The notion of a ‘scientific temper’ embedded in the political discourse in India, transcends boundaries of ‘science’. It is rooted in ideas promoted by the European Enlightenment, and is generally expressed as a secular value system. In the course of introducing the notion of a ‘scientific temper’ to the Indian population bitter debates ensued around issues of ‘science and society’ by the budding scientific community. This notion was to serve as a catalyst for social change and eventually resulted in the articulation of a national goal termed as ‘scientific temper’. It is argued that the objective of all science communication programmes is aimed to create a scientifically tempered society. Spreading a ‘scientific temper’ is a socio-political project that aims to create an alternative dynamic worldview. It heavily impinges on social and cultural practices, facilitates renegotiation processes and has as its objective democratically shared social ideals. In course of time it is becoming clear that conflict arises between science and extra-science and the present paper probes the complexity of mediation between these two conceptual worldviews in a globalised world order. The paper also presents a policy perspective to science communication in India and the dynamics of some important outreach initiatives. 

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Scientific temper
An arena of contestation in a globalised world

Gauhar Raza   Chief Scientist & Head, Science Communication through Multi-media (SCM). National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources (NISCAIR), CSIR, New

B P Singh   Scientist G and Head National Council for Science & Technology Communication

T V Venkateswaran   Scientist F Vigyan Prasar

R Gopichandran  

Director Vigyan Prasar  

G S Rautela – Director General NCSM

The notion of a ‘scientific temper’ embedded in the political discourse in India, transcends boundaries of ‘science’. It is rooted in ideas promoted by the European Enlightenment, and is generally expressed as a secular value system. In the course of introducing the notion of a ‘scientific temper’ to the Indian population bitter debates ensued around issues of ‘science and society’ by the budding scientific community. This notion was to serve as a catalyst for social change and eventually resulted in the articulation of a national goal termed as ‘scientific temper’. It is argued that the objective of all science communication programmes is aimed to create a scientifically tempered society. Spreading a ‘scientific temper’ is a socio-political project that aims to create an alternative dynamic worldview. It heavily impinges on social and cultural practices, facilitates renegotiation processes and has as its objective democratically shared social ideals. In course of time it is becoming clear that conflict arises between science and extra-science and the present paper probes the complexity of mediation between these two conceptual worldviews in a globalised world order. The paper also presents a policy perspective to science communication in India and the dynamics of some important outreach initiatives. 

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