“Science communication is crucial in distilling accurate scientific Information”

“Science communication is crucial in distilling accurate scientific Information”
Prof. Vijay Raghavan addressing the National Seminar on Science Communication by CSIR-NIScPR

New Delhi, March 14: Distilling correct scientific information is a considerable challenge, and here science communication has a significant role to play, says Professor K. Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser, Government of India. He was speaking on the occasion of a national seminar on science communication, organised by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)-National Institute of Science Communication and Policy Research (NIScPR) on Thursday.

Disinformation and misinformation are easy to communicate, as they are not credible, but transmitting accurate scientific information is a challenge, added Professor Vijay Raghavan. Representatives from 14 institutions engaged in science communication across the country; came together on a single platform to share their experiences and ideas for strengthening the science communication efforts. A women scientist’s meet was also organised on the same day by CSIR-NIScPR.

The seminar was organised in hybrid mode at the CSIR-NPL Auditorium, New Delhi, and its central theme was “Nurturing Science Communication – Motivating Science Communicators”.

Dr Shekhar C. Mande, Director-General, CSIR asserted that we all need to be better communicators. Good communication skills and knowledge of history can be improvised upon to be better communicators. As scientists, we need to understand the science and technology involved in how it was done 100 years ago and how things have changed.  So will it be that people will be amazed about how handled the issues after 100 years from now. As scientists, we take prestige in peer-reviewed journals, social scientists take pride in how it has changed human life. But to constantly involve the public in all the activities with the applications is the role of science communicators. We are short of people who can connect with the general masses and science happening behind the walls.

Prof. Ranjana Aggarwal, Director, CSIR-NIScPR elaborated the institute’s commitment to provide correct information in the right manner with society’s engagement. The challenge is to produce new science communicators and writers. She emphasized the need for much more science-based stories than research papers alone from the scientific community that can impact society.

Dr Sharmila Mande, Chief Scientist with TCS Research, Tata Consultancy said, “Science lab work changes peoples’ lives, but school children need to know what’s happening in the world of science. The future of healthcare is going to depend on preventive and scientific advances. Scientific endeavors need to be made known in a simplistic manner in the form of a book, animation, etc.”

Prof VenugopalAchanta, Director, CSIR-National Physical Laboratory (NPL) said that considerable research being carried out on local problems, needs to be communicated as well.

Professor Avanish Kumar Srivastava, Director, CSIR-AMPRI, highlighted the disconnect between hardcore scientists and journalists. He said that this seminar is another step to bringing scientists and science communicators closer.

Various science publications of CSIR-NIScPR were released on this occasion which includes a theme book of the Seminar, Report on “Women in STEM: A CSIR survey towards Gender Parity”, Science Reporter &VigyanPragati  (March 2022 issues), A book titled “Mere ChunindaVigyanLekh” authored by Dr Manish Mohan Gore, Scientist, CSIR-NIScPR and “VaigyanikJagdish Chandra Bose KeMahaanVichaar” by Sawankumar bag, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Bar-Ilan University, Israel and Meher Wan, Scientist, CSIR-NIScPR. A report titled “Women in STEM: A CSIR Survey towards Gender Parity” by Prof Ranjana Aggarwal, Dr Sandhya Wakdikar and Dr Praveen Sharma from CSIR-NIScPR was also released on this occasion. (India Science Wire)

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