Science for and with Society
To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in scienceAlbert Einstein
No aspect of human life is untouched by science and technology in some form or another. Although people perceive science as the provider of the solutions to enhance the quality of life, novel technologies are not always welcomed by societies. Researchers while focussing on finding solutions to the problems being faced by the people, less and less attention has been paid to bring awareness about the progress being made, leading to disconnect with the very people for whose benefit the R&D is being carried. There is a need to focus on arriving at the methodologies of creating awareness and among the public. World Science Day for Peace and Development is celebrated on 10 November every year. It aims at highlighting the significant role of Science plays in Society and the need to engage Society on progress and developments. It also brings to the fore the role researchers play in broadening the understanding of mother earth and making the world a sustainable place to live. More importantly, fostering the cooperation amongst researchers across the continents. Equally important is to support and connect researchers living in regions marred by conflicts and wars. UNESCO-supported creation of the Israeli-Palestinian Science Organization (IPSO) stands testimony to the efforts by the world bodies. World Science Day for Peace and Development falls during the commemoration of “International Week of Science and Peace”, which falls during the week in which 11 November falls.
The commemoration of the day has the focus of: (i) Enhancing awareness about the role of science and technology for achieving peaceful and sustainable world (ii) Promote national and international cooperation between countries and (iii) Renew national and international commitment to the use of science for the welfare of the people
At a time when the world is struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic, the focus of World Science Day is on “Science for and with Society in dealing with the global pandemic.” Throughout this unprecedented health crisis, it is essential to bring science closer to Society and to bolster the critically needed international scientific collaborations. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic requires much closer cooperation between scientists and policymakers, and the fruit of scientific research, including potential vaccines, must be widely disseminated. Actions that ensure public confidence in science and refute harmful misinformation are crucial. Public trust in science is essential for successful science-based policies.
Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world. Science is the highest personification of the nation because that nation will remain the first which carries the furthest the works of thought and intelligenceLouis Pasteur
Science for and with Society in dealing with the global pandemic
The advancements being made in Science and Technology can be a double-edged sword, and whether one uses it for finding solutions to the problems and enhancing them is in the hands of governments, policymakers, and people. Living in peace is a strong indicator of progress and quality of life of the citizens. The hurry to achieve progress and find solutions is taking people away from the very goal for which they are working. It is appropriate to recall the impactful words in the Preamble of the UNESCO’s Constitution “since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed.”
Peace is more than the absence of war, it is living together with our differences – of sex, race, language, religion, or culture – while furthering universal respect for justice and human rights on which such coexistence dependsAudrey Azoulay
Science is for Society
and should always be with Society
Toons: Anusha and Reema Jaiswal
Logs: Sai Baba