The present day society and human life is interwoven with scientific and technological advancements. We are living in the age of car, TV, internet, Wifi, 3G, MRI, IVF, Robotics, nanotechnology, MEMS and many more.


All these gadgets, concepts have entered into our everyday life. In order to live in such a society and to lead a meaningful life, this kind of situation demands that we acquire a basic minimum of information and knowledge of the nature of science and technology in terms of what is called as Scientific Literacy. Such literacy while being complementary to overall literacy enables us to critically appreciate the interlinks between science, technology and society. Now one of the most of important means of acquiring such literacy is Science Communication. It is well recognized that Communication is the essence of science in all its aspects, be it technical or non-technical. In addition , it is important to recognize that to the extent that science is a public enterprise, the institutional dimensions of science communication are of great importance.

In the light of the significance attached to communication we intend to discuss the meaning, scope and necessity of science communication in context of Scientific Literacy. After presenting certain preliminary observations concerning the nature of science communication we will present a description of the activities of The Bangalore Science Forum with a view to indicate the institutional dimension of the process of science communication. Following this we will suggest ways in which institutional aspects can be combined with other aspects of communication network to make the spread of scientific literacy a comprehensive domain accessible to a wide audience.

Science Communication generally refers to person/media aiming to talk about science with non scientists and scientifically literates also. It is some times done by professional scientists but has evolved into a professional field in its own right. When science is communicated rightfully it should have purpose and impact on the community to whom it is addressed. The purpose is to obviously make the community scientifically literate and impart is felt if the community absorbs and interacts in society.

At this junction we would like to know about what is meant by Scientific Literacy? According to National Centre for Education Statistics, scientific literacy is the knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and processes required for personal decision making, participating in civic and cultural affairs and economics productivity. It also includes specific types of abilities. A scientifically literate citizen should be able to evaluate the quality of scientific information on the basis of its source and methods used to generate it.

In the above context of scientific literacy with specific reference to India we would like to discuss the activities of Bangalore Science Forum with a view to indicate the institutional dimension of the process of communication. The Bangalore Science Forum was Established in 1962, it is about to complete its Golden Jubilee in two years. The Forum conducts, weekly lectures (about 2300 completed), summer school and lecture competitions for the past four decade consistently.


Recently this Forum is conducting science lecture competitions in vernacular for undergraduate students. It has conducted science model making for higher secondary students. This year the forum is conducting a Laser Fest in the month of October. Obviously for the selfless services rendered to society on a voluntary basis, the forum has been awarded two National Awards for Science Communication. In our Paper we will be analytically examining the activities of the forum. Finally, it is our argument that the scope and significance of scientific Communication is best understood in terms of relationship between the process, the institutional frame work and well motivated public participation.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Science communication in the context of scientific literacy
A case study of Bangalore science forum, Bangalore

M. G Narasimhan   National Institute of Advanced Studies

Y. C. Kamala   The National Degree College

The present day society and human life is interwoven with scientific and technological advancements. We are living in the age of car, TV, internet, Wifi, 3G, MRI, IVF, Robotics, nanotechnology, MEMS and many more.


All these gadgets, concepts have entered into our everyday life. In order to live in such a society and to lead a meaningful life, this kind of situation demands that we acquire a basic minimum of information and knowledge of the nature of science and technology in terms of what is called as Scientific Literacy. Such literacy while being complementary to overall literacy enables us to critically appreciate the interlinks between science, technology and society. Now one of the most of important means of acquiring such literacy is Science Communication. It is well recognized that Communication is the essence of science in all its aspects, be it technical or non-technical. In addition , it is important to recognize that to the extent that science is a public enterprise, the institutional dimensions of science communication are of great importance.

In the light of the significance attached to communication we intend to discuss the meaning, scope and necessity of science communication in context of Scientific Literacy. After presenting certain preliminary observations concerning the nature of science communication we will present a description of the activities of The Bangalore Science Forum with a view to indicate the institutional dimension of the process of science communication. Following this we will suggest ways in which institutional aspects can be combined with other aspects of communication network to make the spread of scientific literacy a comprehensive domain accessible to a wide audience.

Science Communication generally refers to person/media aiming to talk about science with non scientists and scientifically literates also. It is some times done by professional scientists but has evolved into a professional field in its own right. When science is communicated rightfully it should have purpose and impact on the community to whom it is addressed. The purpose is to obviously make the community scientifically literate and impart is felt if the community absorbs and interacts in society.

At this junction we would like to know about what is meant by Scientific Literacy? According to National Centre for Education Statistics, scientific literacy is the knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and processes required for personal decision making, participating in civic and cultural affairs and economics productivity. It also includes specific types of abilities. A scientifically literate citizen should be able to evaluate the quality of scientific information on the basis of its source and methods used to generate it.

In the above context of scientific literacy with specific reference to India we would like to discuss the activities of Bangalore Science Forum with a view to indicate the institutional dimension of the process of communication. The Bangalore Science Forum was Established in 1962, it is about to complete its Golden Jubilee in two years. The Forum conducts, weekly lectures (about 2300 completed), summer school and lecture competitions for the past four decade consistently.


Recently this Forum is conducting science lecture competitions in vernacular for undergraduate students. It has conducted science model making for higher secondary students. This year the forum is conducting a Laser Fest in the month of October. Obviously for the selfless services rendered to society on a voluntary basis, the forum has been awarded two National Awards for Science Communication. In our Paper we will be analytically examining the activities of the forum. Finally, it is our argument that the scope and significance of scientific Communication is best understood in terms of relationship between the process, the institutional frame work and well motivated public participation.

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

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