Sponsored By: Infinity Foundation

Science and Spiritual Quest II

Science and Spiritual Quest II
Science and Beyond: Cosmology, Consciousness and Technology in the Indic Traditions

An Infinity Foundation sponsored event

8-11 January 2003
National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore

This is an international symposium organized jointly by the Sir John Templeton Foundation, the National Institute of Advanced Studies and other Indian agencies. This ‘Bangalore Symposium’ is the third in the series Science and the Spiritual Quest II, which is a programme of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences in Berkeley, California.

The objective of the programme is to promote dialogue among leading scientists on the connections between their scientific work and their religious or spiritual identities. Science and the Spiritual Quest (SSQ) does not advocate a particular religious position or a specific outcome for discussion between science and religion. It seeks merely to promote open and honest dialogue on the subject within the scientific community and to make the results of these discussions available to the general public through conferences, publications and other media.

Participants are drawn from the most distinguished scientists, including Nobel Prize winners and leading specialists in each major field. They come from every continent of the globe, represent each of the world’s major religious traditions, and include theists, atheists and agnostics among their number. Above all, SSQ stands for the importance of the dialogue itself. The scientific quest and the spiritual quest are two of the major forces in human history and in thge world today. It is vitally important that we understand the similarities – and the differences – between these two powerful drives, which are anchored deep in the human spirit and which may reflect back to us something of the nature of reality.

The Bangalore Symposium will draw together the most distinguished Indian scientists, philosophers and other scholars, as well as their colleagues from the rest of the worl, to a series of intellectual encounters on the theme of the meeting. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the role of consciousness, cosmology and technology, especially the Indic traditions. The programme will include several talks on these subjects, including short presentations by leading Indian scientists and philosophers on what is science and what is beyond science for them, several public lectures, a panel discussion and two major public events.

A skeleton of the proposed programme follows; for more details as the programme crystallizes please visit www.nias.res.in and www.ssq.net.

For more details, contact:

Professor BV Sreekantan
National Institute of Advanced Studies
Bangalore 560 012
Phone: +91 80 360 4351/360 6594
E-mail: bvs@nias.iisc.ernet.in

Tentative Programme


8 January 2003

1100-1300 Inaugural programme
Welcome/Introduction: R Narasimha
Keynote address: Philip Clayton
Inaugural address: (TBD)
Chairman: (TBD)
1300-1430 Lunch
1430-1600 Session 1: Science and beyond, Dialogue 1
Chairman: K Ramakrishna Rao

Speakers: Obaid Siddiqi
N Kumar
Swami Bodhananda
Kireet Joshi

1600-1630 Tea
1630-1800 Session 2: Public lecture (NIAS Auditorium)
Chairman: (TBD)

Speaker: Sir Roger Penrose
Concluding remarks: (TBD)

9 January 2003

0925-0930 Introduction to the day’s programme
0930-1100 Session 1: Cosmology
Chairman: R Cowsik



George Ellis

1100-1130 Tea
1130-1300 Session 2: Indic ways of thinking and scientific traditions
Chairman: B V Subbarayappa

Joseph Prabhu


Rajiv Malhotra

1300-1400 Lunch
1400-1530 Session 3: Method and epistemology
Chairman: N Mukunda

P K Mukhopadhyay


Ashok Jain

1530-1600 Tea
1600-1730 Session 4: Panel discussion on Toward the future
Chairman: P Billimoria

Speakers: Devaki Jain
N Balakrishnan
M L Bhaumik
Jean Staune
Sultan Shahin

1730-1800 Tea
1800-1930 Cultural programme (TBD)

10 January 2003

0925-0930 Introduction to the day’s programme
0930-1100 Session 1: Science and beyond, Dialogue 2
Chairman: Anindita Balslev

Speakers: Anindya Sinha
Sangeetha Menon
Buddhist Scholar

1100-1130 Tea
1130-1300 Session 2: Identity, consciousness and the self
Chairman: R.C.Pradhan

B V Sreekantan


K Ramakrishna Rao

1300-1400 Lunch
1400-1530 Session 3: Biotechnology and values 
Chairman: H Sharat Chandra

G Padmanaban


D Balasubramanian

1530-1600 Tea
1600-1730 Session 4: Science and society
Chairman: Philip Clayton

M S Swaminathan



1730-1800 Tea
1800-1930 Session 5: Public Event 1 (JN Tata Auditorium, IISc) 
Chairman: (TBD)

Introduction: R Narasimha
Moderator: Philip Clayton
Speaker: Charles Townes
Dialogue partners:
(from India) (TBD)

11 January 2003

0925-0930 Introduction to the day’s programme
0930-1100 Session 1: Science and beyond, Dialogue 3
Chairman: Dipankar Home

Speakers: Unnikirishnan
V Nanjundiah
Sundar Sarukkai
M G Narasimhan

1100-1130 Tea
1130-1300 Session 2: Technology, society and values
Chairman: R Narasimha

Rama Rao


N R Narayanamurthy

1300-1400 Lunch
1400-1530 Session 3: Health and environment
Chairman: R M Varma

R L Kapur


Madhav Gadgil

1530-1600 Tea
1600-1730 Session 4: Science and beyond
Chairman: Kireet Joshi

Jane Goodall



1730-1800 Valedictory programme
Chairman: Raja Ramanna

D P Chattopadhyaya

1830 Public event 2
(to be organised by K H Foundation)

Proposed speakers: Jane Goodall
Roger Penrose

15 minutes are reserved for discussion at the end of each session.

(Sponsors include The John Templeton Foundation and The Infinity Foundation)