Volume 1, 2018

The ‘Public’ and the ‘Outreach’: Public Outreach of Science in India

Dipyaman Ganguly
Senior Scientist & Swarnajayanti Fellow, CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Jadavpur, Kolkata, 700 032, West Bengal

Published 2023-09-04


  • Citizen science; public outreach; rationalism; science; scientific method; scientific temper

How to Cite

Ganguly, D. (2023). The ‘Public’ and the ‘Outreach’: Public Outreach of Science in India. DIALOGUE: Science, Scientists and Society, 1, 1–14. https://doi.org/10.29195/DSSS.01.01.0007


In the 21st century, as the global scientific pursuits provide an enormous amount of new revelations about the natural world, the gap between lay public and the scientific community widens more than ever. On the other hand, scientific endeavours all around the world increasingly depend on popular support for such efforts, as the policy decisions are largely driven by popular perceptions. Frequent instances of a disturbing public show of ignorance about rather established scientific knowledge, almost all over the world, may well be dismissed as rather outliers or means for political or economic gains. But one may argue that these phenomena can also be attributed to the usual public outreach methodologies. This essay aims to dissect out the prevalent public outreach strategies, by closely examining the nature of the key components, i.e. the ‘outreach’ and the ‘public’, to examine this argument. The essay also provides a discussion on the alternative thoughts on more effective programs to enhance public understanding of science and scientific temper, like setting up of rural hands-on science education centers as widely as possible and initiation of nationwide citizen science programs.


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