Science Communication in Bangladesh
Rezwanul Haque: Communication skill is the most important issue to spread science, but in most cases the scientist could not able to communicate their science in proper way in a proper time. This is particularly true for the scientists of Bangladesh. Bangladesh has high potentials for producing scientist, and they do produce. But because of the communication skills the scientist could not grow up. Some lost in the wave of time and some lost because of funding and some find their way in foreign countries to develop their ideas and work for other countries.
The importance of science communication will be clear from the talk of Mariechel Navarro , Manager in Global knowledge centre, ISAAA. Here she shares the practicalapplications of science communication in crop biotechnology in this link .
The first communication problem that arrives in Bangladesh is for teachers who teach math. Calculus is the base of all science and it started during the HSC study. Teachers teach the students how to differentiate and how to integrate, but they never teach what the importance of calculus is and how calculus is used in real science. So, many of the students lost their interest on calculus, eventually they lost their interest on science, which is a huge loss in terms of potentials.
The next problem comes in when students try to enter in a university for higher study. Most of the students who entered in universities for higher education in science group, they actually don’t know why they have chosen that subject in which they enrolled. Basically they choose those according to the demand of that subject in that present time. They are actually blind about their interest and nobody tried to extract their potentials in science by effective communication.
Here I am proposing that, we can create a group on ‘Science communication’, by collection knowledgeable people from the above four disciplines. The job for this group should be to teach people how to communicate science. They can start to teach school and college teachers how to create interest in science among the students. Once this has been done then the school and college teachers can teach effectively and they can also extract the interest of the students in appropriate department. Students will have a clear idea about their interest and they can enter university having a better understanding in which discipline he is going to study.
Finally the same group can start to organize some short courses in university level to teach scientist and policy makers how to interpret science properly.
Finally the major problem comes in when students graduated from a university. Because of funding crisis, no further research took place. This is the problem of scientist to convince the policy makers to approve more funds in research. Sometimes scientists are over ambitious and they proposed a research project which is impossible in context of Bangladesh and next time when another scientist applies for another fund he could not able to convince the policy maker.
In order to overcome those problems discussed above it is necessary to develop communication skill in all context of spreading science. Communication skills should be developed in order to convince policy makers to take decision toinvest for research. It is also necessary for business man to convert knowledge into commerce. Media people may also take an important role for communication as they can spread science news properly to the common people and policy makers and finally communication skills should also be developed to inform the common people, so that they will know what the scientist are doing and what the benefits they can get from the science and also they may convey their needs to the scientist so that scientist can develop appropriate new technology to help common people.
In some developed countries like UK, USA, Australia, Germany, Sweden, Netherlands there are some post graduate courses available in communication skills. There they teach how to communicate effectively within the interdisciplinary group. The department consists of educated people from four different disciplines. The first group is obviously from science as they can explain properly the scientific content. The second group comes from psychology as they can understand the behaviour of a certain society and convey the message appropriately. The third group comes from sociology department as they can describe the impact of science in the society and the final group comes from general communication studies like journalism, media people, so that they can design the media and way of communication to communicate with people comes from different discipline.
*PhD student ,Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne , Australia
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