Scientists must use common man’s language: Mashelkar

IIT-B, ORF start science and technology fellowships

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Geetanjali Minhas | December 13, 2017 | Mumbai


#fellowship   #ORF   #IIT B   #Mashelkar   #communication   #Science  
Dr Raghunath Mashelkar (fourth from the left)
Dr Raghunath Mashelkar (fourth from the left)

Calling for improved communication in the field of science and technology, eminent scientist and chairman, National Innovation Foundation, Dr Raghunath Mashelkar has said that it is important to advance knowledge and people need to know how that knowledge is for their own good.

“Public awareness will increase public engagement. Be it health, nutrition, food, security or any other subject, science touches every aspect of life. What happens is scientists are poor communicators… the need of the hour is to train our scientists not to use jargon but use common man’s language so people understand. This requires special training so improved communication between sciences and society becomes easier,” said Dr Mashelkar at the Science Communication Dialogue for New India organised by IIT- Bombay and Observer Research Foundation(ORF).

“What is very close to my heart is actually engaging for influence…influencing those who influence the national policy-members of parliament,” he added at the event also saw release of the book “Bridging the Communication Gap in Science and Technology” edited by Pallava Bagla.     
 
He said: “Theoretical physicist (Albert Einstein) has said that if you cannot briefly explain what you are doing then you don’t know what you are doing.”
 
In a new initiative to make science communication a national movement, IIT Bombay and ORF announced six National  Science  and Technology Fellowships  each of Rs 1 lakh in languages other than English for publications.
 
Bagla, a journalist, said that the single most important thing about Mars Orbiter Mission(MOM) was to beat China to the orbit of Mars . “It was a six month technological vision undertaken with the single objective of reaching the orbit of Mars ahead of China. It was not a scientific mission. It was a technology demonstrator and the country came out in spectacular   form. In every other aspect of space, China has always beaten India.”
 
He added: “The outreach on Mangalyaan was not up to the mark. It should have captured the imagination of 1.2 billion people which it did not do.” 
 
ORF chairman Sudheendra Kulkarni told Governance Now that while we are continuously  making huge progress in science in technology,  people’ s understanding on the same is very less. “Till the common man’s understanding of science and technology does not happen, we will not be able to make progress. This means that communication of science and technology should happen very fast and make an impact.”
 
Kulkarni also said that media must bring out science bulletin’s and stories and speak about innovations  happening in the field of science and technology  so that people are engaged and motivated.
 
“Our political leaders, who are decision makers, most of them lack understanding of science and technology. IIT Bombay and ORF together are starting a new initiative where short terms courses will be started for our MPs and MLAs,” said Kulkarni.
 

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