World-renowned scientoonist Dr Pradeep Kumar Srivastava touched upon the concept of scientoons, a novel tool in science communication, among various subjects including the importance of Indian tress, while talking to HT on Saturday. He was in the city to take part in a seminar held on city-based Barakatullah University campus.
Srivastava took the help of cartoons to explain the science in an interesting manner and today he is revered as a prominent figure in this field. Scientoons are science cartoons which not only entertain people but also convey lot of information in a simple, understandable and interesting manner.
“Mere explanations of scientific facts and theories about effects of climate change and pollution don’t enthrall people so I started drawing cartoons to explain the same things in an interesting manner to not only students but also common people,” said Srivastava, who is a principal scientist at Lucknow-based Central Drug Research Institute’s division of medicinal and process chemistry.
“Now people are more interested in humorous and funny things. When I delivered my first lecture, I got poor response. Then I invented scientoons which has made science more impactful,” said Srivastava who has delivered a large number of lectures all across the world on scientoons. Among other accolades, he is also the recipient of the outstanding young person of the world award in 1990 by Junior Chambers International, USA.
The scientist also said show piece plants and non-shadow trees, which are being planted in large numbers nowadays, are more for beautification than for benefits of ecology. “I have started explaining to people about benefits of Indian trees like pipal, neem and banyan through cartoons and am convincing them that these trees are necessary for our environment,” said Srivastava who on that occasion also explained to students how to decrease the pollution level in cities, especially Gwalior rated as one the most polluted cities in the world by the WHO.
“It really convinces people. Even in Lucknow, I explained the benefits of planting indigenous shadow trees which inspired chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and he got many pipal trees planted,” said Srivastava, adding trees can solve environment-related problems including rise in temperature and pollution.