In a first, PM chairs Science Congress session

Kolkata, Jan 3 (IANS) In a first, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday chaired a session at the Indian Science Congress here which called for bridging the gap between scientists and society.

Kickstarting the session, the prime minister said the accretion of knowledge had accelerated in recent times throwing up exciting possibilities.

"This has also opened up the question of whether our existing scientific paradigms are adequate to meet the challenges of future or whether we need new paradigms," he said.

He said the scientific community would need to introspect whether society was geared to making full use of the offerings of science.

"This is not a new challenge for science and scientists, and every generation of scientists in every country has fought existing prejudices and convictions. Inculcating rational thinking among the ordinary people is a task scientists from their vantage point should take upon themselves as a sacred mission," he said.

He said scientists need to be visionaries and offer tomorrow's solution to tomorrow's challenges.

"How do we manage the resource needs of the projected population of the world in 2035? How do we meet the needs of food and nutrition, energy and environment, water and sanitation and affordable healthcare? These are among the big questions that the scientists should apply themselves to."

The panel discussion saw eminent scientist M.S. Swaminathan calling for effective science communication to take science to common people.

"There is a growing gap between science and society and we should work in bridging this gap," he said.

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