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SUBODH MAHANTI


Senior Scientist

Vigyan Prasar

(An Autonomous organization under Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of India),

A-50, Sector-62, NOIDA 201-3099 (NCR), India

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The paper discusses about science popularization movements in pre and post independent India. Early efforts in pre-independent India were made by educators, teachers and science workers. Srirampur College established in Bengal in 1818 probably initiated first public demonstration of modern science in India through public lectures accompanied by experimental demonstrations by its teachers. Besides popular science lectures, initial science popularization efforts included translation of science books in the vernacular and writing of popular science articles. Father Eugene Lafont of St. Xavier’s College played a pioneering role in the field of science popularization in the second part of the nineteenth century. The establishment of the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science is an important step in the history of science popularization. Like it was in the then Bengal science popularization movements also took place on other parts of India like in Assamese, Oriya and Punjabi speaking regions. Mobilization for science popularization then took institutional forms as number of notable organizations came into existence as a result of the mobilizations for science popularization. The Dawn Society, Kolkata; the Punjab Science Institute, Lahore; and Vigyan Parishad Prayag, Allahabad; Orissa Bigyan Prachar Samiti, Cuttack; and later on Marathi Vidyan Parishad, Mumbai; etc are examples of such institutions. Indian Science Congress and the science academies played important roles in post-independent India. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister, had put lots of emphasis on spreading scientific temper in India. Science and technology policies of the government reflected Nehru’s vision. Suitable institutional frameworks were created. Of late Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in large scale are playing crucial role in taking science to the masses. People’s Science Movements have emerged as an important dimension of science popularization movement in India.

 

Keywords: Science popularization, Rationalism, Scientific temper, Science Policy Resolution, People’s Science Movements.

 

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SUBHASIS SAHOO

 

Assistant Professor

Department of Sociology

University of Delhi

New Delhi 110 021, India

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BINAY KUMAR PATTNAIK

 

Professor of Sociology

Department of Humanities and Social Sciences

Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur

Kanpur 208016, India

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It hardly needs emphasis that People’s Science Movements (PSMs) in India have been very unique and such movements are not witnessed yet elsewhere although science popularization / science communication movements were witnessed in USA, Europe and Australia. As a study of unique social phenomenon catching up our academic fascination, the paper first tried to characterize the phenomenon of PSM; second, tried to locate such a phenomenon in its socio-historical contexts. Lastly, the phenomenon is empirically studied through the analysis of five extensive case studies of various types of People’s Science Movement Organizations (PSMOs) from the view point of social movement perspective, i. e. Resource mobilization theory.

 

Keywords: People’s science movements, Resource mobilizations, Civil society, Intellectual resources, Financial resources, Organizational resources, External Linkages, Ideology.

 

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