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West is East

UK Research and Innovation officially launched in Delhi yesterday, but its links to India go back much further in time.

It was in India in 1902 that Britain created a national organisation to coordinate scientific research, as historian Zaheer Baber writes in The Science of Empire. It was known as the Board of Scientific Advice and it existed before such an organisation was created in Britain in 1915.

The experiment in India was deemed a success, so much so that astronomer Norman Lockyer, editor of Nature, declared its importance to be “many times greater at home”.

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