Saturday, April 5, 2008

Science Communication through science fiction

Science Communication through science fiction in India: Issues and Perspectives

[Abstract only ]

Science fiction is all about imagining the future. It is said to be the branch of literature which is concerned with the man’s response towards the impacts of science and technology on the future of mankind. The pace with which technology is altering the ways of our lives it appears that we are going to have a world of tomorrow very changed and different from our today’s world. Science fiction writers have the capability to foresee that future very well in advance. Jules Verne, the celebrated French writer of last century had such a prophetic vision and predicted the man's victory over MOON as early as in 1830’s.

It’s not that predicting the future is man's pursuit of any recent origin. Our many scriptures are full of such references. In mythological descriptions an aircraft ‘ PUSPAK VIMAN’ have been shown to have an endless capacity/facility to accommodate any passenger even at last moment of departure and is also depicted to be an emotional entity. Likewise ‘SUDARSHAN CHAKRA’, comes back to lord Krishna’s hand after killing the enemies and ‘MAYA YUDDH’ appears to be a kind of simulated /projected virtual war as in today’s parlance where it is felt only that a war is in progress but nothing happens in reality. These are just a few examples in point. MYTHOLOGY AND SCI FI BOTH APPEARS ANALOGOUS IN CONTENT AND NATURE! Ursula Le Guinn, a prominent SF writer of America has aptly called mythology as ‘contemporary science fiction’.
Our ancestors imagined all such queer and interesting things at par with today’s SF writers but because the required technology was not available in ancient times many of their predictions could not have been realized in contemporary times MAY BE WE DONT HAVE TO WAIT FOR LONG! INTELLIGENT MACHINES ARE ALREADY HERE AND MANY MORE INVENTIONS ARE IN OFFING. We must salute to wisdom of our ancestor’s imaginative power!

Besides, sf could also play a vital role in popularizing basic sciences and a way of scientific thinking amongst Indian masses. Experiments have proved that sf works as an effective learning device especially amongst school children and neo-literates. Many subject specific sf stories when told to students earlier to teaching them any particular science subject elicited in them more interest and dedication towards that particular subjects.


9 comments:

  1. Of course science fiction can revolutionize our scientific thinking and so our life and future.

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  2. Hello. This post is likeable, and your blog is very interesting, congratulations :-). I will add in my blogroll =). If possible gives a last there on my blog, it is about the Smartphone, I hope you enjoy. The address is http://smartphone-brasil.blogspot.com. A hug.

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  3. It's interesting that you see a connection between mythology and science fiction. I totally agree that SF is a great doorway to science for people who wouldn't think about it otherwise.

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  4. A good amount of groundwork will have to be done by Indian writers to use SF to create science-awareness.

    Now that magazines like Parag and Nandan are not seen, I wonder what media one might find for reaching the millions of children.

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  5. मेरी समझ से विज्ञान संचार में सबसे बडी समस्या यह आती है कि उसे जन सामान्य की समझ के अनुसार नहीं प्रस्तुत किया जाता है। विज्ञान कथा इस दृष्टि से एक महत्वपूर्ण माध्यम है। क्योंकि कहानी में प्रयुक्त विज्ञान इतने सरल और तरल स्वरूप में होता है कि वह थोडी सी भी बुद्धि रखने वाले व्यक्ति की समझ में आ जाता है। इसलिए विज्ञान संचार की दृष्टि से विज्ञान कथाओं बहुत बडी भूमिका निभा सकती हैं, बशर्तें उन्हें सार्थक रूप में प्रस्तुत किया जाए।

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  6. मैं आपकी बात का समर्थन करता हूँ।

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  7. Seen your Blog for the first time. The contents are interesting. Surely you are doing pioneering work in the field of science fiction in Hindi, but this is a moment in India when the Hindi literature as a whole is not in the mainstream, what to talk of scifi.

    But,when we know we are on the right path we have to continue to plod on and on... Best wishes.

    I will try to keep in touch from now on.

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  8. Thanks,Bhatnagar Sahab,
    Are you same Dr.Bhatnagar,the former Editor,Aaviskar...Please let me know to resume dialogue.
    regards,
    arvind

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  9. Yes. Hope you are fine. Please keep in touch. Happy you are doing good work. Regards.
    D.N.Bhatnagar

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If you strongly feel to say something on Indian SF please do so ! Your comment would be highly valued and appreciated !