Part II: Pioneers of Plant Mysteries

Chapter 6

In a short statement [Jagadish Chandra] Bose summed up his philosophy: “This vast abode of nature is built in many wings, each with its own portal. The physicist, the chemist and the biologist come in by different doors, each one his own department of knowledge, and each comes to think that this is his special domain unconnected with that of any other. Hence has arisen our present division of phenomena into the worlds of inorganic, vegetal and sentient. This philosophical attitude of mind may be denied. We must remember that all inquiries have as their goal the attainment of knowledge in its entirety.

During his speech at the ceremony, Bose, who had declined to patent the device which could have made him, instead of Marconi, the inventor of wireless telegraphy, and had consistently resisted the blandishments of industrial representatives to turn his ideas into profits, stated that it was his particular desire that any discoveries made at his new institute would become public property and that no patents would ever be taken out on them. “Not in matter, but in thought, not in possessions, but in ideas, are to be found the seeds of immortality,” Bose told the assembled crowd. “Not through material acquisitions, but in generous diffusion of ideas can the true empire of humanity be established. Thus, the spirit of our national culture demands that we should forever be free from the deisre of utilizing knowledge for personal gain.