Friday, 13 January 2012

Book Review- 60 years of marriage of science to industry

I have just received the following book review from Fathi Habashi, of Laval University, Canada:

La vintage métallurgie. 60 years of marriage of science to industry
414 pages, ISBN 97881-87053-70-8, published in 2011 by National Metallurgical Laboratory, Jamshedpur, India
The National Metallurgical Laboratory in Jamshedpur celebrated its 60 years of existence by publishing a magnificent fully illustrated book in color documenting its creation in 1950 and its activities through the years. The choice of the phrase, “marriage of science and industry” was inspired by Pandit Jawaherlal Nehru’s mention to it in his inaugural address at the Laboratory on November 26, 1950.

The Laboratory was created after Indian independence for providing the country with one of a network of research institutes capable of taking the country forward in science and technology. The establishment of the laboratory was generously supported by Tata Industries Ltd., Sir Ratan Tata Trust, and Sardar Bahadur Sir Indra Singh of Indian Steel and Wire Products Company.

The book starts with a short introduction of iron and steel making in India since the second century BC, the mention of the Iron Pillar of Delhi made of 6 tons of iron, and the Damascus swords made of Wootz steel. In this connection I would add a statement mentioned in the book Geschichte des Eisens by Otto Johannsen, the authoritative historian of iron metallurgy, that “The Indians were the only non-European people who manufactured heavy forged pieces (of iron), and the pieces were of size that European smith did not learn to make until more than one thousand years later” [the German text: “Die Hindu sind das einzige nichteuropaische volk, des schwere Schmiedestucke hergestellt hat, und zwar Stücke von einer Grosse, wie man sie in Europa erst mehr als ein Jahartausand später zu Schmieden verstand” (p. 16), third edition published in 1953]. Further, Indian metal workers were the first to produce metallic zinc around 1200 AD. From India, zinc manufacture moved to China around 1600 AD and from there to Europe in the 18th century.

The editors have brilliantly related the history of the Laboratory through photographs, summaries of research projects successfully conducted, and documents covering these activities.
Sincere congratulations,
Fathi Habashi

1 comment:

  1. Marriage of Science to Industry.This is definitely NOT Artificial Marriage.


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