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Science For Survival

Fusion of modern science with women's knowledge in India.

A printer-friendly version of this page 50 minutes
Directed by Ani King-Underwood
Produced by International Broadcasting Trust with TVE

Activist and ecologist Vandana Shiva is the leader of a people's movement in India that opposes "reductionist Western science". She argues that the failure of the Green Revolution was due to the fact that women's knowledge of traditional seed varieties was ignored. Shiva is devoting her scientific knowledge to proving that local farming methods, which recognize diversity and complexity in their polycultures, are vital to the survival of the Indian ecosystem. Millions of women, with their managerial, economic and scientific skills, are the backbone of India's rural economy.

The film also looks at the work of Dr. Sharadini Dahanukar who has set out to prove that Ayurvedic medicine, which relies heavily on women's knowledge of plants and herbs, has scientific validity.

Finally the film looks at silk technology from the ultra-modern biotech laboratories where the cocoons are bred, through the ancient process of silk reeling, to the bustling auction halls. Prabha Shekar argues that, if done sensitively, the fusion of modern science with indigenous knowledge can provide a powerful way forward for poor communities.

Grade Level: 7-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 1996     Copyright Date: 1995
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-925-9     VHS ISBN: 1-56029-661-5

" Explores the lives of female scientists in India and their choices between adopting Western scientific practices and maintaining indigenous practices in science and medicine...well narrated...well organized. Highly Recommended."
Belinda L. Robinson-Jones, Ohio University, Zanesville, MC Journal

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Science For Survival

"Well narrated...well organized. Highly Recommended." MC Journal

Links (The producer's web site)

Awards and Festivals
Association for Asian Studies Conference

Asian Studies
Developing World
Technology and Society
Social Psychology
Sustainable Agriculture
Women's Studies

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