Vincent Icke: Professor of Astrophysics at Leiden University (NL) & Professor of Cosmology at University of Amsterdam (NL), interviewed by Annette van der Hoek (PhD): Indologist.


The establishment of the ZerOrigIndia Foundation is predicated on a single premise, namely, that our decades-long studies indicate that there are sound reasons to assume that facilitating further independent scientific research into the origin of the zero digit as numeral may lead to theoretical insights and practical innovations equal to or perhaps even exceeding the revolutionary progress to which the historic emergence of the zero digit in India somewhere between 200 BCE and 500 CE has led across the planet, in the fields of mathematics, science and technology since its first emergence.

Above: Short interview (in Dutch) on BNR Newsradio with Indologist Annette van der Hoek (PhD), on the origin of Zero.

No one to date can doubt the astounding utility of the tenth and last digit to complete the decimal system, yet the origin of the zero digit is shrouded in mystery to this day. It is high time, therefore, that a systematic and concerted effort is undertaken by a multidisciplinary team of experts to unearth any extant evidence bearing on the origin of the zero digit in India.

The ZerOrigIndia Foundation is intended to serve as instrument to collect the requisite funds to finance said independent scientific research in a timely and effective manner.

Endorsement by Johannes Bronkhorst (Indologist, emeritus professor at the University of Lausanne):

I am happy to read that the ZerOrigIndia Foundation will soon be formally launching its website and online crowdfunding campaign. It can reasonably be argued that the discovery (or should we say invention) of the number zero was an event whose importance went well beyond the simplification of numerical notation that it made possible.


Unfortunately little is known about the origin of this digit. Strong indicators point to India, but research so far has done little beyond giving us some rough idea as to the date when this digit came into use (or had come into use). It has not so far explained what intellectual context provided the background and/or context that made this momentous invention possible.


If research sponsored by the ZerOrigIndia Foundation will shed light on this last question, not only Indologists and historians of mathematics will be grateful. Understanding how and why the great inventions were made that made modern science and technology possible, concerns all mankind. And the invention of zero certainly ranks among the greatest.

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