'Cut out unscientific content in media'

'Cut out unscientific content in media'

Over 200 scientists from Indian Institute of Science (IISc), professors from Bangalore University have asked the Union government to direct the visual media not to broadcast unscientific content.

They have signed a memorandum drafted by the Breakthrough Science Society (BSS) and various pro-science organisations in this regard.

As a part of 'March for Science-2018' scheduled on April 14, scientists from across the state have voiced their concern about the current practices and the need for better investment in basic science.

According to S Mahadevan, professor, Molecular Reproduction, Development and Genetics, IISc, the world was slowly turning radical, putting science on the back burner.

"There is generally a loss of critical thinking, less reasoning. It is very unfortunate that even in the UK, Darwin's theory of evolution is questioned. Governments must come forward to invest in science," the professor said.

Prof Arnab Rai Choudhari from Department of Physics, IISc said: "India should groom young scientists. The government should allocate more funds to research activities in science."

Rajani KS, secretary of BSS, said a lot of unscientific content was being broadcast on television, which the government should relook and take action against.

The scientists felt that some Union ministers were adding to the agony by making vague statements against renowned scientists in the world. Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Satyapal Singh had recently said: "Darwin's theory (Theory of Evolution of Humans) is scientifically wrong. It needs to be changed in school and college curriculum...".

Similarly, Science and Technology Minister Dr Harshvardhan had said: "Stephen Hawking said, our Vedas might have a theory superior to Einstein's law E=MC2."

Union ministers must at least verify facts before making such statements, said Dr Sarbari Bhattacharya, assistant professor, Department of Science, Bangalore University. If we want to achieve technical progress, basic science has to be strengthened and the government must encourage those who are into genuine research work irrespective of their background, Dr Bhattacharya added.

The Central government allocates around 0.86% on scientific research of which a large share goes to Indian Space Research Organisation and Defence Research and Development Organisation. The Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER) get only a small share in this. There was absolutely no allocation made for basic science, scientists felt.

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