A meaningful distinction was sought to be made between “science promotion” and “science communication” with the latter thought to be more effective.
Speakers at the Science Communicators’ Congress, on the side lines of the 108th Indian Science Congress, stressed the need to create a scientific temper among the masses using different tools of communication. While “promotion” is one-way, “communication” entails active participation of both sides.
Dr. Prashant Maheshwari, Dean, Faculty of Science and Technology, RTMNU, chaired the inaugural session.
Dwelling upon this important concept, the chief guest at the event’s inauguration, Dr. Atul Vaidya, Director, CSIR-NEERI, Nagpur, said that while science promotion was certainly happening, one must ponder whether scientific thoughts were being communicated as well. “Prachar (promotion) to Sanchar (communication) should be the objective of the scientific community,” he said.
The event provided an opportunity to academicians, scientists and other communicators from all over the world to meet, deliberate and exchange their views on how to develop science communication.
The meet which was inaugurated today by Dr. Atul Vaidya, had on schedule 21 oral presentations and 17 poster presentations by Scientists, Students, Eminent Personalities and also Communicators from different parts of India on a diverse range of topics. Dr. Vaidya also released the book of abstracts of the SCM.
Addressing the meet, Dr. Vaidya emphasised the importance of Science Communication in present days’ fast evolving digital age. He expressed his views on how important it was to employ the correct means and tools for science communication to effectively convey its message for the larger good of the society, besides adapting to newer technologies. Quoting Albert Einstein, he said “Science should be as simple as possible in achieving communication’,
The meet was earlier addressed to by the Guests of Honour, Dr. M. Mohanty, Head NCSTC, Department of Science and Technology, GOI and Dr. P.K. Goswami, ex Vice Chancellor, University of Science & Technology Meghalaya.
Dr. Mohanty highlighted the steps that the government was taking in strengthening the dissemination and promotion of scientific knowledge countrywide through multiple channels of communication that include ‘training of science teachers, celebrating science through events, seminars and the designated Science Day, Science and Technology Councils in the States, Health Science Communication besides adopting low cost models for teaching’. Dr. Goswami spoke on the need for scientific knowledge to trickle down to the masses, if it wanted to achieve its true purpose.
Dr Vijay Laxmi Saxena, General President, Indian Science Congress Association in the presidential address laid stress on reaching out to the masses and tribals through general awareness programs about preventable diseases to removing misconceptions prevalent in the society. She concluded on the note –“let’s make ours a Scientific Society and India a Scientific Nation”.
Dr. S. Ramakrishna, General Secretary (Membership Affairs), ISCA earlier in the day welcomed the guests, speakers and the audience. Dr. Gouri Dixit, Priyadarshini J.L. College of Pharmacy conducted the proceedings. Dr. P.K. Goswamimade the concluding remarks, while Dr. Rita Wadetwar, Convener, proposed a vote of thanks.