Need for science culture in Pakistan

Asif Khan Turk

If we look at the situation of scientific literacy in Pakistan we can see sufficient progress in this regard. The number of universities and professional institutes  has considerably increased during the last few decades which have produced a large number of doctors, engineers and computer and I.T graduates and so on and so fore. The Higher Education Commission, Islamabad has played a vital role in this respect by providing adequate scholarships and other opportunities at low-cost higher education in the country and abroad and as a result thereof, a large number of PhD scholars have brought the latest scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit, progress and development of the country.

Similarly, certain NGOs and civil society have also contributed a lot as well as media has given ample space and coverage to science related activities, issues and programmes etc. However, despite all these efforts and pursuits, the ratio of scientific literacy cannot be deemed satisfactory and encouraging in the country as a whole and even now the common man is living a conventional life in the primitive style far away from the benefits of science culture.

Before going further, it is necessary to understand the term ‘scientific literacy’. Scientific literacy doesn’t mean a person having a degree in a field of science rather it means a person living his life with a scientific approach in a way that his everyday life is according to the principles of science. It means that a person must know the condition of his food, dress, shelter, health and the surrounding environment. In other words, we may say that a person who knows what to eat, what to drink, what to wear, how to keep himself healthy and what to do in an unpleasant situation such as diseases etc. as well as to know about the other conditions of life to live in a scientific way is scientifically literate.

As stated above that the ratio of scientific literacy is unsatisfactory in the country due to which the result of the efforts being done by the government and other key stakeholders in the field of food, health, agriculture, environment, public health, energy and forestry etc. is not good and the main reason behind it, is the non-involvement of the public in this regard because, without involving public, it is impossible to establish science culture in the society.

In order to develop science culture in the country by involving public through awareness, the ‘Science Journalism Society of Pakistan’ (SJSP) is established in April, 2018. It is a Peshawar-based non-governmental, non-profit and non-partisan organisation working for the welfare of humanity without any discrimination of language, caste, creed and colour, culture, religion, sect or community. The motive behind its establishment is to create awareness on mass level through journalism in order to develop scientific literacy which will lead to the establishment of science culture in the country.

In order to achieve the aims and objectives as evident from the ‘motive’ behind the establishment of the SJSP, it is the fundamental task and a sacred duty to improve the quality of life through the development of science culture, to work on community development through awareness, to work for the welfare of the society through science journalism, to struggle against diseases, pollution, climate change, deforestation and water shortage, to ensure the participation of community in science related activities, to conduct seminars, conferences, workshops and expos in order to foster and inculcate awareness about the need and importance of science, to link the media and academia for making a mutual relationship to make better the life style of the masses, to work for the general betterment of the society by focusing on health, environment, agriculture, forestry, biodiversity, narcotics control and human development, to report new research being conducted at the universities and research centers regarding scientific advancement and to promote, project and encourage new ideas and developments in any area of the goals set forth by the society.

The crux of all this discussion is to set a new trend in Pakistani society based on science as it is a global fact that a country must have a clear and well-defined scientific vision to achieve its aims and objectives and without this, it will not be able to prepare an effective roadmap for a sustainable development. In the present world, wealth creation is a result of scientific advancement. Access to science plays a pivotal role in bringing out mega changes in today’s society. Besides, science has a very prominent and conspicuous role in developing the economies and improving the living standards of human beings.

The writer is the Editor of Sunrise Today and President of the Science Journalism Society of Pakistan. He can be reached at:

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