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Archives at NCBS Obaid Siddiqi Chair in the History and Culture of Science

TNQ Technologies supports the Archives at NCBS to establish a landmark chair in the History and Culture of Science


In a landmark development, the Archives at NCBS has formalised the creation of a chair in the History and Culture of Science. This was made possible through generous support from TNQ Technologies, a global leader in scientific, technical, and medical publishing (STM publishing).
With this focus on a cross-disciplinary approach, the Archives at NCBS will develop as a foundational ‘lab’, building teaching and research capacity of academics in the sciences and humanities.
While archives exist at the national and state level, little material is available for the historical study of sciences and communities of research that developed in India in the twentieth and the twenty-first centuries. Also, there is little funding available to support such endeavours. Without such resources, it is difficult to understand the evolution of institutions and research pathways that developed, flourished or were abandoned. At the same time, there has been an increasing interest internationally in the larger historical and sociological questions related to the development of these fields.
Prof Satyajit Mayor, Director of NCBS-TIFR, elaborates on the decision by NCBS to support the Archives:
‘With the untimely passing away of Obaid Siddiqi, the founder of NCBS, in 2013, we acutely felt the need to have a space that could grapple with his broad and humanistic vision for the sciences- the Archives at NCBS was born of this need. I am delighted by the support extended to NCBS-TIFR to set up the Obaid Siddiqi Chair at Archives at NCBS, and particularly grateful to Mariam Ram and TNQ for their faith in this endeavour.’
The recognition of this need by TNQ Technologies has established strong roots for a public research centre that augments a nuanced understanding of the field. The support—spread over three years—will go toward funding a new chair and related projects, and sustenance of this Archive through staffing and other core operations.
Mariam Ram, Managing Director, TNQ Technologies Private Limited on TNQ’s support for the Chair:
“The idea of an archive of Indian science that is accessible, focusses on education, and works with other institutions deserves support. TNQ  is happy to support this progressive initiative in the name of Professor Obaid Siddiqi, a scientist whom we greatly admired.”
The support from TNQ is critical in prompting a discussion in research institutes across the country towards the forming and creation of their own archives. Exploring connections between scientific research andArchives,  its histories have been at the heart of TIFR’s endeavours. ‘
Prof S. Ramakrishna, Director of TIFR and an enthusiastic supporter of the Archives, affirmed this.  "It is a pleasure to understand that the proposed efforts aim to become a nodal centre in the country in the area and work on bridging sciences and humanities,” he says.
The Archives at NCBS and TNQ Technologies look forward to working on this shared vision to nurture environments for the rigorous interrogation of the history and culture of science in India.
The Archives at NCBS is a public centre for the history of contemporary biology in India. Besides its role as a research centre, it has three broad objectives: reimagining archives as public spaces that strengthen the commons, a focus on education through archival material, and an inter-institutional effort to develop a consortium of archives.


Image credit: Ravi Kumar Boyapati