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Outlandish Claims at Indian Scientific Gathering Spark Outcry


People hold placards to protest claims made by speakers, discrediting theories of Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein, at the 106th Indian Science Congress in Kolkata, India, Jan. 7, 2019.

A group representing Indian scientists say they will screen speakers at their yearly meeting more carefully after several made outlandish claims during their lectures.

"We have decided that all the people, even the top scientists who want to interact with anybody at the Science Congress, would be asked to submit their abstracts, not to deviate ... and we will place one of our members there as a moderator," Indian Science Congress general secretary Premendu Mathur said Monday.

One speaker at the just-completed congress doubted the findings and achievements of Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton and Stephen Hawking.

Another insisted the people of ancient India had airplanes and missile technology, carried out stem-cell research, and created test tube babies.

Scientists in several Indian cities held silent demonstrations and carried signs to protest the speeches and the damage that such claims can do.

"This is very harmful for the growth of scientific temper because these ideas are being propagated through the Science Congress which gives it reproducibility," retired professor Dhruba Mukhopadhyay said.

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