Established June 2004

 Chairman, Prof. Raghavendra Gadagkar


Associate Faculty
Dr. H. N. Chanakya
Centre for Sustainable Technologies
Prof. S. Ramakrishnan
Inorganic and Physical Chemistry
Visiting Faculty
Amrita Shah
Columnist & Writer
Dr. Uday Balakrishnan
Former Registrar, IISc,
Member, Postal Service Board, Govt. of India
Prof. Tejaswini Niranjana
Senior Fellow CSCS,
Lead Researcher HEIRA, Bangalore
Prof. Rajan Gurukkal
Sundararajan Visiting Professor,
Former Vice Chancellor,
M. G. University, Kottayam, Kerala

Prof. S. V. Srinivas
Visiting Professor,
Centre for Contemporary Studies,
Senior Fellow, CSCS, Bangalore


The Centre for Contemporary Studies, a relatively new experiment at the Institute,  endeavours to bring to the campus some of the best practitioners of different disciplines in the human sciences, such as philosophy, sociology, economics, law, literature, poetry, art, music, cinema etc. These scholars, drawn from all over the world, visit and lecture at the Institute and some are in residence for periods ranging from a few days to several months. Students, faculty and staff of the Institute as well a number of people from other institutes in Bangalore attend these lectures.  The aim of this experiment is to forge useful and meaningful interaction between the natural sciences and human sciences with special focus on understanding the diverse research methodologies of different disciplines and create opportunities to rethink the foundations of our own disciplines - often the opportunity to criticise the methodological foundation of another discipline leads to a re-examination of the foundation of one’s own discipline. In addition to such one-off lectures, the Centre offers (presently, once in two years), a one-semester course entitled “The Production of Knowledge – A comparison of Natural and Social Sciences”. The Centre has now moved to the former JNCASR building near the Health Centre.

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Forthcoming Events


Invites you to a series of lectures in the course:Historiography and Philosophy of Science

Instructor: Prof. Rajan Gurukkal
Visiting Professor
Centre for Contemporary Studies
Indian Institute of Science

Day and Date: Saturday 13th February 2016
Time: 2.00-5.00 pm
Venue: CCS Seminar Hall, IISc

Tea/Coffee will be served at 3.30 pm

Lecture 2: Western Philosophical Issues of Knowledge and Immanuel Kant pdf

Abstract: In the second lecture we seek to draw closer to the Western philosophical issues of knowledge. This is done with a special reference to Immanuel Kant, the famous German philosopher of the critique of pure reason. It is an essential pre-requisite for a student of philosophy of science to know the Kantian process of a-priori reasoning based on inborn cognitive structures, namely "categories" such as space, time, objects and causality. He argues that knowledge is improved upon through an analytical deduction of the a-priori in its pure form. How Kant’s transcendental deduction holds the objectivity of time, space and cause, to differentiate the subjectivity of the sensory experiential knowledge, from the objectivity of the universalisable. We then discuss how the concepts of K.Popper and Thomas Kuhn have influenced the formulation of the basic properties of modern science.



Invites you to a lecture on

The Neurobiology of Aesthetic Experiences and the Significance of Beauty pdf
As part of public lecture series Science and Beyond by the British Council and IISER Pune

Speaker: Semir Zeki
Day and Date: Friday 12th February 2016
Time: 4.00 pm
Venue: Biological Sciences Auditorium, IISc

Tea/Coffee will be served at 3.30 pm

Abstract: The experience of beauty, whether derived from sensory sources such as visual art or music, or from highly cognitive ones such as mathematics, correlates with activity in the same part of the emotional brain, field A1 of medial orbito-frontal cortex (mOFC). This raises important questions about the role and uses of beauty not only in our daily experience but also in our efforts to understand the structure of the Universe in which our brains have evolved.

About the Speaker: Semir Zeki FMedSci FRS is a British neurobiologist who has specialized in studying the primate visual brain and more recently the neural correlates of affective states, such as the experience of love, desire and beauty that are generated by sensory inputs within the field of neuroesthetics. He was educated at University College London (UCL) where he was Henry Head Research Fellow of the Royal Society before being appointed Professor of Neurobiology. Since 2008 he has been Professor of Neuroesthetics at UCL. He was Editor of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (B) from 1997 to 2004. He has won various awards for his work which include The Golden Brain Award (1985), Award in Electronic Imaging (2002); King Faisal International Prize in Biology (2004), Erasmus Medal (Academia Europeae, 2008), Aristotle Gold Medal (2011) and Rome Prize (Atena Onlus) (2012) among many others. He has lectured widely across the world, giving over 60 named lectures and published three books and held an exhibition of his own art work at the Pecci Museum of Contemporary Art in Milan in 2011.