Synopses & Reviews
A vivid, geeky travelogue of 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 One in six employed scientists with science or engineering doctorates in the U.S. is Asian, and by the turn of the millennium, there were claims that a third of all engineers in Silicon Valley were of Indian origin, with Indians running 750 of its tech companies. In this entertaining exploration of India's rise as a center of scientific excellence, Angela Saini delves inside the psyche of the nation's science-hungry citizens, explaining how ancient science is giving way to new, and how the technology of the wealthy are passing on to the poor. She also explores 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, she explains what this means for the rest of the world, and how a spiritual nation squares its soul with hard rationality. Full of curious, colorful characters and gripping stories, it describes India through its people—a nation of "geeks."
"Saini, a British science journalist, investigates India's burgeoning scientific industries in her debut part travelogue, part social commentary. Though the South Asian nation can proudly claim to be the birthplace of the number zero and numerous other mathematic basics, the country has since fallen behind the technological and scientific innovations of the western world. But Saini suggests that this is changing. The first stop on her journey is the Vikram Sarabhai Space Center, where she muses that 'India is being pulled out of poverty and transformed into a technological giant.' Indeed, when India decided in 1991 'to open up to the world...iles of bureaucratic red tape were ripped away,' paving the way for what one man called 'Gen Why,' a 'generation that questions,' invents, and seeks to solve many of the country's endemic problems, including tuberculosis, poorly connected communication systems, and resource shortages. Perhaps most indicative of India's dynamic progress is the annual Indian Scientific Congress, which Saini describes as 'the wackiest' convention of its kind, one that features 'agriculturalists, software engineers and rocket scientists all on the same bill.' More than just a treatise on an up-and-coming scientific powerhouse, Saini's engaging narrative takes readers through India's colorful streets and gives a face to the problems and more importantly the solutions its 'geeks' are eagerly exploring. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Angela Saini is a science journalist who has written for the BBC, the Economist, New Scientist, Science, and Wired, and has been an invited speaker at Columbia University, Google, and Newswomen's Club of New York. She was named European Young Science Writer of the Year in 2009.