Science forms an integral part of society, implicitly creating an ongoing dialogue between the two. However, ideas vary widely on how the scientific enterprise is pursued, and what its role and relevance to society are. A sustained introspection and dialogue about the practice of science in the broadest terms is essential to have an informed and shared vision of the place of science in society and culture. In recent times, rapid changes in the socio-political, cultural and economic spheres worldwide have lent urgency to efforts aimed at re-examining and, perhaps, re-defining the relationship between the scientific community and society at large, as well the nature of the engagement of science with the state, the corporate world and with global networks of the knowledge economy. Yet there have been relatively few attempts to systematically re-conceive the basic nature of the science-society contract.

The Indian Academy of Sciences, Bengaluru, has felt that it is essential to have an open-ended and sustained dialogue amongst science practitioners, science policy makers, science administrators and educators, and the general public. This is the broad intention behind the initiation of DIALOGUE: Science, Scientists, and Society. It is hoped that the journal will provide a formal forum to promote and facilitate ongoing discussion on issues pertaining to the practice, teaching, management and communication of in addition to other outreach initiatives (see CONFLUENCE), science as well as all aspects of the science-society interface. DIALOGUE extends the conversation through CONFLUENCE, a moderated public forum, and other outreach initiatives. The hope is that this will give rise to a more inclusive and acceptable vision of the inter-relationship between science, society, polity, and culture.

Aim and Scope

DIALOGUE: Science, Scientists, and Society, published by the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bengaluru, provides a scholarly forum for scientists and other interested parties to discuss and debate issues pertaining to science and society, in the broadest sense. The journal covers three related but distinct themes: (a) the practice of science, including choice of problem, publication, evaluation, funding and other matters; (b) communication of science by its practitioners to students, politicians, administrators, other interested parties, and the general public; and (c) the impact of science on society, and vice versa. These themes are envisaged to cover, for example, introspection on practices in science and academia, education and the communication of science, gender and allied issues in science, science as a social system, culture of science, future directions and implications, goals of science, science-social science interfaces (conversations across disciplines and knowledge systems), indigenous and local knowledge systems and science, imaginations driven by science, connections with other countries, global contributions, funding, organisation of science, administration and management of science, evaluation, critical studies of science and society, science policy studies and more. The journal is also a place for discussion on planning scientific policy, as well as issues pertaining to science education and policy towards education. The journal aims to foster discussion and dialogue by publishing papers addressing any aspect of science practice, science teaching, science administration, science policy and the science-society interface. It will also serve as a place to put on record archival documents from the past, as well as those that may be produced in the future, in which the Academy or other such bodies put down in writing the results of their deliberations on issues of relevance to scientists and society. The journal is accompanied by a more informal but moderated web platform, CONFLUENCE that aims to provide a forum for all interested parties to share and debate views and interact on these crucial issues.