Science Communication: Culture & Credibility

Science is the basis of all developments in our society. The world is now at a position where every working field is dominated by scientific inventions. Our everyday lives experience the contributions of science. From birth till death, we go through different stages of life which are determined by science. The research efforts and justifiable results have put India in a good position in the field of science. It makes Indians proud. But within this country how many people are aware about the progress and prospects of scientific developments? Therefore, to uplift the morale of our countrymen it is needed to take a bold step to ensure informing the rural India at the very outset. Science is for all. The prosperity of a country depends largely upon scientific innovations and developments. Being a developing country India needs more and more development and this advancement must happen at grass root level and the country should get its future scientists from every strata of society. Our country primarily depends on agriculture and most of the people belong to rural areas and few of them know the minimum advancements of science. In fact, there are still so many remote areas where electricity has not yet reached. Therefore, those rural people do not receive the effect of that most epochmaking invention, it will be impossible for them to make an idea about the country’s progress and its current position in science globally. Technological developments and their knowledge in rural areas can change the mission and motto of livelihood of the people at the grass root level.

Technological developments and their knowledge in rural areas can change the mission and motto of livelihood of the people at the grass root level. Science communication generally refers to public communication presenting science-related topics. This often involves professional scientists on at least one side as a communicator. Science communication also includes communication between scientists (for instance through scientific journals). Science communication may be especially critical in addressing scientific misinformation, which spreads easily because it is not subject to the constraints of scientific method. It includes science exhibitions & various media productions.  Science communication may also aim to generate support for scientific research or study, or to inculcate scientific temperament. Science communicators can use entertainment and persuasion including humour, storytelling and metaphors. Scientists can be trained in some of the techniques used by actors to improve their communication.

Science communication has the capacity to create a space from where a new revolution can take birth. Diffusion of information and education regarding scientific innovations and progress among rural populace generate interest and awareness.

Agro-based areas need these enthusiasm and endeavours that may alter the present status of India as developing nation and move towards the developed concept. Mass media can play an important role in disseminating information among the citizens. But due to lack of education and financial incapacity, the people from remote and rural areas are deprived of accessing the television and newspapers properly. Therefore, deficiency of knowledge remains. This dearth of information becomes a hurdle in the road of creating curiosity and the people are compelled to work as usually. One may try alternative ways such as documentary films and arranging participatory communication through agricultural fairs so that people are provided the opportunity to exchange ideas of their experiments and put those into field experiments.

Propagation of scientific knowledge among citizens is urgently required today. Betterment of mean level of information may establish our country in a leading position in the near future. Departments of Science & Technology and of Rural Development may disseminate information through sms-es in mobile phones of rural areas in regional language, English language and in Hindi language having science communication content. These departments can also provide hoardings at rural post offices, seed shops, fertilizer shops and tehsil offices having science communication over these.

The documentary films can also be used to fulfil the knowledge gap. Being an audio visual medium it has that capacity to provide information and education simultaneously. The performance of a machine, its dynamism, advantages, and effectiveness can be shown through a documentary film. It will be acceptable to them also. Even those people from grass root level have already done experiments with their machines can share their experiences. As a result, those people who still do not have any idea about that scientific model or mechanisms caneasily comprehend what the efficacy of this invention is. If the people of grass root level agree with the utility of that invention through using it and watching its activity, then the other people from the same level will accept his words immediately. The people who already experience the aid of new machines are working as opinion leaders. Those who still do not use the technologies, if agreed to experiment the same as opinion followers, then success may come without more ado. Naturally, information will disseminate within little time and the invention from laboratory would take place of land. This step down structure will be more effective and will help the cultivators and peasants. Through visualization process the people can understand a model and through audio, they also gather information at the same time.

To poor people of rural areas, to make out the country’s progress and current position in science globally, proper science c ommunication is necessary. Another matter is literacy. Each citizen in the rural or remote areas has not experienced the essence of literacy. Then, how do they feel the scientific determination of their own country? However, the rural people earn their livelihood through agriculture. Therefore technological inventions which can help them in increasing production level as well as income will be more acceptable to them. Newly invented fertilizers, seeds, cultivation procedure and style can change their lives too. Due to these techniques the poor people will experience advancement in life and they can enjoy their lives too. If the same investment in the beginning of any production procedure can earn more profit, naturally the people will lean in that system. Then they would alter their motivations. So, awareness is the main thing here. If the rural people become aware about new improvements which can support and secure their livelihood, automatically their interest will grow up. And to aware them proper communication is necessary. Enriching the rural people through education and information regarding technological up gradation may create remarkable prospect in the near future.

Writer: Servottam Dixit

(Writer is Director, Distance Education & International Business at Mewar University)

Email : sdixit

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