CHAPTER 2

The Asiatic Society and the Sciences in India, 1784–1947

Srabani Sen

The ‘Asiatick Society’ was founded in 1784 at Calcutta, the then capital of British India. The concept of a learned society devoted to the promotion of art, science and literature, along with the idea of preserving the cultural and scientific heritage of the ancient world originated in America, Indonesia and India under colonialism in the second half of the eighteenth century. History records that there was some similarity of circumstances and situations in the founding of research societies in the three new colonies within a span of 40 years: in America by Benjamin Franklin (14 May 1744), in Indonesia by J.C.M. Radermacher (24 April 1778), and in India by Sir William ...

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