Although a lot of material is available in the form of biographies and writings of scientists, very little information is found on what made these scientists not only great discoverers but humane too, blessed with humour, humility and humanism like us, the lesser known mortals. Science is in a continuous state of progression, and those involved in this unique adventure bring out the modes and methods of their investigation. The basic discoveries of scientific investigation have been discussed in different essays in this book with the hope that the layman may achieve 'scientific literacy', even if it is in a small measure.
A.N, Kothare (b. 1906) taught both physics and chemistry for more than six decades at the University of Mumbai. He received the 1968 Gold Medal from Paul VI and the Outstanding Teacher Award of 1971 from the Government of Maharashtra.
S.S. Palsule is a faculty member at the International People's College in Denmark where he teaches environmental and philosophical studies. Prior to this he taught at St. Xavier's College, Mumbai.
S.M. Parekh (b. 1921) was Emeritus Director of Education at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan, Mumbai.
M.P. Navalkar (b. 1929) was the Dean of the Bhawan's Gandhi Institute of Computer Education & Information Technology, Mumbai. He also served as head of the Training Division at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre.
As one grows old, one recalls with pleasure incidents and events not only in one's life, 'the Roses of December', but in that of others as well. They are mostly, if not always, intended for entertainment. But Prof. Kothare's 'anecdotes' have a purpose far beyond that of raising a smile. Their object is to instruct and edify. Prof. Kothare himself says that they should form part of a value-oriented education system. Viewed this way, they are analogous to the fable and the parable. While these two are mostly imaginary, anecdotes are factual though one cannot vouch for the truth of each one of them especially when they are based on hearsay. I am glad to learn that even in his class-room lectures (as testified by Dr Homi Sethna, former Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission), Prof. Kothare used to explain the theories with appropriate anecdotes. As a student of physics myself, I can understand how far anecdotes about scientists go in relieving the monotony of 'definition, experiment and problems'.
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