skip to content

Department of History and Philosophy of Science


University Assistant Professor in Non-Western History of the Sciences

I am an Assistant Professor in Non-Western History of the Sciences Before 1900. Trained as a historian of science in modern South Asia, I am interested in the history of the premodern and modern sciences in non-western and colonial contexts around the world. In my research and teaching, I emphasise the scientific practices – material, linguistic, literary, and epistemological – of colonial subjects and local actors. I'm also interested in the structural relationship between non-western and Euro-American historiographies of the sciences after the global turn. My primary research language is Hindi in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and more generally, I'm attentive to the multilingual ecologies of scientific knowledge.

I'm currently working on my first book, a history of science in translation for vernacular (non-English speaking) publics in colonial north India. The book examines the making of a sensibility for science among lay readers through a close study of the first Hindi-language 'popular science' periodical, Vigyan. It aims to show that the uptake of the modern sciences amongst privileged-caste Hindu subjects fueled nationalist projects of commanding science-literate publics. Most broadly, the book rethinks the material, literary, and social technologies used for forging scientific sensibilities from a non-western, vernacular context.

I received my PhD in History from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. I have previously taught at Shiv Nadar University and Stanford University, and held the Adrian Research Fellowship at Darwin College, Cambridge.


Research interests

Global and non-western histories of science; science in translation; scientific periodicals and publics; epistemic genres and formats; local genealogies of the sciences; science and religion


'The Shastri and the Air-Pump: Experimental Fictions and Fictions of Experiment for Hindi Readers in Colonial North India', History of Science 60, no. 2 (2022), 232–254. Special issue on 'Cultures of Scientific Publishing' edited by Bettina Dietz and Jenny Beckman.

'Science in the Vernacular? Translation, Terminology and Lexicography in the Hindi Scientific Glossary (1906)', South Asian History and Culture 13, no. 1 (2022), 63–86. Special issue on 'Indigenous Knowledge and Colonial Sciences in South Asia' edited by Minakshi Menon.

'A Dialogue between Dialogues', in Dániel Margócsy and Richard Staley (ed.), The Mantis Shrimp. A Simon Schaffer Festschrift (Cambridge: The Cambridge HPS Collective, 2022), 22–25.

'Science and its Publics in British India', in Andrew Goss (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Science and Empire (Abingdon: Routledge, 2021), 218–227.


'Disciplines, Men, Colonial Episteme', invited contribution to a book forum on Durba Mitra's Indian Sex Life: Sexuality and the Colonial Origins of Modern Social Thought (Princeton University Press, 2020) for Chapati Mystery. Published online 5 May 2020.

Review of Growing the Tree of Science: Homi Bhabha and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (Oxford University Press, 2016) by Indira Chowdhury, South Asian History and Culture 9, no. 2 (2018), 229–231.