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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Status of science communication in India today

Subbiah Arunachalam   Editor, Indian Journal of Technology, Publications & Information Directorate, New Delhi, India

P. S. Shankar  

The importance of public understanding of science and science communication aimed at informing the public and improve the science literacy of the people at large is being increasingly realized in India today. In fact, the space alloted to science in some of the daily newspapers in India is comparable to that in US and UK newspapers. Apart from the conventional means of communicating scientific knowledge through news stories and features in the print and electronic media, there is a growing interest in actively spreading not only scientific literacy but also knowledge about the social implications of science and raising social awareness of the people through 'science marches’ , street plays, etc. by popular science movement (PSM) groups. The increasing use of such unconventional means to raise social awareness and such movements being acutally supported by grants from the central government through a National Council for Science & Technology Communication are perhaps unique to India. In fact, India’s success with the Green Revolution owes it to agricultural extension workers as much as to adaptive R & D. Some recent developments/happenings that auger well for India are :

1)   Establishment of full-time courses on science communication in a few universities,

2)   NCSTC funding several regional language journals, a feature service on low-tech science, workshops and the production of radio and TV programmes,

3)   Press Trust of India operating a full fledged science news service for more than 5 years,

4)   The Indian Science Writers Associations holding workshops on techniques of science communication for science writers, etc.

Also, the Indian science literacy movement has led to greater environmental awareness and had even entered political decision making.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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