Biographical Note Vandana Shiva

Biographical Note

Vandana Shiva

Dr. Vandana Shiva is a world-renowned scientist, environmentalist, philosopher, feminist, activist, and author.

Born in 1952 in Uttarakhand, India, her parents were staunch supporters of Mahatma Gandhi, and Gandhi remains a profound influence on her thought.

She earned her PhD in nuclear physics on “Hidden Variables and Non-locality in Quantum Theory” at the University of Western Ontario.

Over the past 35 years she has dedicated her life to the protection of nature and defense of people’s rights to nature’s resources – forests, biodiversity, water, and land.

Alarmed by the threat to biodiversity posed by agri-business interests and biotechnology, she founded the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology in 1982 dedicated to independent research to address the most significant ecological and social issues of our times. In 1991, Dr. Shiva founded Navdanya (which means ‘Nine Seeds’ in Hindi, a national movement to protect the diversity and integrity of living resources. In 2004 she founded ‘Bija Vidyapeeth, the Earth University, an international college for sustainable living.

She is a long-time defender of the freedom of farmers and of seeds, working to prevent imperialism over life itself. “I don’t want to live in a world where five giant companies control our health and our food.”

Dr. Shiva combines the sharp intellectual enquiry with courageous activism and is equally at ease working with peasants in rural India and teaching in Universities worldwide.

Governments worldwide seek her counsel on sustainable development for the solutions she offers to some of the most critical problems posed by the effects of globalisation and climate change on the poorest and most populous nations.

Time Magazine has identified Dr. Shiva as an environmental “hero” and Asia Week has called her one of the five most powerful communicators of Asia.

She is the author of numerous books, and has received many honors and awards among them the Right Livelihood Award — also known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize” in 1992, the Sydney Peace Prize in 2010 “For courageous leadership of movements for social justice – the empowerment of women in developing countries, advocacy of the human rights of small farming communities and for her scientific analysis of environmental sustainability” and in September 2012 the Fukuoka Prize, bestowed by the Fukuoka city government in Japan on people who contribute to academia, arts, and culture in Asia.

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