The 'North East Science Communicators’ Conference has been started off at Gauhati University on Thursday.
Inaugurating the conference as Chief Guest, Honourable Vice Chancellor of Gauhati University Prof. P J Handique stressed upon removing the gap between science and common people.
Calling for greater efforts towards building scientific temper in society, he observed, “People nowadays use mobile phones and various devices which are the products of science and technology, yet they do not properly understand the science underlying them."
The meet has been jointly organised by Vigyan Prsasar, Department of Science and Technology (DST), Govt. Of India and Department of Communication and Journalism, Gauhati University in association with the Pollution Control Board of Assam (PCBA), as part of Vigyan Prasar’s countrywide thrust.
This initiative has been taken to broaden the base of scientific knowledge in Indian languages for widespread consumption by intended target groups, the two-day conference with seven sessions at Phanidhar Dutta Seminar Hall will brainstorm over various issues related to science communication, popularization and extension (SCoPE) as well as to take stock and identify challanges ahead, particularly in Northeast India.
Earlier in his welcome address, Dr. Nakul Parashar, Director, Vigyan Prasar said that scientists and media practitioners need an effective bridge between them, so that scientists can correctly and clearly communicate to the people what they are doing. In this context, he pointed out that Vigyan Prasar is expanding its scope activities in various Indian languages because learning science is most effective in one’s mother tongue.
Stating the objectives of the conference, Dr. Kinkini Dasgupta Mishra, Scientist F, Vigyan Prasar said that the conference will help to develop an effective communication strategy in different languages of NE region to disseminate scientific knowledge. Dr. Jaideep Baruah, Director, Assam Science Technology & Environment Council (ASTEC), emphasized upon developing proper scientific terminologies in various languages of the region so that publication as part of SCoPE activities in these languages becomes meaningful and productive.
Prof. Arup Kumar Mishra, Chairman, PCBA said that while students are the main strength to ensure the future of science communication, they must first learn to work in groups because scientific projects nowadays are vast collaborative efforts. Dr. Bibhash Choudhury, Dean, Faculty of Arts, Gauhati University lauded the untiring and invisible work of science communicators in transferring actual scientific knowledge to various communities in the region as well as in removing miscommunication.
On the first day of the conference, eminent science communicators from across the country discussed various aspects of science communication in three sessions.
The first two sessions were conducted by Dr. T.V. Venkateswaran on the topic ‘Journey so far in science communication popularization and its extension (SCoPE) in Indian languages’ followed by third session on the topic ‘science communication efforts in North-East’ conducted by Dr. Joya Chakraborty. In the inauguration ceremony, two books: ‘Packaging science for public interest’ edited by Nakul Parashar, Nimish Kapoor and Sumita Mukherjee and ‘MuthimanthayeMulakammu’ published by Vigyan Prasar and a compendium of articles from regional Scope magazines were released. A number of posters in Assamese depicting scientific mindset was also released.