Scientific temper is a popular buzzword among the scientific community and policy makers, often used to highlight one of our constitutional or national specialties. Even before our constitution was written, we had a rich tradition of following scientific principles in our daily lives: architecture, health care, agriculture, music. Of course, this knowledge is in the hands of a small elite of society. After independence, our policy makers realized that this scientific knowledge and new scientific advances from the Western world needed to be adopted into new countries. and envisioned the results we are reaping today through research and innovation. But even today, science is controlled by the scientific and academic communities. The science these elite communities speak of is indigestible to ordinary people, even though it benefits us in our daily lives. Even in this Amrit Kal, where we march towards world leaders, myths and superstitions that affect human development are prevalent. , disgust of believing in the theory of evolution. Our nation can only make progress in all aspects of human development if all citizens are armed with scientific knowledge. This is a challenging job in a country with diverse cultures and traditions.
Many science dissemination programs have been carried out in the country under the auspices of distinguished institutions such as Vigyan Prasar, CSIR-NIScPR (formerly CSIR-NISCAIR). But still, achieving 100% scientific temper is a dream. The problem is that these agencies have their own limitations in reaching every corner of the country. Additionally, most science dissemination programs are led by scientists with a scientific background. There are few scientific institutions in the public sector where people with a literary or fine arts background are recruited as scientists. This is one of the major shortcomings of our science communication activities. We need more science communication institutions with trained personnel in science, literature and art in different parts of the country. Based on regional cultural differences, different science communication strategies should be designed to develop scientific temperament in society.
Literature comes to the rescue here. Literate people will read story books, novels, fiction, and poetry at some point in their lives, even if they don’t read science books or magazines. Even kids who aren’t interested in science in the classroom will want to read his science fiction books such as his Star Trek series. Many ordinary people without a scientific background are interested in reading biographies of scientists such as “Wings of Fire” by former President APJ Abdul Kalam. Likewise, there are many fans of science fiction books written by Fred Hoyle, Gregory Benford, Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, Michael Crichton, and others. increase.
In our classrooms, instead of textbooks, popular science books and literary works in the science field can keep students interested. Research shows that making connections with literary works helps students engage in science lessons. The students reported that they immediately became emotionally involved when they saw the story. They may begin to appreciate the creative possibilities of science. Students’ confidence in science improves when they understand the relevance of scientific concepts to their existing interests. When it comes to science lessons, we encourage children to expand their horizons and think outside the box. Synthesizing readings on accountability in science is one of her ways of helping students understand the material. They gain confidence as they learn that science encompasses multiple narrow disciplines.Students who are passionate about science believe that this session will critically develop her thinking skills and help them respond to new ideas. You will find that it will open your heart. They also encouraged many children to pursue learning on their own time.
Innovative ideas and technological advances in science and technology have been reflected in numerous well-known and representative works of literature. Throughout history, significant interactions between science and the cultural sphere (architecture, religion, Enlightenment philosophy, or literature) have shown that science is a fundamental component of culture. Science exists in literature in the form of topics, characters and even authors. This allows literature to be used as a vehicle to disseminate knowledge about science and its social context. Thus, Jonathan Swift, in his work Gulliver’s Travels (1726), depicts the island, Laputa. This island is magnetically held in the air and is inhabited by men who are completely devoted to math and music. Similarly, Jules Verne, in his novel The Mysterious Island (1874), explains the concept of man’s dominion over nature thanks to science and technology. Science has also inspired Arthur Conan in his Doyle work. The investigative methods used in his literary work Sherlock Holmes are based on the positivist scientific methods taught to the author as a medical student. More recently, Professor Yuval Noah Harari’s best-selling books such as “Sapiens” and “Homo Deus” explain science clearly, even though the authors themselves are not scientists. He recently published another book, Sapiens: A Graphic History. It is a radically graphic adaptation of his best-selling book Sapiens, aimed at children and laymen.
Recognizing the importance of literature in science communication, the government has launched the Vigyanka (Science and Literature Festival) as one of the main events of the Indian International Science Festival (IISF), a mega science event that has been held consistently since 2005. ) was included. The event brings scientists, literary and artistic practitioners to a common platform. This is a welcome step in taking science communication and science education to the next level. Our science students should be taught to read novels, poetry, biographies, etc. to improve their creativity. Having fun and being able to understand scientific concepts.
In this interdisciplinary world of learning, policymakers must open the doors of scientific institutions to those with a literary background. A good literary work, whether novel, fiction or poetry, is a mirror of society. It can reflect the issues facing the community, the virtues of values, and teach people to dream higher. It also serves to document the specific traditional knowledge that prevailed during that time. These values are essential to effectively bring science to the masses. Even today, policy makers are giving impetus to scientist-centered science communication. This should turn into a collective teamwork of scientists, literary figures and artists. We have to imagine a country in which a scientific temper is given to every citizen. To do this, we must train the young minds of the children who go to school. We need to design materials that digest all children, story books, comic books, novels, fiction, poetry, etc., containing scientific elements in various languages. Even students can learn scientific concepts indirectly. If scientists and literary figures unite, they can further the mission of developing a scientific temperament in all parts of the country and make India a scientific superpower of Amrit his Karl.
(The author is a scientist
Communicator and Academic)