where tomorrow’s science begins today
An Autonomous Institution, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt. of India
Humanities and Social Sciences 

Around the middle of the twentieth century, the chemist and novelist C P Snow suggested the existence of ‘two cultures’ in academia that effectively widen the divide between the sciences and the humanities, especially in terms of their cultural significance and knowledge production. 

The Humanities and Social Sciences Program at IISER Pune is engaged in challenging precisely this deep-seated prejudice. Our aim is to uncover what the two approaches share in terms of the nature and manner of their enquiries, without glossing over the fact that the forms of the answers (and the methodologies employed) vary across the board. It is the sense of similarity, difference - and most importantly, the complementariness - that endorses the presence of this program at IISER Pune.

While the institute’s thrust is on science education and research, the presence of humanities and social sciences serves profoundly to inculcate a much-needed augmentation of vision. Alongside research in any scientific discipline, it is crucial simultaneously to examine accepted beliefs regarding the processes and implications of this research through the lens of historical, philosophical, sociological, anthropological, psychological, economic, socio-cultural, political, literary, and artistic contexts. Such an approach is particularly beneficial for facilitating science students to understand issues from multiple perspectives. Further, the advantages of such an exercise are vital to more than just the practice of science; conversations across fields are enriching for all involved.  Indeed, while allowing space for rigorous research within disciplinary boundaries, the program aims to foster interesting intersections and questions. 

It is with these objectives in mind that we invite scholars who can bring their unique worldviews to this tapestry. Our current faculty is well versed in such areas of study as anthropology, ethnomusicology, linguistics, philosophy, literature, and the history of science. We wish to expand our perspectives in many more directions so that the scholars and students at IISER - and indeed the disciplines themselves - may reach beyond their circumscribed horizons.

Starting 2017, HSS at IISER Pune would be admitting students to their PhD programme. The programme aims fundamentally to examine the arts and sciences, without compartmentalising them as disconnected forms of knowledge.

Potential Faculty and PhD applicants may contact Dr. Venketeswara R Pai (venkateswara at iiserpune.ac.in)

Faculty Members
Name Designation Research
Venketeswara R Pai Assistant Professor History and Development of Astronomy and Mathematics in India, History and Development of Vakya system of Astronomy, Kerala School of Astronomy, Manuscriptology, Scientific Literature in Sanskrit and Malayalam, Paninian Grammar
Chaitra Redkar Associate Professor Political Ideas in Modern India, Gandhian Studies, Gender Studies, Indian Politics
Pushkar Sohoni Associate Professor Historic Preservation; Islamic Architecture; Indo-Persian Cultural History; Early Modern Trade Networks; Numismatics; Archaeology
Bejoy K. Thomas Associate Professor Development Studies, Environmental Sustainability, Interdisciplinary
Visiting Faculty
Meera Nanda Visiting Faculty
Pooja Sancheti Visiting Faculty Postmodernist fiction, Magical Realism, Myth, English Language Teaching, Narrative Theories, Art & Aesthetics