“Confluence of science and literature will go a long way in taking science to the masses”, said Shri Jayant Sahasrabuddhe, Organising Secretary, Vijnana Bharti. Shri. Saharabuddhe presided over the inaugural function of the International Science Literature Festival in Kolkata today. The festival is being held from November 5-7, 2019 as a part of the India International Science Festival (IISF) mega-event that began in the city today.
Organized by CSIR-National Insitute of Science Communication and Information Resources (NISCAIR) and Vigyan Prasar, the inaugural function of the International Science Literature Festival was attended by nearly 200 invitees, researchers and scientists.
Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, who delivered the keynote address, said that science communication is as important to scientists as it is vital to the different sections of the society. Prof. Sharma added that communication of science is a major scientific social responsibility and we need to encourage scientists and researchers to take to popular science writing as well.
Eminent computer scientist Dr. Vijay Bhatkar who was the chief guest said that the dimension of science literature is very important for science communication. He added that the IISF’s science literature fair is a welcome step that connects the masses to science.
Emphasizing the need for science communication in Indian languages, Dr. Baldeo Bhai Sharma, Former Chairman, National Book Trust, said that there should be country-wide programmes that encourage science communication in Indian languages.
Dr. Partha Ghose, noted physicist, author, philosopher and musician said that without science literature, science cannot grow roots. He said that science fiction is an important part of science literature and we need many more science fiction writers in India.
Dr. Krishna Bihari Mishra, Padma Shri awardee in his address said that there is no difference between literature and science. These are two ways of presenting the same truth, he remarked.
Other dignitaries of the inaugural function included Shri. B. Anand, Additional Secretary and Financial Adviser, DST, Prof. Hak-Soo-Kim from South Korea and Dr. Bimal Roy, Chairman of the National Statistical Commission.
The dignitaries released Vigyanika’s theme book during the inaugural function. The International Science Book Fair, that has nearly 30 publishers displaying their books, was also inaugurated.
Earlier, Dr. Manoj Kumar Patairiya, Director, NISCAIR welcomed the gathering. Prof. Dr Pallab Banerji, Professor, IIT Kharagpur proposed the vote of thanks.