Author: Ranjith Jayaraman
Company: Polus Software Pvt. Ltd
Importance and Relevance of Scientific Awareness in our society
Raising Scientific awareness in society is always a concern, which requires high priority in the society. Awareness in the scientific means are essential to build a prosperous society.It is essential for a developed community to be aware of the on going progress in science as well as the changes in technology. It is very much crucial to build a community with a better understanding of science and scientific means and is essential to provide a labour force with adaptable skills and the flexibility to deal with ongoing rapid technological change. Almost all public policy issues have scientific or technological implications. They play a major role in most aspects of our daily lives. Our industry, and thus our national prosperity depend on them. Everybody, therefore, needs to have some understanding of science, its accomplishments and its limitations.The scientific awareness has become so important now that science and technology directly affect, to an great extent, the details of our daily lives and the prosperity of the nation.
What exactly is scientific Awareness and why is it so important
Scientific awareness is not all about formal education, but it enables a community to think freely , to relate science to everyday life and in this way appreciate how science improves our economic, social and cultural well being. In a broader sense it enables us to rely on facts and to make our own conclusions in a logical way. Many personal decisions, for example about diet, vaccination, personal hygiene or safety , would be helped by some understanding of the underlying science. Understanding includes not just the facts of science, but also the method and its limitations as well as an appreciation of the practical and social implications.The growth in scientific literacy provides a benchmark for the society, and reflects in the overall development of the society. There are clear links between technological progress and economic growth. The economic growth of many developed communities in the past decades has been propelled by science and technology, and it is evidence that investment by firms and governments in research increases productivity. These are, therefore nationally important long-term aims and require sustained commitment if they are to be realized. Improving the public understanding of science is an investment in the future, not a luxury to be indulged in if and when resources allow.
There are a lot of fields and applications which requires highly skilled society.
And through these ways science and technology paves path to overall prosperity of the community.
There are a lot of fields where science and technology plays a crucial role. Many of them directly deals with the public. Important among them are:
Scientific research drives economic growth innovation and improved well being . Commitment to long term investment in scientific research is crucial to keep our future economy strong and competitive. A knowledge-based economy requires a highly skilled workforce and a society, which readily incorporates new technologies. Such an economy is directly based on the production, distribution and use of knowledge and information. It creates and exploits scientific knowledge and technology through entrepreneurship and innovation; diffuses knowledge through enhanced linkages; and enhances education skills through formal and informal training. It is important to create and maintain links between business and science and technology to improve our economic prosperity. Technological change raises the relative marginal productivity of capital through education and training of the labour force, investments in research and development and the creation of new managerial structures and work organisation, and hence results a boost in economic growth.
Health and Medicine
Maintenance of health and prevention of illness are among the higher goals of our society. Health sciences – including the life science and public health sector remains as vital elements in the promotion of nation’s well being. In health care science and technology plays a crucial role . Scientific research and development is the most important part in betterment of medical sector. Scientific researches on medicinal sciences helps to improve the medicinal quality and to reduce cost.
It is recommended to have a basic understanding in these sectors. Scientific and proper awareness in these sectors help to get rid of propagandist.
For eg: there have been a propaganda against vaccination a few days back, and many of the scientifically illiterate fell over that. In such instances scientific awareness can be a lot helpful.
Governance is the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented (or not implemented) . Proper use of science in policy and decision-making are very crucial in good governance. Good governance relies on science for having precise advises for risk management and decision making. It is necessary to ensure that , the governing body takes scientific approach on major decisions and hence will improve the quality development. These governing decisions will have a larger impact in the society and environment and has to be executed based on proper scientific guidelines. Things like infrastructure development is a duty of governing body, which relies heavily on scientific means.
A governing agency have to deal with a lot of public policies, laws their timely renovation and implementation, which has to be dealt scientifically. For example , Content of allowed quantity of chemicals in foods, etc..
Thus it should be ensured that the governing body itself and the executioners should have a proper awareness in science and should be able to understand why it is important.
Role of science in individuals
The science plays a major role in an individual’s life, at different points. It affects the personal well being as well as socio economic well being of the Citizen .The socio economic conditions of an advanced society is much better than that of a society which showed reluctance towards scientific means. The scientific way of thinking demands a person to look into facts and to develops understanding of facts in everything that they come across in daily life. For example it helps us to understand what type of food should be taken , what are all the best practices in waste management, what infrastructure suits the climate and environment are only a few to mention. All these factors play a significant role in the individual’s personal well being as well as socio economic conditions of the society.
Apart from these, science and technology plays a key role in a lot of aspects like National security, defense , environment protection etc… , which are all linked with the society and thus ultimately every individual in one way or the other.
How to improve scientific awareness in our society
The grave importance of science and its applications made it an immediate requirement in the society, as the high standard of the society depends directly on scientific literacy. And hence it is important to take measures to boost the scientific awareness among individuals. Timely actions is adequate to improve the science literacy rate, which should be a major priority.
The process should begin from the root level. The quality science education has to be provided from the schools and should be followed throughout the educational system. More and more research related attempts should be encouraged , which develops a quality society, which is self sustainable in terms of scientific way of dealing things. The view of quality basic science education is not simply an education in science but also an education for science, and an education through science.
The education through conventional institutions cover a large majority and can prove effective to a larger extent, but there will still be flaws in the system. There has to be other measures , which could include others who couldn’t somehow become a part of such a system. Parallel education models should be organized in order to incorporate them. There are a few around but their reach could not still attain an appreciable level. The initiatives to educate the general public is crucial in terms of attaining scientific literacy of the society.
The benefits of including a wider range of public in scientific awareness programs are discussed. The main challenges in creating scientific education are lack of tutors who could provide quality education , who could meet the demands. Strategy to develop more and more trained teachers is adequate to increase the level of scientific awareness among society. Also it is necessary to educate the stakeholders, which is essential as they are the one who affect the public policies and even the efforts to bring more efforts in creating scientific awareness.The consequences of a science education in the long-term to be able to participate in the variety of human activities and meet the challenges to society emphasize the importance of education through science.