Govt support for science dwindling globally: Scientistshttps://indianexpress.com/article/technology/science/govt-support-for-science-dwindling-globally-scientists-5710666/

Govt support for science dwindling globally: Scientists

World over, cities including New York and Berlin hosted marches as part of the movement. The ‘India March for Science’ will be held on August 9 across cities, it was announced.

march for science Delhi
The ‘India March for Science’ will be held on August 9 across cities, it was announced.(Express File Photo by Praveen Khanna)

Written by Aaron Christopher and Abha Goradia

Policymakers in many countries today are undermining the role of science in society by systematically ignoring scientific data on the status of the planet, according to scientists and academicians.

Members of the Mumbai Chapter of the India March For Science Organising Committee on Saturday expressed solidarity with their colleagues from cities including Bengaluru, Kolkata, Delhi and Hyderabad that hosted marches, demonstrations and press meets to commemorate the global ‘March for Science’.

World over, cities including New York and Berlin hosted marches as part of the movement. The ‘India March for Science’ will be held on August 9 across cities, it was announced.

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Scientists also condemned attacks on science, which they termed a “global phenomenon”. “Governmental support for science is dwindling, driving scientific research in universities and institutions into deep crisis. Scientists are demanding that governments provide adequate financial support to scientific and technological research, so that science can play its role in onward development of the society,” a statement issued by the committee stated.

Mathematician M. S. Raghunathan, Professor Tejal Kanitkar, scientist Nagarjuna G, social activist Vivek Montero of educational NGO Navnirmiti and mathematician S G Dani, among others, used the platform to voice concerns regarding the prevailing situation in educational institutions.

“The government-run schools and colleges have been most neglected, resulting in rampant commercialisation of education and deterioration of educational standards. We demand that the next government should spend at least six per cent of the GDP on education, the desirable figure being 10 per cent,” said scientist Aniket Sule.

Nagarjuna, a faculty member at Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, TIFR, said educational systems today were ignoring promotion of scientific attitude. “India produces a large number of science graduates who are not involved in the act of saving science. Science should be taught and practised in multiple languages. Also institutions are facing fund cut problems and students have to pay very high fees,” he said. Raghunathan spoke about the lack of protests by scientists. “Most scientists do protest and voice out their opinion against the unjust but once their motive is fulfilled they back out…”