Science has been reduced  to money-making biz: Dr Hegde

Indian Academy of Social Sciences (IASS) President and Padma Bhushan, Dr B N Hegde, who is known for his critical views on modern science and its practices, said that science has been reduced to a mere money-making business and was never a pursuit of truth.

“It was a craft rather than logic, an enterprise, untidy and fallible. All these bad traits came to science after science started being secretive and governed by a few people in science journal called peer reviewers,” the prolific author said in his presidential address at the five-day XL Indian Social Science Congress organised by IASS and the University of Mysore (UoM) on ‘Peoples’ Health and Quality of Life in India’, on Monday.

Dr Hegde blamed modern science and doctors for increase in diseases and health issues. “The index of quality life is high where there are less doctors and vice versa. People are made patients on the pretext of curing their diseases with modern medicine which is indirectly putting their health to risks,” Dr Hegde said.

Explaining on how medical interventions were affecting the natural system of the human bodies, Dr Hegde pointed that human bodies were so meticulously designed that it cured most of the diseases on their own. “They can turn the stored sodium into potassium when there was deficiency but a visit to doctor and everything was ruined by their interventions. The case with injection of blood and saline water is same, and everything to make money,” he added.

The treatment of ex Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, Dr Hegde pointed to be the ‘best instance’ of how hospitals were after money. “The hospitals get 90 percent of profit from the Intensive Care Units (ICU) and that to from the dying patients. Money runs the medical field and there is no medical humanism involved,” he said.

Dr Hegde said that science was systematically being used politically to spread lies. “While it is evident 75 percent cause of cancer is by consumption of alcohol and tobacco, nobody wants to stop it as it is a lucrative industry,” he said.

Freedom in education and science

“I feel sorry for the education system and the condition of science. The concept of education is totally misunderstood and is controlled by the state thus curbing curiosity of the students and leaving no room for innovations. There ought to be freedom in education and similarly in the field of science which, nowadays, is reduced to repetitive researches, number of papers and grants, with no substantial outcome,” he said.

Benefits of coconut oil

Contrary to popular belief that coconut oil is poisonous, Dr Hegde said that the oil is as beneficial as mother’s milk and has an array of advantages. “If a doctor says that coconut oil has cholesterol, it means he has not gone to medical schools. It is used for treatment on Alzheimer and severe problems of skin diseases. Even Americans, after having done their propaganda against coconut oil, have accepted its benefits. Now it forms the basis of their (the US) infant food.”

Speaking on the occasion, former editor of the British Medical Journal, Dr Richard Smith expressed concern over the preference researches were given over teaching. He said, “Researches, teaching and scholarship are the crucial functions in the universities but it is disappointing that teaching began to take second place to research. Teaching is important of all,” he said.

Dr Smith stressed the need for equal importance to all the fields such as humanity, social science, modern and ancient philosophy. He further added that researches ought to be driven by curiosity and should be innovative and valuable.

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