Pune students organise ‘March for Science’ against psuedo-science and superstitions | pune news | Hindustan Times
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Pune students organise ‘March for Science’ against psuedo-science and superstitions

The India March for Science, Pune chapter like all its corollaries, strives for an increase in government funding for scientific research, along with the abolition of propagation of unscientific beliefs, superstitions and religious intolerance.

pune Updated: Aug 10, 2017 18:04 IST
Ananya Barua
Scientists and students during India March for Science in Pune on Wednesday. More than a million people undertook a march for science across 600 cities demanding that their respective governments should not only increase the funding for science and promote scientific research, but also ensure that the government policies are guided by scientific evidence and rational outlook.
Scientists and students during India March for Science in Pune on Wednesday. More than a million people undertook a march for science across 600 cities demanding that their respective governments should not only increase the funding for science and promote scientific research, but also ensure that the government policies are guided by scientific evidence and rational outlook.(Pratham Gokhale/HT PHOTO)

Echoing the bellows of agitation, spread across 26 cities of the country, Pune’s congregation of scientists and students took to the streets on Wednesday, to demand the development of science and the scientific temper of India.

“Human beings have been using scientific methods, sometimes unknowingly. For instance, we want to predict the future, and we do it in a way where we take our experiences, we have a model in our head, we test it till the predictions get accurate, and if failed, the model is either rejected or improved upon. This is the scientific temper,” said  Aurnab Ghose, a neuroscientist, present at the march.

The India March for Science, Pune chapter like all its corollaries, strives for an increase in government funding for scientific research, along with the abolition of propagation of unscientific beliefs, superstitions and religious intolerance.

“The other side of the coin of scientific temper is where you follow the scriptural diktats without reason asking for blind faith. We want to revive this scientific temper, upholded in the Constitution, and want the government to support us in this. A corollary of this demand, which has come up due to reduced scientific temper, is a lot of irrational behaviour in the society, which we want to stop,” said Ghose, with regard to the demands.

Protesting against the paltry funding by the government for scientific research, scientist Vineeta Bal said, “Although scientific funding is inadequate, there are still undue expectations while we are trying to pursue science. All along, post-Independence, funding for science research has been very limited, for which, it is very hard to expect Nobel Prizes and other good papers from Indian scientists. Thus, the comparison made with the scientists from the developed countries where there is a uniform consistent funding and sustained support as in China, with that of ours, is unfortunate. This march is not anti-government, but for science.”

This demonstration which witnessed support from over 700 individuals, had been inspired by the global March for Science which took place across 600 cities with over a million participants on April 22.Members of the scientific community, during the worldwide event had raised issues about the budgetary cuts in funding scientific research.

Reiterating similar ideals, the Pune march, which was organised by India March for Science Pune Chapter Organising Committee, found students and individuals from institutions like, Pune University, IISER, CSIR-NCL, COEP, IITM, IUCAA, Fergusson College and Agharkar Research Institute, among many more.

“Democratisation of science is very important. Fundamentalism urges one to remain silent and accept authority without questioning, science says that unless we question we cannot approach truth, and India can only develop through this questioning attitude,” said Dr Vivek Monteiro, the founder of Navnirmiti Learning Foundation.