Kevlar is a synthetic material called a polymer which was discovered by Stephanie Kwolek who was working at the DuPont Laboratories at the time. You would probably know it best from its use in Kevlar Motorbike Armour and Kevlar Bullet Proof vests which are products that take advantage of the high toughness of Kevlar. It has become such a successful and highly used material due to its properties, which include:
- High Cut Resistance
- High Tensile Strength at Low Weight
- Structural Rigidity
- Flame Resistant, Self-Extinguishing
- Low Thermal Shrinkage
- Low Electrical Conductivity
- High Chemical Resistance
- High Toughness (Work-To-Break)
- Excellent Dimensional Stability
These properties mean that it is lightweight, keeps its shape and is very resistant to tearing and punctures. Due to these features, Kevlar is used in the manufacturing of bike, plane, truck and racing car tyres, as well as other products such as tennis rackets, Kayaks, canoes and skis.Read More
The newest technology in HD TV is the LED TV. LED backlights are being used by some manufacturers such as Sony and Samsung to replace the traditionally used CCF Lamps. The TV is still an LCD but with a different back light as the LCD panel doesn’t product light on its own. Thinner TV’s can be manufactured using this technology and there are some environmental benefits too.
So far there are only a few on the market but they are using better techniques to make clearer pictures and truer colours and it won’t be long before they become the new standard for TV.Read More
Prosthetic legs, also known as artificial legs, provide amputees with a replacement for a fully functioning limb. This prevents the need for a wheelchair. Of all prosthetics, artificial limbs are critical for patients to resume a normal life.
Although wheelchairs help with mobility, most amputees would prefer a leg replacement to a wheelchair. Prosthetics can sometimes be bought through medical supplies stores or can be ordered for your specific situation by your doctor.
The need for leg prosthetics can be from amputation because of an accident, birth defect, vascular disease or other medical complication. They can generally be divided in to two types of prosthetic leg.
Above the knee prosthesis or below the knee prosthesis.
Below the knee prosthetics
Below the knee or Trans-Tibial prosthetics is where the lower limb needs to be replaced, and patient retains a stump for the artificial leg to be attached.
Below the knee prostheses for normally consist of a socket, shank or shin and a foot.
Patellar-Tendon-Bearing or PTB sockets are a common design where the weight of the amputee is transferred to the stump of the leg. PTB sockets totally enclose the stump and can contain either a soft or hard liner. Attachment of the leg prosthesis can be by a cuff above the knee cap or by the shape of the brim or socket. Alternatively an elastic sleeve can be used creating suction between the socket artificial limb.
A diagram of Trans-Tibial prosthetics can be seen below:
Above the knee prosthetics
Above knee prosthetics or Transfemoral Prosthesis, can be more complicated comprising of a socket, a knee system, a shank and a foot or ankle system. Consultation with your doctor or prosthetic and orthotic specialist will help you to decide the prosthetic leg that is right for you.
Prosthetic leg costs
Below-the-knee prosthetics usually costs between $6,000 and $8,000. A prosthetic leg above the knee usually can cost between $10,000 and $15,000 and can be as much as $35,000 so if needed, hopefully you have individual disability insurance.
If you have the money, the C-leg by Otto Bock HealthCare is also worth looking into. It is completely microprocessor-controlled leg prosthesis system that has multiple settings for walking and running cycling or even inline-skating!
Today everyone fully accepts the importance of Material Science. Its utility and importance have always remained in vogue because it tests itself on the basis of logic, experimentation and research. In addition to this it never wavers when it is required to give up beliefs that are not scientifically sound and rational. Of course it is a well known fact that scientific findings do tend to change every now and then. If for the first time some proof is found it is not necessary that it will remain eternally correct. This is because when newer discoveries and inventions unfold the previous conclusions are renounced. Thus scientific findings at a particular point in time are accepted as true only until new findings later disprove their veracity. Hence the previous finding henceforth does not hold true as it did previously. It is this yearning for truth that helps Modern Science retain its importance and utility.
The attainments of Spiritual Science are infinitely more than those of Material Science. Hence its importance too is n-fold more than modern science. Thus it is most required that greater attention be paid to it. Since in ancient times Spiritual Science was given a lot of importance man’s overall glory too reached high peaks. But later the more man’s soul force weakened the more he headed towards both a material and spiritual degradation. Hence if we wish to herald in a radiant future in the 21st century optimum usage of soul principles are the need of the hour. Thus keeping this in mind it is most required that Spiritual Sciences be researched in a modern scientific manner and place them in front of all so as to imbibe them in their pristine purity.
It is Spiritual Philosophy that is the foundation stone of human thought/viewpoint. It is the very life force of spirituality. Man’s wholesome thinking or otherwise is totally dependent on the beliefs of social norm that are in vogue at a particular time. The basis of high leveled thought flow during the Rishi Era was Spiritual Philosophy that was in vogue. It ceaselessly inspired human beings to strive for supremacy as far as wholesome thought and activity was concerned. As a result heavenly situations manifested and divinely human beings took birth. Serious questions regarding the soul, God’s existence, God’s glory, fruits of ones past/present/future actions, creation of this world and the aim behind it can only be answered by Spiritual Philosophy.
During varying times and circumstances great Rishis of yore gave us philosophical tenets to suit those times and requirements. As long as the Rishi Yuga existed, this tradition continued thus creating heavenly situations for world beings. But later during the Middle Age a fairly long time span of darkness and gloom prevailed. Since in this dark period unruliness and anarchy took over philosophy, righteousness and spirituality were totally ignored by one and all. During such dire times it is most required that one is alert enough to gauge what is apt and what is not apt. Thus we should develop an intellect which leans towards research so as to understand what is true and what is its day to day usefulness.
Ancient and very useful spiritual principles need to be put forth to world humanity in such a way wherein there remains no room for doubt as far as its utility and veracity is concerned especially in today’s Jet Age.
Great Rishis elucidated various behavioral depending on each circumstance and its requirement. Smritis clearly depict such differences in norms laid down. The different norms laid down by great seers during various points in world history were not because there was hatred, differences etc amongst these seers. In fact they were forced to lay down different social norms simply because the requirements during various phases of world history required specific norms for each and every phase.
The basis of past progress, analysis of downfall and goal setting for the future is an intellect which yearns for facts and reality. In spiritual parlance it is called Ritambhara. According to Brahman scriptures this is what Prajapati says while elucidating Divine Wisdom or Self Realization: When during cosmic annihilation (Pralaya) everything in this world is destroyed at that time too one Rishi remains alive to reveal the truth. His name is ‘Tarka’. Over here Tarka is not some dry and superficial argument but it is a divine intellect full of profound wisdom. It is with its help that one can attain Self Realization. An intellect that is open to accept truth shies away from prejudiced fanatical beliefs. The wheel of time is such that situations faced by us all are bound to change again and again. And it is because of this that the methods of solving various problems too change when situations change. No doubt we revere saints and seers of the past and the spiritual endeavors demarcated by them. And yet it is not necessary that these endeavors can help in today’s times since situations of those times and today differ a great deal. Hence it is most required that spiritual practices of those times that can be used today be imbibed wholeheartedly and renounce those which are not suitable for modern times (but were apt for past times).
As mentioned previously in the Middle Age of darkness and ignorance a lot of distortions plagued the spiritual arena. Such disparity was seen in the principles, methods and social execution of Spiritual Philosophy that even a common thinking intellect would refuse to trust its veracity and utility. In the dark Middle Age sacred scriptures got ‘adulterated’ so as to say. This resulted in the degradation of the lives of so called religious and spiritual “leaders”. Thus majority of world humanity rightly refused to trust them and follow in their footsteps.
There was a time many centuries back when Rishis’ speech and the sacred gospel of our scriptures were thought to be beyond doubt. Today because intellectualism and logic/proof is the in thing, scriptural precepts will not be gulped down solely on the basis of faith. The philosophy of faith can only be reinstated today on the firm foundation of its utility, proof and veracity. Today the need of the hour is that the principles and day to day execution of Spiritual Science be put forth in a form that is wholesome and acceptable to this present generation of the Computer Age. Those very spiritual tenets faithfully and wholeheartedly imbibed by seers of yore must be presented today in a manner that is acceptable to the highly intellectual human beings of modern times. The gist of the teachings of great thinkers and sages of ancient times is unanimous wherein human beings love each other selflessly, imbibe the wealth of sacred thinking, grow the flowers of wholesome actions and develop a great character. How will al this happen? The answer is one without a second and that is faith towards Spiritual Sciences be imbibed deeply in ones psyche.
For this a 2-pronged effort has been designed wherein distortions that have entered Spiritual Science are being rooted out and to prove with sound scientific arguments the futility to pursue materialism that does not have a firm substratum of spiritual values. For this in the gigantic library of the Brahmavarchas Research Institute’s highly experienced scholars are re-analyzing every religious scripture in a scientific manner. Every scripture is scrutinized minutely for its useful tenets and without any prejudice or bias renounce all precepts that are not useful/applicable in today’s 21st century. We must have deep faith that just as when the mythological churning of the ocean took place and 14 jewels emerged from it so too our scientific research will definitely unearth those spiritual jewels that will be acceptable the world over.
It is also the need of the hour to combat the rat race like material pursuits (one could say it is a by product of Modern Science) devoid of spiritual and human values. The very foundation of ethics has been shattered because of laying emphasis solely on direct visible proof and material utility. Die hard materialists refuse to accept the existence of the soul and God. As a result the attitude of ‘why even deign to think about good deeds/merits, spiritual goals, renunciation, sacrifice etc’? Charvak said: Rinam Kritvaa Gridham Pibait. It means keep borrowing money and thus eat, drink and be merry. He also said: Yena Kena Prakaarena, Yaavajjeevait Sukham Jeevait. It means beg, borrow or steal and continue to live a life of sense merriment. If one looks around and analyzes the life style of the highly materialistic intellectual class it certainly appears as though they are hell bent on proving Charvak right. When scientific research proves everything on the basis of proof collected from ones sense organs, mind and intellect why should not life’s philosophy be erected on the foundation stone of selfishness? The results of such erroneous thinking stares starkly in our face wherein every area of our life predominates with narrow minded selfishness, lack of magnanimity and generosity and hard heartedness. There is no other cause for this apart from our lack of faith in the importance of spiritual values and tenets. How can it be warded off? The answer is unanimous in that faith in spiritual values must be reinstated in the psyche of world humanity on a firm footing. And this is possible only by imbibing the sacred precepts of Spiritual Sciences.
Spirituality can be imbued with new vigor only by 1) destroying distortions that have entered spirituality and 2) reinstating the philosophy of aspiring for greatness which is being ignored today by those who pursue rank materialism devoid of spiritual and human values. It is hence that the gigantic Research Institute called Brahmavarchas has been established. The highly intellectual class of this Computer Age can only be convinced by giving philosophical answers to philosophy, scientific answers to science and logical answers to logic. Atheism is ruling the roost today simply because spiritual principles have not been presented via sound scientific proof and logic. One can safely say that Modern Sciences’ principles that rely on proof only is not the major cause of people scoffing the existence of the soul, God, fruits of ones actions, spiritual goals etc. Instead the root cause is that till today we have failed to present Spiritual Sciences laced with ample scientific proof and logic.
In order to fulfill this all important goal Brahmavarchas Research Institute has been set up as a all round centre of scientific research. No doubt our beginning is dwarfish yet the potential of it becoming gigantic and all pervasive is very high. We have sown a powerful seed and without doubt it is not the end. It is a gigantic task to test Spiritual Science’s principle on the basis of sound scientific logic and proof. And hence gigantic means that include a well equipped high profiled laboratory are most required. Over here there are 2 options. The first one wherein wait for high leveled means and then start research activities. The second is make-do with the limited means available at present and commence research studies on a war like footing. We realized that it is not possible to stop research just because all the required means are not available. A delay would mean not helping in the obstruction of world humanity’s imminent spiritual and material downfall. Hence it is important that without delay we prove the authentic nature of spiritual values via scientific research and only then will the highly intellectual class of the world accept it and imbibe it to the fullest. Brahmavarchas Research Institute’s wheels are on a roll and the train of research studies has started moving slowly but surely.
Research studies have 2 aspects viz. literature based research and experimentation in a well equipped laboratory. A gigantic collection of literature in our high profile library that includes religions of all nations of the world, books of great thinkers and philosophers of the world covering areas of Science, Philosophy, Psychology, Parapsychology, Sociology etc will help fulfill our requirement of scientific as well as a philosophic method of scientific analysis. Further spiritual practices will be scientifically tested in our laboratory that is equipped with advanced scientific apparatus and technology. We are analyzing the effect of Mantras, Japa and Yajna on human beings, other creatures and plants. It is no secret that today man’s bodily, mental and spiritual health is fast deteriorating. Various medical therapies like Allopathy, Homeopathy and Ayurveda are not weeding out diseases from their very roots. Under such dire circumstances what is required is that we unearth a mode of therapy which gives us sound bodily, mental and spiritual health for keeps.
The Science of Yajna or Yajnopathy is being given a firm and strong foundation. We are constantly in touch with well known scientists and medical specialists so as to reap rich dividends from our research. We must all have faith that in the near future Yajnopathy will bloom forth in its total healthy and all encompassing form. Thus it will serve entire world humanity both materially and spiritually.
Literature based research study has many aspects. And yet chief amongst them are Science and Philosophy. This era demands that spiritual and human values be given prime importance. Hence 4 main topics with reference to them have been taken up for research studies. They are: 1) Inter Faith Understanding and Equality, 2) Cosmic Consciousness and Cosmic Nature, 3) Science of True Thinking and 4) Yajna based therapy. In the subsequent phase of our research other topics too will be studied minutely.
1) Inter Faith Understanding and Equality: In order that every world religion is given utmost honor and respect 14 golden aphorisms have been elucidated that are accepted by all religions. They will encompass the religious discourses, rites/rituals and traditions of religions like Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Parsi, Christianity, Jainism, Buddhism, Jew and Taoism. In order to make individuals and world society great and pious in character ethics, human/spiritual values, discipline and wholesome social behavior have been taken up for study purposes.
2) Cosmic Consciousness and Cosmic Nature: We are deeply studying material nature, the subtle atom, special qualities of the gigantic cosmos and the mysterious layers of human (microcosm) and cosmic (macrocosm) consciousness. Serious research is being carried out into the scientific basis of the awakening of Extrasensory Potential (ESP). In addition the question of how could one ‘contact’ cosmic consciousness and imbibe their Divine Powers is being researched into. Within this topic the various branches of Modern Science are being studied and on its basis soul scientific principles will be put forth.
3) Science of True Thinking: All those principles and theories of Psychology and Philosophy are being studied deeply that are strongly related to man’s very thinking process. The Science of Thinking includes research studies on reflection, faith, trust, sensitivity etc that designs man’s inner personality and character. A psychological study of devotion, meditation, prayer and mental focus/concentration too has been taken up by us.
4) Yajna based therapy: It encompasses the scientific application and utility of Yajna, its influence on our body and psyche and what is its philosophical basis.
We must imbibe deep faith that soul based principles stand on the firm foundation of spirituality. In addition they are omnipotent enough to ward off all attacks made by atheistic units. What can we achieve by ‘defeating’ that path which has yet to be imbibed totally and which yet has no followers or propagators? In the court of intellectualism theism tasted defeat simply because theistic propagators did not take up the challenges thrown by their modern intellectual counterparts and instead insisted on saving theism with the slogan: Have faith in God! If only they had answered logic with counter logic, precepts with counter precepts, proof with counter proof etc theism would have succeeded in defeating hard core intellectuals in their own court. But alas this was not to be and theism was relegated to an ethical downfall and psychic inertia. This is the reason why Spiritual Science over the years beat a hasty retreat to its downfall. And yet there is no need to despair because today scientific research on Spiritual Sciences will help regain eternally its lost glory.
In reality Spiritual Principles are such that the basis of human joy, peace, progress and prosperity remain on a solid footing. The problem is only one wherein the complexity of what is true and false is so enormous that it is very difficult to understand the true meaning of their precepts along with its application in day to day life. Gold is purified via a blazing fire. Similarly spiritual teachings too will be heated in such a manner so as to transform them into that form which can be understood easily by even a layman and thus will be conducive to imbibe in ones daily professional, social etc life. The probability to achieve this goal via a positive transformation of Spiritual Philosophy indeed is very high. We must have faith via the research endeavor of Brahmavarchas Research Institute that all encompassing form of Spiritual Philosophy will be presented to the world wherein there will be no room for differences and doubts. Only modern scientific research can ward off obstacles faced by theism and reinstating of spiritual values in our day to day life. Only those principles that are heated in the furnace of research and tested for sound proof and logic will prove to be true and useful both materially and spiritually. Without this the highly intellectual class of the world cannot be wooed to imbibe spiritual tenets.
By: Yuga Rishi Shriram Sharma Acharya
About the Author:
It has been recognized by everyone that without science there is no development.
Therefore, promotion of scientific research in all area is taken up seriously.
Research both in basic and applied sciences is essential to achieve national and international developments.
In fact, basic science is costly as compared to the applied science.
In a recent article on science for sustainable development published in Current Science (Curr. Sci.) Dr. I. P. Abrol mentioned that low level of funding is frequently cited as one of the major factors for the declining state of science in India.
Not only Dr. Abrol, many other Indian scientists used to tell the same ‘low level funding’ for the poor science in India.
It was the state of affair once, but now the situation is considerable improved.
All branches of science, agriculture, engineering, medicine, veterinary, biotechnology, nanotechnology, information technology do not suffer from ‘low level of funding’ nowadays.
In fact, most of the research institutions are not able to spend the allocated fund for scientific research in time.
Anyway much of the fund goes for salaries, some for the upkeep of the building and other infrastructures and the rest only is used for scientific research.
In the name of research projects funded by various foreign agencies and also the Government of India itself, amounts to over funding sometimes.
I still remember some of the World Bank funded projects in Agricultural Sciences.
Crores of rupees allotted to Agricultural Universities and National Agricultural Research Institutes.
In addition to it large number of projects in the name of National Fellows and Professor of Eminence are also in place.
Plenty of money for science, but no one appears to appreciate these good days of science.
We are certainly well off as far as the funding position for science is concerned.
We all know that the project fund is mostly spent for buying costly equipments which are invariably imported from foreign countries.
These instruments cost lakhs of rupees.
So, there are series of procedures to be followed for buying these equipments.
Tenders are called, opened, compared, placed orders, credited the amount in a bank and finally received the instruments.
Sometimes the scientist who placed order forgets to include a small piece of accessory for operating or maintaining the instrument.
While the instrument is installed, such mistakes are found out and intimated to the scientist by the installing engineers of the Sales Company.
They start thinking about the mistake so late and make a representation to the funding agency to sanction additional amount required for the missed accessory.
It take awful lot of time to get a positive reply, till then the instrument remains as a dead elephant in a corner of the laboratory which are not generally rat-proof and not even air- conditioned.
By that time the sanction for the additional amount reaches, and the accessory bought, the main instrument is damaged by rats which are fond of the pleasant smell of the plastic wires and chips attached within the instrument.
What I describe here may look like a story, but it is really not a fiction, but a fact which is always untold, kept secret and hidden.
Generally, no one question our scientists because they are in a higher scale of pay and position enjoying the perquisites offered by the government.
By that time, the senior scientist either retires or gets transferred to another institute.
The poor equipment becomes an orphan and no one takes care of it in that non-working condition.
Thus the fund for science is wasted once for all.
These dreams are known to the administrative officers and the comptrollers.
They try to underestimate the credibility of the scientists.
But that is generally taken as professional jealousy.
Anyway this is one side of the whole affair.
In the other side, the allotted fund is not properly released to the scientist to spend for his project unless and until he meets the administrative rules for buying the equipment.
If the Director or the administrative officer does not like a particular scientist, then the story becomes very serious.
Thus the fund is not spent within the stipulated time of the famous March end.
Knowing such difficulties scientists try to spend the allotted fund urgently by placing orders for easily available items such as steel almyrahs, fans, air-conditioners, refrigerators, plastic chairs, hot plates, room heaters, computers etc., etc.,
When I was a student and later a staff I could see truck loads of steel almyrahs, book cases, and refrigerators unloaded in science departments towards the end of March every year.
It looked very strange to me, but later on I could understand the circumstances under which they are bought.
Funding science is done by every government every year.
Who looks into the spending aspects of the funds?
Also who looks into the scientific research results due to such levels of funding?
The spending aspect is always looked into by the auditors checking the bills, dates and the correctness of spending according to the government audit rules.
The scientific research based on the funding and the equipments are not strictly monitored, although it is said that there are many committees established for this sake.
The outcome of scientific findings should have a direct bearing on the fund spent and the scientific instruments used.
But invariably most of the scientific research ends up in reports and publications either in Indian journals or in few so called international journals which are very rarely read by other scientists.
Sustainable science activity is desired by retired scientists, but I doubt that is possible to achieve.
Most of the scientific researchers are fed up over time and their thinking is outmoded.
They started with a sharp thinking in handling problems basic or applied, but over time their thinking lose the sharpness.
If you talk to any senior or junior scientists today, they spend more time in discussing their administrative difficulties rather than their scientific output.
Even if they talk about their outputs which will be a repetitive work or some one’s results confirmed.
These are facts every one of us – scientists – fully know.
Some of these facts are fashionably written in Curr. Sci. published by Indian Academy of Sciences.
When I read those comments, I feel very sad because this journal is found in libraries of almost all Universities of the world and also in the net free of cost.
The publishers of Curr. Sci. escapes cleverly saying that all articles published in Curr. Sci. especially editorials, opinions and commentaries, letters and book reviews are deemed to reflect the individual views of the authors and not the official points of view, either of the Current Science Association or of the Indian Academy Sciences.
Those who read Curr. Sci. journal knows very well the views of various scientists expressed in the ‘Correspondence’ section.
Exposing the setbacks in scientific world of India is a welcome step, but I do not know by doing so how many are rectified so far?
All the setbacks expressed make good reading, sometimes they are funny too.
The contents of the Correspondence section continue to be the same setbacks for the past decades and I hope it may be for the future decades too.
In a country like India, science and scientific research are not treated the way they have to be treated.
They are in the hands of the auditors who are not scientists but they count the money not the outcome of science.
In their eyes, whether one is scientist, business man or anybody – all are thieves.
Their job is only to find out the mistakes committed in spending the fund.
They do not know some of those mistakes are to be committed to carry out scientific research.
But who has to change the Government Secretariat administration which is still the same inherited from the British?
A new administration is absolutely needed for scientific institutions for better utilization of fund.
Indian science will remain with the same setbacks of the past decades forever if we follow the same set of account rules.
I feel it is an urgent matter the science administrators of Government of India have to look into seriously for the benefit of science in India.
About the Author:
For instance, anniversaries of scientists, institutes, organisations and societies, including the World Health Day, etc., can be celebrated; discussions and debates with the concerned scientists organised; and doors of concerned laboratories and organisations thrown open to masses and media.
Be that as it may, intention through this paper is to highlight the essentials and limitations of science popularisation so that there appears a fundamental change in the way of looking at this subject. Hopefully, it will lead to more effective strategies to popularise science among the masses.
Science writing is an art
Science popularisation is mostly done by science- trained persons and professional scientists. It is therefore looked upon more as a scientific activity rather than anything else. But science writing is more of an art rather than a science. It is scientific only in the sense one should have scientific knowledge but all the writing abilities are required to make a good presentation of science. It is due to the present lack of emphasis on the art aspect of science popularisation that this field of activity has suffered to date. Those few scientists or science-trained persons who have consciously or unconsciously known the art of science writing and have practised it, have only been successful in popularising science.
Science is a human activity
The second reason why popular science does not tick with the masses is because it is not projected as a human activity but an activity of scientists who simply believe in the search for truth – and nothing but truth! The human side of science is totally neglected in all popular science presentations. The follies and prejudices of scientists, the emotional life of scientists, the irrational circumstances in which scientific work is often undertaken and discoveries and inventions made, etc., are quite often deliberately not highlighted fearing that it would give bad name to science and scientific research. In short, the human face of science or scientific research is often neglected in popular science presentations. There is therefore a strong need to give science a human face. It would not only mean adding human stories to popular science presentations but also talking about realities in scientific research.
Tip of the iceberg presentation
The third reason why popular science presentations often go wide off the mark and make the audience yawn and go for something else is the inability of science communicators to distinguish between technical report writing and popular science writing, thanks to their scientific training or background. They try to cram into a popular science presentation as much as they know or find out about a subject.
Actually, popular science presentation should be like the tip of the iceberg. It should however make one not only familiar with the tip of the iceberg but also aware of the unseen larger part of the iceberg floating under the water. In other words, it should reveal little about science but enough to make one realise the existence of that science with its entire ramification. It should excite one’s curiosity enough so that one would like to probe further into that science. It should not necessarily tell everything about a science but at the same time it should not miss science.
Some important observations
The author’s experience with popularising science over the years has forced him to arrive at some postulates. They are merely based on experience and intuition. Any research has not been conducted to back them up with facts and figures. In fact, much research is required to prove or disprove them. If in case they are proved, they can easily be called the ‘Laws of Science Popularisation’ because despite the best of our efforts we have not been able to popularise science the way we want among the masses. There must be some hidden laws governing our efforts to popularise science. These postulates are stated as follows:
Postulates of science popularisation
1st : Only those elements of science receive attention in a society, which suit its goals or which inspire awe.
2nd : A science communicator tends to impose his or her limited ideas of science, scientists and scientific research upon the audience.
3rd : The amount of space allotted to science in different media of a country is the index of the quality of life of its average citizen.
4th : The quality of science communication or presentation in a country is directly proportional to the quality of science produced in it.
5th : To popularise science is to humanise science.
One can deduce certain things from these postulates. The first postulate indicates that people at large read science because it serves their purpose or because the subject is topical, sensational or controversial or simply excites their curiosity. A handful only read science for the sake of knowledge per se. Much research is required to identify those subjects so that science could be more effectively popularised. For instance, health science and environment interest people at large, astronomy and space fascinate them, Nobel Laureates, UFOs, etc., are held in awe by them.
The Second postulate is dangerous for science itself. Consciously or unconsciously, the layman imbibes the limited or narrow image of science, scientists and culture of science from the communicator, whether he be Jacob Bronowski or Peter Medawar. Notions such as scientists are mad individuals or scientific research is yet another profession are creations of science communicators. That makes science communicator a very responsible person.
The third and fourth postulates are intuitive relationships between two unrelated things or activities. Further research is needed to prove or disprove these two laws by taking data from different countries. However, one must add here that in India we raise a hullabaloo to increase science coverage in our media at the first available opportunity but it often comes to nothing. Also, while writing a popular science article on a subject one often needs the assistance of a scientist doing research in that very subject. But in India the scientist of the concerned subject is often not available for consultation and as a result our writings lack the necessary quality, verve and colour.
The fifth, the last but not the least important postulate, though obvious, reminds us that we must give science a human face so that masses are not afraid of it. It is the basic aim of science popularisation.
Christmas tree of science popularisation
The aim of drawing the ‘Christmas tree of science popularisation’ is to illustrate the importance of various media that take science to the masses, though every medium has its own significance and a vital role to play in communication. But unless a person climbs up the tree, as his or her interest in science is aroused or increased – in other words, unless one begins to read newspapers, magazines and then books – he or she would not have become fully science literate.
Necessarily, the percentage of people reading books would be very small as the top of a Christmas tree indicates. But it is a must to know this tree because the role of any medium should not be underestimated and every medium should be given equal importance simultaneously. For instance, if a student’s interest in science is aroused by science fair or ‘Jatha’ held in the town, it has to be sustained and maintained by wallpapers, newspapers and even books; otherwise, one’s interest would flag and eventually die. Other supplementing media should be made available to the student in form of public libraries, for instance. So, the Christmas tree of science popularisation needs to be watered and tended carefully to produce a science literate society.
According to the postulates forwarded here there are (as yet unknown) limits to the extent science can be popularised among the masses. It is not possible to have a fully science literate society. Moreover, science communicators need to take into account aforementioned aspects about science popularisation for more effective communication of science to the masses.
ProVFX Visual Effects and Editing School has been written by Pranay Rupani who is a Freelance Writer
By: Pranay Rupani
About the Author: