Scientific communicators needed: NIAS chief

Speak science, technology to common people through poetry, theatre

Underlining the need for scientific community to come out in the open and communicate with outside world about science and advances in technology, National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) director V S Ramamurthy said it was imperative to do so.

Addressing the gathering at Senate Hall in Manasagangotri here on Tuesday, Ramamurthy said scientists need to be good communicators as well. He was delivering special lecture on ‘challenges of science communication’ on the occasion of National Science Day celebrations.

“We now need to bridge the gap between scientist and common person, and address latter in his/her language. Even if it means we have to take to poetry, theatre, dance or even roadshows to make them understand the advances technology has made and the knowledge science beholds, the scientific community should make that effort,” he emphasised.

Earlier, the scientific community was isolated and mostly worked shielded from the rest of the world. But today, there is a need to create linkages between the society and scientific community,” he added. 

Trust factorEmphasising the need to ‘disseminate’ information, Ramamurthy said the general public need to have faith in specialists for information, but lately the trend was that people didn’t trust the specialists too much.

“When the recent discussions on BT brinjal started, people looked at specialists for guidance. But, not much was forthcoming. This disappointed them. Similar is the case with advances in healthcare using technology. People often don’t understand if a particular option is being ‘sold’ to them or they are being advised by the specialist/doctor/health care giver with their interest in mind,” he observed. Suggesting that ‘Scientific communication’ be taught to graduates of Science, Ramamurthy urged the vice-chancellor to include this discipline as part of degree courses in the University. 

Vice-chancellor of University of Mysore V G Talwar, Aqeel Ahmed, registrar P S Naik, B Shivaraj and others were present on the occasion.

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