Bose, Sir Jagadis Chunder (1858-1937)

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Bose, Sir Jagadis Chunder (1858-1937)

An Indian scientist who pioneered research into plant physiology. He was born November 30, 1858, in the village of Rarikhal in Vikrampur, East Bengal, India, and educated at Calcutta and in England at Cambridge University. His accomplishments were recognized in his election as president of the Indian Science Congress in 1927 and his being named a member of the International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation of the League of Nations. He also received many honors from scientific communities in Europe.

Bose attempted to demonstrate that the gap between living and nonliving matter was less distinct than normally supposed, and he claimed that even stones had some rate of life related to that of living organisms. In 1901 he demonstrated to the Royal Society in Britain that the responses of metals to poison and other stimuli resembled muscular response in living organisms.

In his delicate experiments with plant physiology, Bose anticipated the work of contemporary experimenters like Cleve Backster. As early as 1903 the Royal Society, London, published in their Philosophical Transactions Bose's reports of experiments with plants from which he concluded that "all the characteristics of the responses exhibited by the animal tissues, were also found in those of the plant." Bose devised sensitive apparatus to demonstrate plant reactions, many of which resembled nervous responses in animal or human life, and he even measured the electrical forces released in the death-spasms of vegetables. In 1917 Bose was knighted for his many valuable services to science. He died November 23, 1937.

From 1950 on, some of his experiments with plant sensitivity were extended by Dr. T. C. N. Singh of the Department of Botany, Annamalai University, India, who claimed that plants responded measurably to music and to prayer.


Bose, J. C. Growth and Tropic Movements of Plants. London/ New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1929.

. Motor Mechanisms of Plants. London/New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1928.

. The Nervous Mechanism of Plants. London/New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1926.

. The Physiology of the Ascent of Sap. London/New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1923.

. The Physiology of Photosynthesis. London/New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1924.

. Plant Autographs & Their Revelations. Washington, 1915.

. Plant Response as a Means of Physiological Investigation. London/New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1906.

. Researches in Irritability of Plants. London/New York: Longmans Green and Co., 1913.

. Response in the Living and Non-Living. London/New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1902.

Geddes, Patrick. The Life and Work of Sir Jagadis C. Bose. London/New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1920.