Dialogue with the Scientist-Communicators

Coordinator: Prof. Sai Baba and Dr. V V Binoy

National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) Bangalore and Swissnex India, Consulate General of Switzerland jointly organized a one-day workshop titled ‘Dialogue with the Scientist-Communicators’ on 28th September 2018 at NIAS. This workshop introduced the modern tools of science communication to the participants and provided a platform to discuss their ideas and activities with the experienced scientist-communicators from both India and Switzerland.

The workshop begun with the introductory remarks by Dr. V V Binoy, NIAS. He explained various science communication and science education activities being conducted by the NIAS in various states of India and introduced the speakers to the audience. In the inaugural address Prof. V S Ramamurthy, former Director of NIAS, emphasized the need for scientist to transform themselves into scientistcommunicators. In his opinion bridging of science with society becomes easier if the person practicing science share it directly with the society. Dr. Adria C LeBoeuf, researcher at Weizmann Institute, Israel and the founder of ‘The Catalyst’, and Dr Samuel Lagier a neuroscientist-communicator and a globally renounced trainer of communication skills for scientists, conducted a session titled ‘power of play for community building and science communication’.

They introduced the methods of creating new media about science and teaching scientists to be better communicators through science-based entertainment in the form of plays, films and immersive games through lectures and practical sessions to the participants. Dr Luc Henry, Scientific Advisor to the President of École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and former Managing Editor of the European science magazine ‘Technologist’ shared his experience of acquiring resources for scientific activities through crowdfunding. Under his supervision participants formed small groups and learned to build a campaign for collecting resources required for launching their research plans.

Dr. Sai Baba, T V Raman Pai Chair Professor NIAS discussed the need of communicating science effectively with the public to attain social and financial development without any science-society conflict in his lecture titled ‘importance of science communication for the development of society’. The workshop ended with the vote of thanks by Ms Sreshtha Mondal, Research scholar, NIAS.

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