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Science in the wilderness: the predicament of scientific research in India’s wildlife reserves

Madhusudan, MD and Shanker, Kartik and Kumar, Ajith and Mishra, Charudutt and Sinha, Anindya and Arthur, Rohan and Datta, Aparajita and Rangarajan, Mahesh and Chellam, Ravi and Shahabuddin, Ghazala and Sankaran, Ravi and Singh, Mewa and Ramakrishnan, Uma and Rajan, PD (2006) Science in the wilderness: the predicament of scientific research in India’s wildlife reserves. In: Current Science, 91 (8). pp. 1015-1019.

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Abstract

Ecology and allied scientific disciplines aim to understand patterns and processes pertaining to wild species, their ecosystems and their relationships with humans. India’s wildlife reserves are important ‘living laboratories’ for these disciplines. Today, there is a disturbing trend across India where scientists are increasingly denied access to wildlife reserves for scientific research or are seriously impeded, without scope for redress. Although official wildlife management rhetoric emphasizes the need for scientific research, in reality, it is viewed as undesirable and permitted, if at all, as a concession, subject to the discretion of individual forest officials. With no enabling legislative or policy framework to promote and apply science in our wildlife reserves, we are concerned that the future of many scientific disciplines in India is being jeopardized. Here, we provide an analysis of this issue and outline steps needed to promote scientific research in our natural areas.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Indian Academy of Sciences.
Keywords: Environment;Role of science;Science policy;Scientific freedom
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2006
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 04:33
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ernet.in/id/eprint/9062

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