Indian, I grew up in France, and studied mathematics at the University of Cambridge. After 25 years as an academic mathematician, I resigned my professorship in France to dedicate myself to my lifelong interests in cultural and historical questions in order to better understand current times. The basic motivating factor behind my work may be said to be a fascination with the paradoxical concept of unity behind diversity, i.e. of universalism versus cultural differences. First, in search of the universal, I was attracted to mathematics, the most universal construct of the human mind, suggesting  that indeed there is a unity behind the diversity of thought. This universalism stemming from its abstractness and exactness is, however, at the cost of meaning. Hence gradually, I came to reflect on the opposite issue of diversity, on how to resolve issues, notably environmental ones, in a pluralistic democratic context. This brought me to a cross-cultural study of science, and to examine its role regarding these issues.


Urmie Ray

B.A., M.A., Mmath., Ph.d. Cantab