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Geek Nation: How Indian Science is Taking Over the World [Hardcover]

Angela Saini
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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Book Description

3 Mar 2011

India: it's a nation of geeks, swots and nerds. Almost one in five of all medical and dental staff in the UK is of Indian origin, and one in six employed scientists with science or engineering doctorates in the US is Asian. By the turn of the millennium, there were even claims that a third of all engineers in Silicon Valley were of Indian origin, with Indians running 750 of its tech companies.

At the dawn of this scientific revolution, Geek Nation is a journey to meet the inventors, engineers and young scientists helping to give birth to the world's next scientific superpower - a nation built not on conquest, oil or minerals, but on the scientific ingenuity of its people. Angela Saini explains how ancient science is giving way to new, and how the technology of the wealthy are passing on to the poor. Delving inside the psyche of India's science-hungry citizens, she explores the reason why the government of the most religious country on earth has put its faith in science and technology.

Through witty first-hand reportage and penetrative analysis, Geek Nation explains what this means for the rest of the world, and how a spiritual nation squares its soul with hard rationality. Full of curious, colourful characters and gripping stories, it describes India through its people - a nation of geeks.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (3 Mar 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444710141
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444710144
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 15.5 x 23 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 636,566 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Self-confessed science geek, Angela Saini, was born in the UK in 1980. She is an award-winning science journalist, whose work has appeared in New Scientist, Wired and The Economist, and she also regularly reports for BBC radio science shows. Angela was named European Young Science Writer of the Year in 2009, and in 2008 won a European television news award for a BBC investigation. Her geeky credentials: She has a Masters degree in Engineering from Oxford University. Angela lives in London with her husband, who is also a journalist.
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Product Description


'Those who want to understand how India is shaping up as a scientific superpower will find it a worthwhile and engaging read'. (New Scientist)

GEEK 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)

Many entertaining and informative stories. (Sunday Times)

This is an engaging and eye-opening exploration of a subject that traditionally we rely on clichés to understand, providing a much more informed and effective understanding of the progress of Indian technology. Recommended. (Popular Science)

With engaging first-hand accounts she explores gleaming technology hubs, visits space centres and labs researching GM do get a vivid impression of a nation emerging as a scientific contender. (BBC Focus)

'Saini has a genuine talent for describing science'. (Sunday Times Culture)

'Saini 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)

'Eye-opening, warmhearted and cliché-free, her book gives Indians' minds the respect so often and so easily given to their spirit'. (Wanderlust)

'Saini's vivid portrait of hi-tech India reveals a country in a hurry.' (Manjit Kumar, Financial Times)

'revealing reportage on India's scientific and technological renaissance'. (Independent)

Book Description

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

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
One of the biggest offences that authors writing about India are guilty of is orientalism. So thank goodness Geek Nation steers clear of this, instead I got a clear insight into what's really going on in Indian research and development. Hippies might be upset - the "wellness" ashrams that seem to always be associated with India is mentioned but in context to the booming business that they've become. But it's not just all about cold hard figures, although the author never veers away from the facts, her empathy and at times sympathy for those she comes across gives a human texture to why these ventures are important. Neither does she shy away from the pressures, the dissapointments nor the frustrations that those individuals and companies experience in trying to reach their goals. Angela Saini's book is gripping and exciting - a difficult feat when it comes to science at the best of times. But most all the book opens the reader up to a world where Geeks really do rule.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reportage at its best 27 Mar 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Geeks or drones? Neither term is particularly flattering but they represent the central thesis of Angela Saini's fascinating and entertaining 'analysis' of modern-day India. She provides a vivid account of her travels across the country and uses interviews with a wide range of people to build and develop her argument. Perhaps the most telling observation comes early on when she compares India's current situation with that of Japan in the 1970s (I'll leave you to decide upon your own conclusion about the comparison). There has been a swathe of books about India, particularly in the field of economics and business. I have read several of these in the last year or so but they remain, fundamentally, more academic tomes. In contrast Angela Saini draws upon her experience and skills as a journalist to write an account that uses reportage to great effect. Basically, its a great read. Highly recommended.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Geek Nation 6 May 2011
By A. Dani
Although the sub title is bombastic, the actual narrative is very readble and balanced. Those of us who left India several decades ago like the author's father would find this book revealing. The author is rightly critical at India's failings but applauds India's achievements where deserved. Rightly gives credit to Nehru for setting India on the scientic path. A must for Non Resident Indians.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great insight into science in India 8 Mar 2011
Highly entertaining account of one self-confessed geek's travels through India, and her view of the potential for the country to grow from a source of cheap outsourcing labour to a genuine scientific superpower. From the IT powerhouse of Bangalore to the rural villages around the rest of the country, Angela Saini gives a fascinating insight into how science and technology is changing the country and its people. A great read!
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great debut! 7 Mar 2011
Geek Nation has been a highly enjoyable and eye-opening read. It provides an excellent insight into a world not often seen, combining accuracy with humour and personal viewpoints of those heavily involved in shaping India's progress in science and engineering. I am already looking forward to her next book!
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