Do You Feel Science Is Dry? Try This New Medicine

Category : Editorial

When students all over the world feel that certain subjects in science are dry, there is a drastic need to change our outlook. Even medicines are sugar coated now. Bitter medicines could be stronger, but no child will take it.

Apart from sugar coating the lectures, we have to perform a more serious operation to remove the "anaesthetic of familiarity" as Faraday put it. We had been insisting in our sister journal that "our long association with physics makes us insensitive to the contradictions" - "we are tempted to take things for granted". One has to go to roots to remove the apparent contradictions.

When we teach, we expect a pre knowledge from the students. We assume that more than stories of scientists, one should concentrate on "doing problems" the whole period, to do justice. This is not what successful teachers were practising.

Motivation, seeking inspiration by studying the lives and work of great scientists, a deep knowledge of the history of science in the words of the Great Masters and a love of the subject have to be cultivated. Teachers are the chargers. They have to energise the run down batteries of the children. It is a great thing to have a religious fervour for science. But sectarianism in science is as bad as sectarianism in religion.

The right medicine is to have weekly lectures in all schools, colleges and institutes by specialists in every field, attended by all the teachers from every branch from languages to medicine. As Dr. Mashelkar says "Engineers should have the facility to study life sciences". Like the great Sankaracharya, the later day saints such as Richard Feynman, Linus Pauling and many others have broken these artificial barriers.

Let us make science interesting. Then, results can be produced overnight.


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