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Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Jagadish Chandra Bose

Jagadish Chandra Bose

(30 November 1858 – 23 November 1937)
Acharya Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose, was a Bengali polymath, physicist, biologist, botanist, archaeologist, as well as an early writer of science fiction. He pioneered the investigation of radio and microwave optics, made very significant contributions to plant science, and laid the foundations of experimental science in the Indian subcontinent. IEEE named him one of the fathers of radio science. He is also considered the father of Bengali science fiction. He also invented the crescograph.
Born in Bikrampur (present day Munshiganj District near Dhaka in Bangladesh) during the British Raj, Bose graduated from St. Xavier's College, Calcutta. He then went to the University of London to study medicine, but could not pursue studies in medicine due to health problems. Instead, he conducted his research with the Nobel Laureate Lord Rayleigh at Cambridge and returned to India. He then joined the Presidency College of University of Calcutta as a Professor of Physics. There, despite racial discrimination and a lack of funding and equipment, Bose carried on his scientific research. He made remarkable progress in his research of remote wireless signaling and was the first to use semiconductor junctions to detect radio signals. However, instead of trying to gain commercial benefit from this invention, Bose made his inventions public in order to allow others to further develop his research.
Bose subsequently made a number of pioneering discoveries in plant physiology. He used his own invention, the crescograph, to measure plant response to various stimuli, and thereby scientifically proved parallelism between animal and plant tissues. Although Bose filed for a patent for one of his inventions due to peer pressure, his reluctance to any form of patenting was well known. To facilitate his research, he constructed automatic recorders capable of registering extremely slight movements; these instruments produced some striking results, such as Bose's demonstration of an apparent power of feeling in plants, exemplified by the quivering of injured plants. His books include Response in the Living and Non-Living (1902) and The Nervous Mechanism of Plants (1926).
......Bose's education started in a vernacular school, because his father believed that one must know one's own mother tongue before beginning English, and that one should know also one's own people.
Speaking at the Bikrampur Conference in 1915, Bose said:
“At that time, sending children to English schools was an aristocratic status symbol. In the vernacular school, to which I was sent, the son of the Muslim attendant of my father sat on my right side, and the son of a fisherman sat on my left. They were my playmates. I listened spellbound to their stories of birds, animals and aquatic creatures. Perhaps these stories created in my mind a keen interest in investigating the workings of Nature. When I returned home from school accompanied by my school fellows, my mother welcomed and fed all of us without discrimination. Although she was an orthodox old-fashioned lady, she never considered herself guilty of impiety by treating these ‘untouchables’ as her own children. It was because of my childhood friendship with them that I could never feel that there were ‘creatures’ who might be labelled ‘low-caste’. I never realised that there existed a ‘problem’ common to the two communities, Hindus and Muslims.”

Thanks to K.P.S. Kang for alerting us to this.

More on J.C. Bose here:

And here are some really interesting notes from NRAO sent to us by Drew N7DA:

There is a crater on the Moon named for him.


  1. We enter, drunk with fire,
    Heavenly one, thy sanctuary!
    Thy magic binds again
    What custom strictly divided;
    All people become brothers,
    Where thy gentle wing abides.

    from "Ode to Joy" (Friedrich Schiller, 1785)

  2. Seems to be a lot of Chandra's in the science field, although maybe it's just a common name. There is the Chandra X-ray telescope presently in orbit named after the famous astrophysicist, and the fictional Dr. Chandra, HAL's creator, in the 2001/2010 scifi stories. Neither are related to the fellow you mentioned Bill, I checked.


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