Education - History and Philosophy of Mathematics - Physics - Science and Society

Decolonising math and science

There was a conference in Penang on “Decolonising our universities” 27-29 June. A very interesting part of the conference was to share similar experiences of colonial and racist deceit with people from different parts of the world.
Another very interesting aspect was the involvement of a number of young student rapporteurs, and to watch how their understanding of the world was transformed a bit.
Present-day universities are modeled not on Nalanda, but on the Western system of universities which began in Crusading times with Bologna,
after the Christian conquest of Toledo (part of the Crusades, though not “officially”). The aim of those medieval universities was to make incoming world-knowledge theologically correct, and put down others through lies about history, suppression, defamation, censorship, reinterpretation etc., tactics extensively replicated by colonisers.
This tradition of putting down others persists in the current belief that something becomes knowledge only after it is published in a Western journal or otherwise certified and approved by Westerners. This allows the West to coninue its colonial control over knowledge. To make sure this system works, the majority of people are kept kept ignorant of math and science, though it would be easy to change math and science education to make both easy, as I suggested in my paper, and talk.

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