The history of science communication in India goes back to 19th century. However a there are four major turning points on the recent historical trajectory. First; when Pt Jwaharlal Nehru articulated the idea of scientific temper and kick started a debate around the notion. Second; when Indian Parliament adopted Science Policy resolution. Third; when Indian constitution was amended to include spreading‘Scientific Temper, Sprit of Inquiry and humanism’as a duty of every citizen and fourth; the scientific temper statement drafted, released and circulated by a group of scientists, intellectual and artists. These turning points provided the solid foundation of conceptual framework, which has guided the science communication in the country. On the one hand institutional structures were created to propagate science. For example four national level apex bodies responsible for science communication and spreading of scientific temper that exist today. These bodies, namely, CSIR-National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources, National Council for Science & Technology Communication, Vigyan Prasar and NCSM were created during the past sixty years. Outside government structure a very lively NGO network exists which is also continually engaged in popularization and propagation of scientific ideas. Put together efforts of Governments Institutes and civil society organizations have significantly contributed to not only fulfilling the constitutional obligations but have also strengthened democracy in the country by shaping the national secular cognitive structure. The proposed panel of experts will discuss the Indian experience. It is designed to examine issues such as how various actors who have been instrumental in implementing national level science communication programmes have not only shaped the national scientific consciousness but have also, over a period of past 60 years, reverted back to the idea scientific temper in times of crisis. One of the paper would deal with the history and definition of ‘scientific temper’. The other three would deal with case studies of apex organizations of that have spread scientific awareness in the country with the aim of inculcating scientific temper among the masses.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Science communication for building scientific temper

Ramchandran Gopichandran   Vigyan Prasar, India

Thathamanglam Viswanathan Venkateswaran   Vigyan Prasar, India

The history of science communication in India goes back to 19th century. However a there are four major turning points on the recent historical trajectory. First; when Pt Jwaharlal Nehru articulated the idea of scientific temper and kick started a debate around the notion. Second; when Indian Parliament adopted Science Policy resolution. Third; when Indian constitution was amended to include spreading‘Scientific Temper, Sprit of Inquiry and humanism’as a duty of every citizen and fourth; the scientific temper statement drafted, released and circulated by a group of scientists, intellectual and artists. These turning points provided the solid foundation of conceptual framework, which has guided the science communication in the country. On the one hand institutional structures were created to propagate science. For example four national level apex bodies responsible for science communication and spreading of scientific temper that exist today. These bodies, namely, CSIR-National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources, National Council for Science & Technology Communication, Vigyan Prasar and NCSM were created during the past sixty years. Outside government structure a very lively NGO network exists which is also continually engaged in popularization and propagation of scientific ideas. Put together efforts of Governments Institutes and civil society organizations have significantly contributed to not only fulfilling the constitutional obligations but have also strengthened democracy in the country by shaping the national secular cognitive structure. The proposed panel of experts will discuss the Indian experience. It is designed to examine issues such as how various actors who have been instrumental in implementing national level science communication programmes have not only shaped the national scientific consciousness but have also, over a period of past 60 years, reverted back to the idea scientific temper in times of crisis. One of the paper would deal with the history and definition of ‘scientific temper’. The other three would deal with case studies of apex organizations of that have spread scientific awareness in the country with the aim of inculcating scientific temper among the masses.

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

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