On Simple Theories of a Complex World
Science is all about offering simple explanations to complicated things. But where does this agenda come from? W.V.O. Quine, one of the most influential philosophers of science in the 20th century, muses on the matter in a short 4-page article.
The Ig Nobel prize is the metaphorical anti-thesis of the Nobel Prize. It is awarded for “achievements that first make you laugh, then think”. It is an intellectual-parody, well accepted among the intelligentsia. It honours unusual, trivial, and sometimes ridiculous, scientific advancements.
The Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi has been awarded the IgNobel for ‘Medical Education’, jointly with a few other world leaders.
Citation: “Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom, Narendra Modi of India, Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico, Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, Donald Trump of the USA, Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, Vladimir Putin of Russia, and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow of Turkmenistan, for using the COVID-19 viral pandemic to teach the world that politicians can have a more immediate effect on life and death than scientists and doctors an.”
“The citation tells the story, which is both large and simple,” master of ceremonies (and editor of the magazine Annals of Improbable Research) Marc Abraham told Ars about this prize. “Especially in this case we hope people will discuss the difference a single decision has made and also might still make as things continue to unfold,” Abraham added.
The leaders running these countries have displayed trends towards ignoring the scientific community and their role in designing government policies for addressing a global pandemic. These countries presently have a combined total of over 18 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and account for more than half a million deaths till date. As you read this, the numbers increase.
Vigyan Prasar is publishing a science magazine in Bangla. The fourth issue has just been published. If you can read Bangla, you might want to explore the current and past issues.
The June 2020 issue of Manthan explores science, culture and education through the times of a pandemic, standing to offer hope and solidarity in this uncertain period.
June edition of Exhibit A, a monthly newsletter by Anvesha, the Science Club of IISER TVM. This issue is themed around the voice of LGBTQIA+ community in academia and science in general.
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