University of Cape Town academics have expressed dismay that the institution invited Professor CJ Raju, vice-president of the Indian Social Science Academy, to be the main speaker at a panel discussion titled Decolonising Science.
Described as a “crank” by one UCT professor and a “conspiracy theorist” by another, Raju gained some notoriety last year when an article he published in The Conversation was withdrawn. The article articulated Raju’s Indian nationalist views in which he rejects what he calls “Western” formal mathematics. He argues in favour of a revisionist history of mathematics that elevates the Indian role.
His talk at UCT on 19 September, placed on YouTube by the institution, contains numerous fringe claims. For example at about 7 minutes 15 on the video he dismisses a concept mathematicians deal with on a daily basis: the infinitesimally small. He then mocks people in the audience who work with this.
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