Before becoming an international environmental activist, Vandana Shiva was one of India's most reputed physicists, with a master's degree in the philosophy of science and a Ph.D. in particle physics.
Since the 1980s, Shiva has championed the anti-globalization movement and is one of the leaders of the International Forum on Globalization. Her research and resultant advocacy explores the applicability of traditional Vedic knowledge and ecology to alleviate poverty in developing countries.
She is the founder and director of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology, and Ecology, an organization whose research has validated the ecological value of traditional farming and whose efforts have been instrumental in fighting destructive building projects in India.
Shiva has also been active in repositioning women in the debate on development, for which she received the Right Livelihood Award, also known as the "Alternative Nobel Peace Prize."
Shiva has authored over 300 papers in leading scientific and technical journals and books include Biopiracy, Stolen Harvest, Monocultures of the Mind, and Water Wars.
Her many awards include the Global 500 Award of the United Nations Environment Program and the U.N.'s Earth Day International Award for her commitment to the preservation of the planet- City Arts & Lectures
Scientist, philosopher, feminist, author, environmentalist, and activist, Dr. Vandana Shiva is a one-woman movement for peace, sustainability and social justice.
Vandana Shiva was born in 1952 in Uttarakhand, India . Her father was a conservator of forests, and her mother was a farmer with a deep love for nature. Her parents were staunch supporters of Mahatma Gandhi, and Gandhi remains a profound influence on her thought. Echoing Gandhi, she says, “I have tried to be the change I want to see.”
After receiving her schooling in India and training as a gymnast, Vandana Shiva earned a B.S. in Physics, an M.A. in the philosophy of science at the University of Guelph, and a PhD in nuclear physics at the University of Western Ontario. As a graduate student, however, she found herself troubled by the realization that science had “a dark side,” and that she didn't know enough about the actual workings of society. India, she noted, had the third biggest scientific community in the world, but remained among the poorest of countries. Science and technology is supposed to create growth, remove poverty, but that was not happening in India.
Her quest for answers led her to study science policy at the Indian Institute of Science and the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore where she explored interdisciplinary research in science, technology and environmental policy. She emerged as an authority in the field of environmental impact, and became deeply alarmed by the threat to biodiversity posed by biotechnology. Hearing the leaders of world agri-business describe their plan to control the world's supply of food and pharmaceuticals through the use of patented, genetically-engineered seeds, she founded the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, dedicated to opposing such ventures.
In 1991, Dr. Shiva founded Navdanya, a national movement to protect the diversity and integrity of living resources, especially native seeds, and to oppose what she calls the colonization of life itself under the intellectual property and patent laws of the World Trade Organization agreement. Those laws, she says, have “only a negative function: to prevent others from doing their own thing; to prevent people from having food; to prevent people from having medicine; to prevent countries from having technological capacity.” She describes these laws as a “tool for creating underdevelopment.”
Carol Tang spent the last ten years at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. For the first five years, she supervised educational programs -- including programs for outreach, summer environmental education, teen youth development, teacher services, school district-wide science professional development and citizen science. More recently, she served as the Director of Visitor Interpretive Programs and then head of Public Programs. During this period, she had oversight for exhibitions, lifelong learning, and museum engagement and was responsible for all exhibit content and public programs for the museum and aquarium when it re-opened in Golden Gate Park in 2008.
Carol is a member of the American Association of Museums 2012 Annual Meeting National Program Committee, a review panelist for IMLS and NASA, and has been a session leader at several conferences including AAM, Association of Science and Technology Centers, and the California Science Teachers Association. She was a winner of a 2009 AAM Technology award for a museum multimedia tour.
Carol received a BA in paleontology from UC Berkeley, a Ph.D. in geology from University of Southern California, and a Chancellor’s postdoctoral fellowship at the UC Museum of Paleontology. She served as a geology professor at Arizona State University where she worked with inquiry-based science educators and local science centers. She was one of the first group of scientists funded by the NASA Astrobiology Institute and held an NSF Geosciences grant to study fossils of the Dominican Republic.
Environmental activist Vandana Shiva discusses her work in seed banks and addresses the impact of widespread suicide among farmers as a result of the the monopolization of seeds and agriculture in India.