Science at your doorstep, at zero cost

Bengaluru institute to help organise scientific lectures in apartment complexes

April 09, 2018 11:50 pm | Updated 11:50 pm IST - Bengaluru

At a time when scientific temper seems to be at a premium even among those with the fiduciary responsibility to promote it, Bengaluru’s National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) has launched an initiative to take science to the people, to their very doorstep, as a matter of fact.

The initiative, called Science and the City, encourages apartment complexes to host lectures on popular science topics on their own premises, at no cost.

Wide reach

Mukund Thattai, a scientist from the NCBS associated with the programme, said: “We have a regular schedule of public lectures on our campus through the year. However, the distances and travel times in Bengaluru being what they are, even people interested in the lecture topic find it hard to attend. Our campus has two research institutes (NCBS and inStem, the Stem Cell Institute). Many of my colleagues have already been giving popular talks in their own apartments and housing societies. So we thought, why restrict this to our own apartments, why not go to any apartment where the residents are interested? That’s the genesis of Science and the City.”

Evokes interest

The initiative, announced on Saturday, has generated a lot of interest on social media. “We have already received one sign-up,” Mr. Thattai said.

Apartment residents can sign up as hosts by filling up a form available on the NCBS website and selecting a topic. “The NCBS will arrange for a scientist to give a popular talk on the chosen subject. Hosts must ensure that the venue has sufficient seating, some basic refreshments and, if possible, projectors. We will provide a publicity flyer, but hosts must spread the word in their buildings,” Mr. Thatai said.

However, the NCBS wants these venues to serve as a place where people from the neighbourhood can also attend the talks, and not just apartment residents. The speakers would either be faculty members or post-doctoral researchers at the NCBS and inStem.

The lectures will be suitable for anyone above 15 years of age. The topics cover a wide range. The best part of the initiative is that it is free.

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