Categories: Women Scientists

Vandana Shiva – a philosopher and environmental activist

Full name: Vandana Shiva

Vandana Shiva

Born on: 05 Nov 1952 at Dehradun, India

Nationality: Indian

Education:  St Mary’s School in Nainital, Bachelor’s degree in physics, M.A. in the philosophy of science at the University of Guelph (Ontario, Canada),  Ph.D. in Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario, interdisciplinary research in science, technology, and environmental policy at the Indian Institute of Science and the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore.

Well known for: She was awarded the Right Livelihood Award in 1993. She has authored more than 20 books and over 500 papers in leading scientific and technical journals.

The famous environmentalist Vandana Shiva is a renowned environmental philosopher and green activist. She has authored more than 20 books and over 500 papers in leading scientific and technical journals. Vandana Shiva also plays a major role in the global Eco-feminist movement.

Education: Born and brought in the valley of Dehradun, Vandana Shiva had always been close to nature and surrounding environment from her childhood days.  Her father  worked with the Forest department, Government of India which again triggered her love for  nature and mother earth.  She completed her early education from St Mary’s School in Nainital, and at the Convent of Jesus and Mary, Dehradun, India. She earnedher bachelor’s degree in physics. She then pursued amasters degree in arts in the philosophy of science at the University of Guelph, Canada. Her area of interest was physics during her masters education andhence she  worked in the same domain and completed her thesis entitled “Changes in the concept of periodicity of light”. In addition, she also has a  PhD in Physics in 1979. This time her thesis was on ‘Quantum theory’.

Achievements: Vandana Shiva is mostly known for her national and international green movements against genetic crops. Her contribution in the fields of agriculture and food is mostly inclined towards the prohibition of genetically modified crops. Her journey ahead resulted in the establishment of ‘Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology’ in 1982. In 1991, she  started a national movement named “Navdana “to protect the diversity and integrity of living resources (native seed, promotion of organic farming and fair trade).

She has received the ‘Right Livelihood Award’ which is known as ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’ in 1993. She has been awarded for placing ‘women and ecology’ at the heart of modern development discourse. In addition, she has also received many national and international awards such as Order of the Golden Ark (Netherlands)’ in 1993 for outstanding services to conservation and ecology, ‘Global 500 Award’ of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 1993, Earth Day International Award ‘of the United Nations (UN) in 1993, ‘Pride of the Doon Award’ from Doon Citizen Council, Dehra Dun, India in 1995, The Golden Plant Award (International Award of Ecology), Denmark, for  remarkable contribution towards Ecology and Environment in 1997.

Image Credit :


Shailesh is post graduate in Environment Management from Forest Research Institute (FRI) University, Dehradun, India. Presently he is working in the areas of Environmental and Renewable Energy Advisory Services. He has started during his college days.

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