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Speakers

Astrophysicist

Date & Time

Thursday Thu, 31 Aug 2023

Location

Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bangalore, Karnataka 560071 India

This conversation will primarily be in Kannada.

ನಮ್ಮ ಆಧುನಿಕ ಜೀವನ ವಿಜ್ಞಾನ ಮತ್ತು ತಂತ್ರಜ್ಞಾನದ ಫಲಗಳನ್ನು ಮಹತ್ತರ ರೀತಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಅವಲಂಬಿಸಿರುವುದು ನಿಸ್ಸಂದೇಹ. ಪ್ರಪಂಚದ ಎಲ್ಲೆಡೆ ಹೀಗಿದ್ದರೂ ಕೂಡ ಭಾರತದಲ್ಲಿ ಒಂದು ವೈಶಿಷ್ಟ್ಯ ಕಂಡುಬರುವುದು. ಏನೆಂದರೆ ಒಂದೆಡೆ ಮೊಬೈಲ್ ಫೋನ್ ಗಳು, ಅಲ್ಟ್ರಾಸೌಂಡ್ ವೈದ್ಯಕೀಯ ತನಿಖೆ, ಚಂದ್ರಯಾನವೂ ಸೇರಿ ತಂತ್ರಜ್ಞಾನದ ಫಲಗಳನ್ನು ಜನತೆ ಅತ್ಯಂತ ಉತ್ಸಾಹದಿಂದ ತಮ್ಮದಾಗಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳುವುದು. ಇನ್ನೊಂದೆಡೆ ಈ ತಂತ್ರಜ್ಞಾನಗಳ ಬುನಾದಿಯಾಗಿರುವ ವೈಜ್ಞಾನಿಕ ವಿಧಾನವನ್ನು ವಿಜ್ಞಾನ, ತಂತ್ರಜ್ಞಾನಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಉನ್ನತ ಶಿಕ್ಷಣ ಪಡೆದಿರುವವರು ಕೂಡ ಅನೇಕ ದಿನನಿತ್ಯದ ಸನ್ನಿವೇಶಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ತಿರಸ್ಕರಿಸುವುದು. ಈ ಪ್ರಕ್ರಿಯೆಯ ಕಾರಣಗಳೇನು? ವೈಜ್ಞಾನಿಕತೆಯೆಂದರೆ ಬರೇ ವಿಜ್ಞಾನಕ್ಕೆ ಮಾತ್ರ ಸೀಮಿತವಾಗಿರುವುದೇ? ವೈಜ್ಞಾನಿಕ ಕಾರ‍್ಯಕ್ಷೇತ್ರದಲ್ಲಿ ವೈಜ್ಞಾನಿಕ ವಿಧಾನ ಸಂಪೂರ್ಣವಾಗಿ ಸ್ವೀಕೃತವಾಗಿದೆಯೇ? ವೈಜ್ಞಾನಿಕತೆಯೆಂದರೇನು? ಈ ಹಿನ್ನೆಲೆಯಲ್ಲಿ, ವಿಜ್ಞಾನ ತಂತ್ರಜ್ಞಾನ ಕ್ಷೇತ್ರದಲ್ಲಿ ತೊಡಗಿರುವವರ ಜವಾಬ್ದಾರಿಗಳೇನು? ಈ ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆಗಳನ್ನು ಉದ್ದೇಶಿಸಿ ಇದೊಂದು ಸಂವಾದ.

Our modern lives, needless to say, depend heavily on the fruits of science and technology. While this is true everywhere, in India we see a conundrum. On the one hand, Indians have embraced modern technologies as their own with enthusiasm, such as mobile phones, ultrasound medical diagnosis or the Chandrayaan moon mission. On the other hand in many everyday contexts, the scientific method that is the basis of these technologies seems rejected, even by those with advanced educational degrees in science and technology.

What are the reasons for this phenomenon? Is scientific thinking limited to the field of science? Has the scientific method been fully internalised within the scientific enterprise? What is scientific thinking? What are the responsibilities of the practitioners of science and technology in this context? This will be a conversation addressing the above questions.

BIC Samvada is a series of conversations aimed at fostering exchange of ideas and discourse on as many languages as are accessible.

Speakers

Prajval Shastri

Astrophysicist

Prajval Shastri is an astrophysicist of nearly four decades. She got her PhD from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and after post-doctoral research positions in the University of Texas at Austin, University of California at Berkeley and the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics she was a faculty of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bengaluru for 23 years. She investigates the physics of giant black holes that are found in the centres of distant galaxies and how they influence the evolution of galaxies like our Milky Way. For this, she uses telescopes at multiple frequencies including radio, visible, ultraviolet and x-rays, based on earth as well as in space. She has been a Fulbright fellow at Stanford University and is currently Adjunct Professor at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, Australia.

Prajval is extremely passionate about science outreach. She believes that the cultivation of scientific thinking is for everyone, uses astrophysics as a vehicle to engage lay audiences of all ages with these questions, and works for the peoples science movement towards this goal.

She is also deeply concerned about the inequities in the sciences and attempts to bring an intersectional lens to the endeavours to mitigate them. She is founder and past chair of the Gender in Physics Working Group of the Indian Physics Association and member of the Working Group for Gender Equity of the Astronomical Society of India. She is vice-chair designate of the Women in Physics Working Group of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics and on the Executive Committee for the International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development.

In addition to her research publications, her published work includes popular articles on astrophysics, and on the subject of science and society, examples of which are, ‘Einstein proven right again’ (HT), ‘Was Carl Sagan right about life on Venus?’ (HT), ‘The (un)scientific temper of India’ (HT), ‘Will physics un-gender itself in the new decade?’ (HT), and ‘Equality is everyone’s work’ (Indian Express).