Volume 1, 2018

Science in the Public Sphere: Dissemination, Discussion, and Dialogue

Ramakrishna Ramaswamy
President, Indian Academy of Sciences, Bengaluru. Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi 110 067

Published 2023-09-04


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How to Cite

Ramaswamy, R. (2023). Science in the Public Sphere: Dissemination, Discussion, and Dialogue. DIALOGUE: Science, Scientists and Society, 1, 1–5. https://doi.org/10.29195/DSSS.01.01.0001


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  1. J. Robert Oppenheimer: 'We are not only scientists; we are men, too', 1945. (“Men” in the text of the speech should be understood to also include the large number of women who participated in the Manhattan Project; the usage is a reflection of the times when the speech was written.) A transcript of the entire speech can be found at https:// tinyurl.com/ 6gqxsu.
  2. The few journals in India wherein articles on science and public policy include Current Science (Bangalore), the Journal of Scientific Temper (New Delhi) and the Economic and Political Weekly (Mumbai). However, these are not exclusively devoted to policy issues. 3. India’s first Scientific Policy Resolution was issued in 1958 (a copy can be found at https:// tinyurl.com/ y895wwpo). Subsequent Science and Technology policy statements issued by the Government of India include (a) the Technology Policy Statement 1983 by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) (https:// tinyurl.com/ y9ff83h4), (b) Science and Technology Policy 2003 by the DST (https:// tinyurl.com/ yaxpjcqb) and (c) the Science, Technology & Innovation Policy 2013 (https:// tinyurl.com/ y9smqrcb). 4. The TIFAC Technology Vision 2035 Report can be downloaded from https:// tinyurl.com/ ycoz6qsl. Every year, TIFAC brings out a number of reports that examine technology needs as well as the present status of various different areas. These are available at the TIFAC website, https:// tinyurl.com/ y93otzb9
  3. Position papers of the Science Academies over the years include reports on Silent Valley, Infectious Diseases, Guidelines for conducting Recombinant DNA Molecule Research, Iodinisation of Salt, Genetically Modified Crops, Role of basic sciences in Agriculture, Water problems in India, Women scientists in India, the Indian Science Report, Science Education, Guidelines for use of Animals in Experimental Research, A Road Map for Development of Instrumentation in India, Energy Options for India, Energy and Food Security and Intellectual Property Rights in Biology. A recommendation on ‘Higher education in science and research & development: the challenges and the road ahead’ (2006) was submitted to the Planning Commission for the 11th Five-Year Plan, prepared jointly by INSA and IASc. The Indian Academy of Sciences spearheaded an inter-academy effort, Restructuring post-school science teaching programmes (2008) a position paper explaining the limitations of the present system of post-school science education in India and proposing introduction of a four-year Bachelor of Science programme.
  4. These are NASI (the National Academy of Sciences of India), IASc (Indian Academy of Sciences), INSA (Indian National Science Academy), NAAS (National Academy of Agricultural Sciences), INAE (Indian National Academy of Engineering), NAMS (National Academy of Medical Sciences).
  5. The summary note by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) was reprinted in the daily, The Hindu and can be accessed online at https:// tinyurl.com/ y9hkkavs. There are numerous other reports, also available online.
  6. Adapted from the Mission Statement of the Indian National Science Academy. All the Science Academies [6] have similar objectives when it comes to interfacing with the Government.
  7. In addition, there is a closely related moderated online discussion forum, Confluence, http:// confluence.ias.ac.in/, that is more adapted to contemporary modes of expression and debate..