NASA hogged the limelight –cashing in on a discovery by others on the European Continent–when a research paper came out some months ago claiming the discovery by astronomers of Earth like planets.

This was a true instance of Live Action Science!

Three Cheers to Smart NASA, I daresay, though it smacks somewhat of Smart Alec behavior!!

As a lifelong devotee of science and applied science—I graduated in B.Sc Chemistry for your information!—I also fight off vicious attacks from conservative elements in India and abroad who would rather science were re-written in the language register of the Vedas, the New Testament, voodoo and sundry old wives’ tales!

Unverified fake news on social media –fathered forth by obscurantist forces no doubt backed up by religious or political elements–often tries to convince us of a natural cure for cancer or of an alien stardust-covered hand in our evolution.

Unfortunately hoi polloi doesn’t read 100% verified information by force habit; they tend to depend entirely on reports as they appear in print or on TV-and these are almost all the time over spiced and biased.

The large segment of Indian population, who tend to smear fresh vermilion on their mobile phones as the first thing every morning to ward off green eyed monsters, believe what the idiot box channel man or woman –or newspaper reporter–says. Ideally science must reach this segment in India!

By the way almost all Indian newspapers in the 1970’s and almost till the 1990s , carried columns on science but since then these columns have vanished, probably owing to lack of reader appreciation. This citizen level ignorance was exploited by self-appointed advocates for Vedic version of all science!

Access to verified information—and clinically tested and proven information on drug molecules– on almost everything under the sun is virtually free these days. But sadly enough, even global social media have been partly taken over by malcontents to promote their own nefarious party agenda!

Vernacular TV in India ( where even many humans have consciously deified themselves as superhuman beings from space!!) pick many of their viewer-fooling or viewer-jolting “science” reports from questionable sources.

A report on a meteorite impact on Earth many millions of years ago is aired with exaggerated gestures/language and accompanied by scenes of carnage and mayhem from some Hollywood flick.

Does such a report help dispel misinformation like fear of the unknown?

In No Way!

Remarks Debkumar Mitra in a write up in ET (Economic Times) recently,

A hostile environment coupled with dysfunctional news dissemination puts years of painstaking research in peril and deals a debilitating body blow to the scientific spirit. It allows unreason, superstition and acceptance without questioning to breed uninhibited. Even the scientific institutions are arm-twisted to spread pseudo or quasi scientific messages!



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