Meera Nanda

Visiting Scholar
Visiting Scholars are established scholars, as evidenced by significant publications and broad academic experience, spending a fixed term as guests at the MPIWG for research purposes. They may be externally funded or receive a Research Fellowship from the MPIWG.
Department II
PhD, Visiting Faculty, Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research
1. September 2017 to 31. Dezember 2017

After training as a microbiologist (PhD, Biotechnology, IIT-Delhi, India) and following a stint as a science correspondent for the The Indian Express in New Delhi, I turned to history and the philosophy of science (Indiana University, USA) and later to science studies (PhD, Science and Technology Studies, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA, 2000).

Since 2009, I have been a visiting professor of the history of science at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Mohali, India, prior to which I received numerous research fellowships.

I am currently interested in the cultural history of science in India, from its early beginnings to the present. During my stay at MPIWG, I hope to work on my new book project, which critically examines the various strategies for harmonization (or "hybridization," to use a postcolonial term) of scientific theories (from Copernican astronomy and Darwin’s theory of evolution to quantum physics) with spiritualist-idealist strains of Hinduism. My objective is to show how this kind of hybridization covers up contradictions and turns modern science into a source of legitimation for Hinduism and Hindu nationalism. 

April 2016
Conference, Information Technology Institute, Afker-e-Taza: Rescuing the Past, Shaping the Future, Lahore, Pakistan
"Pseudoscience and Psuedo-history of Science in India Today"
October 2014
Lecture, Aarhus University, Department of Culture and Society, Aarhus, Denmark
"Is the Idea of India relevant without secularism?"
September 2013
Conference, University of Vienna, Conference on Yoga in Transformation: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on a Global Phenomenon
"Pseudoscience and Resemblance thinking in Construction of Modern Yoga"
October 2009
Endowment lecture, Government College for Women, Trivandrum, Kerela, India
"Relevance of Enlightenment Values in Contemporary India"
Teaching activities
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali, Punjab, India"HSS102: Introduction to the History of Science" (Core course for first-year students)


Max Planck Institute for the History of Science 
Boltzmannstraße 22 
14195 Berlin 

Curriculum Vitae