In our times of rapid change, driven in significant part by new science and technology,
there is an ongoing and important need to widely and deeply re-examine the relationship between science and society. Science forms an integral part of society, implicitly suggesting an ongoing dialogue between the two. However, there is a wide range of often very divergent notions about how the scientific enterprise is pursued, and the role and relevance of science to society at large. Moreover, in the last few decades, there have been far-reaching changes in the socio-political, cultural and economic spheres worldwide, but very few attempts to systematically re-conceive the basic nature of the science-society contract. Therefore, a sustained introspection and dialogue about
the practice of science in the broadest terms is essential to have an informed and shared vision of the place of science in society, polity, and culture.
Against this backdrop, the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bengaluru, has decided that it is essential to have an open-ended and sustained dialogue amongst science practitioners, science policy makers, science administrators and educators, and society at large. It is necessary to have public discussion on these broad themes, so that all stake-holders can engage in discussion on issues pertaining to the practice, teaching and management of science as well as all aspects of the science-society interface.
The hope is that this will give rise to a more inclusive and acceptable vision of the place of science in society, polity, and culture. The Indian Academy of Sciences also intends publication of a journal, DIALOGUE: Science, Scientists, and Society. We hope this will contribute to this multifaceted endeavour.
The first event in this initiative is a “Symposium on Dialogue: Science, Scientists, and Society”, to be held at the Faculty Hall, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, on Friday, 13 th October 2017, starting at 2 pm. The event is open to the public and includes talks and a panel discussion with audience participation.