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.
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.