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Mumbai scientists band together to promote ‘scientific thinking’

Experts have formed a group called Curiosity Circle, which will host a series of ‘popular science’ talks by eminent scientists

mumbai Updated: Jan 12, 2018 09:28 IST
Aayushi Pratap
formed a group called Curiosity Circle, Mumbai, which will host a series of ‘popular science’ talks by eminent scientists in the coming months.
formed a group called Curiosity Circle, Mumbai, which will host a series of ‘popular science’ talks by eminent scientists in the coming months. (Representational photo/HT )

Science enthusiasts, including faculty from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, from the city have formed a group called Curiosity Circle, Mumbai, which will host a series of ‘popular science’ talks by eminent scientists in the coming months .The talks will be held every second Saturday of the month at different venues across Mumbai.

The idea behind the initiative germinated last August, when thousands of scientists, teachers and researchers took part in ‘March for Science’ from August Kranti Maidan to Girgaum Chowpatty, to promote scientific thinking. They also asked the government to increase funding for evidence-based science.

Abhijit Majumder, assistant professor, department of chemical engineering, IIT-B, who is an active member of the group, said at least 10 of them met several times after the march to decide the format of the talks.

“The idea is not limited to discussing an individual scientist’s research findings, but also to discuss the history and philosophy behind it, which I believe are crucial to appreciate science,” he said.

The first lecture will be held at Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, TIFR, Mankhurd, on 13 January 2018, at 5:30pm. The talk ‘What science entails, beyond practical science’ will be delivered by mathematician and professor SG Dani from Centre for Excellence in Basic Sciences.

The lectures will be recorded and uploaded on a website along with a blog from the scientist giving the talk.

Dr Nagarjuna G, professor, Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, said that the initiative is to reach out to as many people, especially people who don’t hold a science background. “This is an effort to promote a culture of scientific thinking among people, most importantly among the ‘non science’ community as most people think of science as just facts and information. But, there is so much that is changing about the way we already know things in science.”

He added that he is hopeful, that scientists from other cities will pick up the idea and conduct similar talks, to widen the reach of science to people.

A similar outreach programme called Chai and Why, by scientists at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in 2008, conducts popular science talks twice a month.

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