Science popularization is the Need of Society: Speakers

During a daylong introductory seminar on China Pakistan Network of Science Popularization (CPNSP) the experts from scientific organizations, academia and media houses emphasized on the need of science popularization in our society. The experts developed a consensus that the better public understanding of science can be a major elementin promoting national prosperity, in raising the quality of public and private decision-making andin enriching the life of the individual.

These are nationally important long-term aims and requiresustained commitment if they are to be realized. Improving the public understanding of scienceis an investment in the future, not a luxury to be indulged in when resources allow. The seminarwas organized by Technology Times in collaboration with Pakistan Academy of Sciences. The event was attended by a large number of representatives from different R&D organizations, academia, media and university students.

The chief guest of the Seminar, Mr Jia Wee, First Secretary of Embassy of China in Pakistan extended gratitude to Technology Times to propose the China Pakistan Network on Science Popularization. He also appreciated the role of Pakistan Academy of Sciences for organizing such important Seminar.

He further said, “Science is a major component and it very important for socio-development. As Pakistan has immense educational peoples since through the joint efforts of China-Pakistan the CPNSP have been launched. A seminar was arranged in China on May 2019 and now it formally moves to Pakistan. It shows the successful launch of this Network. Through this venture science popularization will go further and better between both the countries”.

At the welcome address the President of Pakistan Academy of Sciences Prof Dr QasimJan said that this Seminar will address the question of what science popularization can do to boost the social as well as economic development of the society and ultimately country. He proposed to address this question by following the successful model of China and hoped that this Network will pave way to enhance science popularization collaboration between two brotherly countries.

Sayyed Paras Ali, CEO SciTech Media while delivering key-note presentation briefed that proposed CPNSP: China Pakistan Network on Science Popularization will be a flagship network to enhance science popularization under Belt & Road Initiative.

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He said “The strategic objective of this Network is to maintain and strengthen support by the public for popularization of science, technology, and innovation in a knowledge-based society. This initiative of CPNSP is for utilizing, directing and encouraging associated systems to promote science, technology communication popularization in building human resources and institutional capacity”.

Prof Dr I.E. Qureshi, former Executive Director COMSATS shed light on the importance of science diplomacy while mentioning that Science Diplomacy is most needed in sectors of global commons and shared threats. It is also required to realize the aspirations of peace and prosperity by all nations. Much of what goes under the rubric of Science Diplomacy is not new, but what is new is a clear understanding about the need to focus on scientific inputs in all level of decision making at national and international level.

He further said that the countries like Pakistan don’t realize the importance of using a well-tested formula for development. It is because of lack of interactivity between scientific community and decision makers. The remedy lies in Science Diplomacy.

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During the presentation Ms. Rehana Batool, Principle Scientific Officer of Pakistan ScienceFoundation said that the need of time is to analyze therelationship between science, technology, economic and social development and its impact onpublic.

She added that keeping in view the importance of informal education in promotion ofscience and technology, Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) has taken many steps includingestablishment of science centers in different cities, a state-of-the-art Pakistan Museum ofNatural History in Islamabad, mobile science caravans, and science exhibitions in differentregions of the country.

Dr Wang Guangnian, Director of Science Popularization, Department Zhejiang Association for Science and Technology (ZAST), China delivered a video lecture to the participants with the topic “Science Popularization the keyfor the national Development-Case study China”.

Shafiq Minhas, News Editor at Dosti Radio FM98, in his talk said that the media can exert a powerful influence on public understanding of science. The scientific community traditionally regards the mass media with some suspicion and is, overall, ignorant of the way they work and the nature of their constraints. The more ‘popular’ sections of the media, on the other hand, too often make relatively little effort to discuss science in anything other than a superficial and mostly sensational way, and do not generally understand the nature of the scientific enterprise. These attitudes need to be changed. To do so will require a considerable but challenging and worthwhile process of mutual education.

Mr Aleem Ahmed, Editor Global Science Magazine gave a lecture through skype said thatkeeping in mind CPNSP importance and significance and the changing patterns of economicdevelopment, the today’s challenge for Pakistan is to get ready the capability of science andtechnology for the progress and development of the Country, which can only be achievedthrough enhanced science, technology communication popularization.

At the end Ms. HinaBaloch, In-charge Editorial Section, Technology Times while giving the concluding remarks thanked allspeakers, participants and organizers for their presence and continuing interest for science popularization in Pakistan.

She further added that it is heartening that Technology Times since 2010 has grown significantly overthe years into a strong science advocacy movement and is now recognized as the premierscientific media of Pakistan. The journey of Technology Times from its first issue published onJanuary 4, 2010 to date has been quite remarkable and exciting as it helped in achievingsignificant breakthroughs in different fields of science communication popularization to create ascientific culture in Pakistan.

The participants of the Seminar are of the view that popular scientific and technical magazines such as Technology Times and Global Science are important sources of scientific information and education for the scientifically attentive public. They believe that scientist without help of Media cannot build a scientific culture in the country which is extremely needed task.

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