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Geek Nation
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The fascinating story of how India is transforming itself into a global science superpower.

About the Author

Born in the UK in 1980, Angela Saini is a science journalist and reports for the BBC, New Scientist, Wired and the Economist. She was named European Young Science Writer of the Year in 2009, and in 2008 won a European television news award.

Reviews

This is an engaging and eye-opening exploration of a subject that traditionally we rely on clich s to understand, providing a much more informed and effective understanding of the progress of Indian technology. Recommended. - Popular ScienceWith engaging first-hand accounts she explores gleaming technology hubs, visits space centres and labs researching GM crops...you do get a vivid impression of a nation emerging as a scientific contender. - BBC Focus'Those who want to understand how India is shaping up as a scientific superpower will find it a worthwhile and engaging read'. - New ScientistMany entertaining and informative stories. - Sunday TimesGEEK NATION's emphasis on personalities and places provides an engaging introduction for those who want deeper understanding than facts and figures alone can provide. - New Scientist'Saini has a genuine talent for describing science'. - Sunday Times Culture'Saini's vivid portrait of hi-tech India reveals a country in a hurry'. - FT WeekendSaini has produced an eye-opening survey of scientists in today's India...Engagingly written and remarkably objective, Geek Nation shatters many myths while not discouraging guarded optimism - The Independent

Against the backdrop of India's ancient traditions, British science journalist Saini conducts a distinctly modern, at times playful, geek hunt. Her quest does not begin well. At the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), she finds driven kids too burned out to have what she identifies as the requisite geeky creative spark: getting the grades and getting out is the goal-a drone's ethic, not a geek's. She also travels to swanky Western-style research parks in IT hotbed Bengaluru and meets Narayana Murthy, billionaire founder of the software firm Infosys. Elsewhere, she encounters weird (if not wacky) ideas, i.e., one man's goal to speed up criminal investigation with his mind-reading "truth machine." But for Saini, it's often where socially beneficial research is being done that her idea of geekdom resides-where, for example, genetically modified slower-spoiling bananas are being developed, where an open-source drug discovery project to fight tuberculosis is being conducted, or where a thorium-fed power plant is being tested. VERDICT Disregard the hyperbole of the subtitle-this book is as much about the obstacles to India's technological world ascendancy as it is about its great potential. Saini's penetrating observations of this teeming country make fascinating reading for those interested in popular science, travel, or India.-R. Eagan, Windsor P.L., Ont. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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