Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Blacklisting Foreign Scientists

G. Mudur (The Telegraph) and R. Ramachandran (The Hindu) have reported today about American seismologist Prof. Roger Bilham's discovery that he now figures in a blacklist of "unwanted foreigners". His "crime" appears to be a paper -- written with an Indian collaborator, and published in Current Science, India's premier science journal -- on the seismic risk to the Jaitapur nuclear power plant. [See K.S. Jayaraman's summary of the scientific controversy triggered by that paper.]

There doesn't seem to be anything in these stories that the Indian government can claim as a net positive for itself.

India loses its moral high ground when Indian scientists face travel-related hassles in other countries [remember this   from   2006?], and a relatively unknown scientific controversy about the safety of the government's flagship nuclear power plant has escaped from scientific journals into mass media.