  • Respondent: Dr Rohit Dilip Holkar, Assistantt Professor, IISER Bhopal
  • Event Date: 18th March 2021
  • Event Time: 06:30 pm IST

[Event Broucher] – Event Link Here

Centre for Society and Policy at IISc Bangalore is seeking highly motivated project interns for a research internship in the P-STEM, a discussion forum on philosophy of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Interns are expected to contribute to the forum as per the assigned deliverables. They need to present regularly virtually or physically as per the mandate of the internship program. Duration of internship will be in the months of May-July, 2021. Interested students should mail their resume to by 15th April 2021.

Workshop on Introduction to Philosophy of Science By Prof. Sundar Sarukkai, Meera Baindur, and Varun Bhatta

Date: 2 March, 16 March, 30 March, and 6 April 2020 (Saturdays)
Time: 10 AM – 1 PM
Venue: CSP Seminar Hall, IISc-CSP, India

The first module will introduce the basic contours of philosophy- questions, approach, method, etc. and explore the relationship between philosophy and science
The second module will deal with understanding science historically and then introduce the philosophy of science-nature of scientific perception, the relation between science and logic, verification and falsification, theory-observation link, etc.
The third module will deal with the definition of biology as a discipline, the unique position it occupies among science disciplines, the scientific understanding of nature, and the philosophical problems associated with evolution. In this module, fundamental themes in the philosophy of physics and biology will be introduced.
The fourth module will delve into Mathematics. Philosophy of mathematics will describe different ways of understanding mathematics and its relation to nature. Philosophy of chemistry and technology will engage with questions such as the reality of bonds and the nature of molecules.

Andrew’s Love and Will’s Garden: Exploring the Lives and Minds of Humans and Machines. By Prof. Sangeetha Menon (Professor and Head, Consciousness Studies Programme)

Date: 7th February 2020 (Friday)
Time: 04:00 PM
Venue: CSP Seminar Hall, IISc-CSP, India

A Discussion on Two Sci-Fi Movies that Straddles the Identity, Love and Intelligence Discourses – One of the most exciting questions for science in this century and perhaps for the next too – is why we have a subjective and Self-side of consciousness? Where did this Self come from? – asks science. Where will the Self go to? – asks philosophy. How securely and together is it placed? – ask psychology and psychiatry. “Transcendence” and “Bicentennial Man”, the two Sc-Fi movies which have epitomised the discourses on intelligence, love, identity, and freedom question our simplistic notions of the theory of mind which we consider is important for an artificial system to come closer to be a human mind. In these movies, “Andrew” and “Will”, long for what is transhuman – which is unconditional love and freedom. And they both actualise what is preserved and extolled as essentially human, even if it is through mortality.

Magic of Science. By Ms. Bhama Sridharan (Faculty, Anubhava Science Foundation, Karnataka State Council for Science & Technology – KSCST)

Date: 11th February 2020 (Tuesday)
Time: 11 AM – 1 PM
Venue: CSP Seminar Hall, IISc-CSP, India

The session aims at introducing children to the magic of science through some simple, visually appealing experiments in physics and chemistry. Instilling a passion for learning and knowledge in children from marginalized communities will help them move forward and achieve their dreams.

Workshop on Communicating Research to Non-experts. By Dr. Mohit Kumar Jolly

Date: 18th January 2020 (Saturday)
Time: 10 AM – 2 PM
Venue: CSP Seminar Hall, IISc-CSP, India

The need to acquire the skills to communicate one’s research to non-experts is being increasingly recognized by all stakeholders involved in research and development – funding agencies, journals, academic universities, as well as industries. Learning these skills is absolutely crucial today due to three recent changes in the professional landscape of graduate students. First,
Interdisciplinary researchers from multiple disciplines collaborate based on tools and/or concepts is becoming the norm of the day. Second, Many journals require authors to submit a ‘Significance Statement’ that should be understood by an ‘educated layman’. Third, The demand-supply ratio in academia is highly skewed; encouraging graduate students to take up careers in science outreach, journalism, communication, or writing.

Should scientists be activists? By Prof. Subir Sarkar (Head, Particle Theory Group, The Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics, University of Oxford)

Date: 13 September 2019 (Friday)
Time: 4 PM – 5.30 PM
Venue: CSP Seminar Hall, IISc-CSP, India

This is a question that many scientists grapple with everyday. On the one hand they wish to preserve their scientific objectivity and neutrality – on the other hand they wish to engage with the issues of the day out of a sense of civic responsibility. This is particularly relevant in India which is perhaps unique in having commitment to scientific temper enshrined in its Constitution as a duty of its citizens. What should the role of a scientist in today’s society be?

Hampi and its environs: Insights into techno-cultural and geological landscapes By Prof. Sharada Srinivasan (Professor, National Institute of Advanced Studies – NIAS)

Date: 21 August 2019 (Wednesday)
Time: 4 PM – 5.30 PM
Venue: CSP Seminar Hall, IISc-CSP, India

The World Heritage Site of Hampi in Karnataka, renowned for the evocative remnants of the medieval metropolis of the Vijayanagara Empire which flourished from 14th to 16th century AD in southern India. The talk touches upon some exploratory techno-cultural investigations into aspects of the regional cultural and geological heritage with respect to its metalworking and stone sculptural traditions. Relevant evidence from field and archaeometallurgical investigations by the author for gold, copper and iron and wootz steel are touched upon (including lead isotope analysis), including early evidence from the Anegundi region for megalithic iron and steel. The bun-like porphyritic granites dotting the region, amongst the oldest known rock formations could also merit being regarded as ‘heritage stones’. These were used not only in the medieval architecture ranging from Dravidian style temples to monuments with Deccan Sultanate influences, but also much earlier in the enigmatic megalithic sites such as nearby Hirebankal and with intriguing tonalities noted here as well as at Hampi. The talk also briefly touches upon some insights from a past collaborative Digital Heritage NIAS project in exploring iconometric aspects such as of the colossal Narasimha sculpture.

Future of work: Technology and informal workforce? By Dr. Gayathri Vasudevan (Co-Founder & CEO, LabourNet Services, India Private Limited)

Date: 22 March 2019 (Friday)
Time: 6:15 PM
Venue: Main Lecture Hall, UG Building, IISc, India

Self Explorations: A workshop on Psychology By Dr. Ali Khwaja (Banjara Academy), Prof. Anjula Gurtoo (IISc), Bhuvana Nataraj (Christ University), and Naomi Menon (InclusivED)

Date: 2 February, 9 February, and 16 February 2020 (Saturdays)
Time: 10 AM – 1 PM
Venue: CSP Seminar Hall, IISc-CSP, India

Most of us go through life without engaging with our identities, that is, we do not dig deeply into our thoughts, feelings, and attitudes. This workshop involves taking a look at our own feelings and behaviour and exploring the same with respect to society and the family. In other words, develop a little better understanding of who we are and how to deal with the world. The sessions will be discussion-based and conducted using exercises and games. As part of the workshop, each participant will have to write an autobiography.

  1. The first module: Exploring the Self
  2. The second module: Self and the Society
  3. The third module: Dealing with the Family

Centre for Society and Policy introduced a new discussion forum on philosophy of science, technology, engineering and mathematics with the aim of initiating conversations and create a public discourse on the topic of interests. Please contact Professor Sundar Sarukkai at, if you are interested in proposing new ideas for discussion or for other collaborations.


Sarukkai, Sundar. Trust and the Responsibility of Scientists to the Public. (2021). Economic and Political Weekly. 56(10), pp. 10-12. Link

Sarukkai, Sundar. Philosophy for Children. Book.

Sarukkai, Sundar. (2005). Indian Philosophy and Philosophy of Science. Centre for Studies in Civilization. Link

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