It’s time to popularize science

Asif Khan Turk

If we observe the situation of global scientific literacy, we would see that the world has achieved marked excellence in this regard, however, in Pakistan, we even have not yet defined the term ‘scientific literacy’ for the nation and that is the reason that we are extremely far away from the benefits of the today’s scientific and technological advancements.

The main cause seems that from the very beginning, none of the governments has neither realized the importance of science nor has prioritized it in its manifesto. Similarly, we are also very unfortunate that we have never found any visionary leadership to set a historical agenda for our progress and development through science, but our almost all the leaderships have always focused on conventional and so-called priorities to achieve their personal interests and agendas only.

The lack of visionary approach and seriousness among our leadership regarding science has pushed the nation towards backwardness and the remedy of this extreme darkness can only be possible if we promote science in our daily life through multiple ways, particularly the media, therefore, an appropriate planning and management is a need of the hour to address the issue in a proper way.

Here, a question also arises that sometimes if the government tries its best to make the nation developed and prosperous but despite this the fruit could not reach to common man, so what will be the benefit of all of its efforts? Hence, the best answer is to popularize the subjects of science and technology through media so that the essence and concept of science could reach to public in a convenient and effective manner.

Actually, the role of journalism and mass communication is very crucial for conveying the basics and essentials of science to common people as majority persons of our society don’t understand the complex language of science and technology easily, therefore, here we need mass media and its sources to make the process of communication easy for everyone, especially the layperson.

As per my 10-year journalistic career and covering science prominently, I hereby claim that our 50-60 percent societal problems are related to science only and if our mainstream media would give at least 5 percent space to science and the related subjects, these problems related to health, nutrition, environment, public health and agriculture etc. would be solved very easily and efficiently that’s why the national media has to prioritize science in its routine coverage in order to address our half of the problems.

The crux of the above references is that it is a universal fact that every country must have a clear and well-defined scientific vision to achieve its goals and without such approach, it will not be able to establish an efficient and vibrant strategy for sustainable development, so Pakistan should also set a new development trend purely based on science and technology.

In this regard, the government, the concerned authorities, academia, media and other relevant stakeholders should make a strong liaison to effectively communicate and transform the concept and basics of science to general public as without educating the public scientifically we will be unable to progress and develop like other countries (South Korea, Japan, Finland, United Kingdom and Canada etc.) who have excellence and leadership in the area of scientific literacy. If the aforementioned quarters would do so by showing dedication and commitment in this perspective, it will be the opening of a new era of the progress of the nation through scientific advancement.

Being a science communicator, I also suggest that it should be the fundamental task and a sacred duty of the print and electronic media to allocate the required space for the reporting of science and technology as it is the ultimate way of developing science culture in society and improving the quality of life of the common man.

As journalism is the prime source of communication, education and awareness among the masses and it can betterly sensitize the society about the need and importance of science and the allied areas, therefore, science journalism must be introduced in the mainstream media and journalism institutions by attracting journalists and writers towards this sacred cause to foster and inculcate awareness about science by making our life style much better and advanced.

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

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