In Praise of Fostering Anarchy in Research and Teaching K. Vela Velupillai

The author attempts to make a case for ‘anarchy in research’ against the current practice of ‘picking winners’, in Universities at advanced levels of education and research. In particular, by considering what is expectedly a paradigmatic example of freedom in speculative intellectual activities leading to tremendous unintended consequences of enormous benefit to mankind, he substantiates a case for ‘anarchy in research’. The ‘typical example’  considered is the way issues in the foundations of mathematics paved the way for what came to be known as the IT revolution. It is a counter-factual narrative and may – hopefully, ‘will’ – provide an antidote to the current orthodoxy’s regimented non-vision of ‘picking winners’, ex ante, without any historical substantiation.

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(The article was originally published in the Economic and Political Weekly (EPW), Issue : VOL 45 No. 14 April 03 – April 09, 2010.)