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Roadshow Brings Mega Science Projects to the People

Roadshow Brings Mega Science Projects to the People

Mumbai: An 11-month long and nationwide roadshow to create a buzz around various international mega-science projects devoted to understanding the working of the universe from the atomic to the astronomical level rolled out in Mumbai on May 8.

The programme is named Vigyan Samagam and is being executed in the form of a travelling exhibition that features galleries of posters, working models, exhibits, audio-visuals informational materials, electronic displays and interactive kiosks.

The first destination was Mumbai’s Nehru Science Centre, where the show plans to stay for two months, until July 7. It will then move to Bengaluru, where it will be open to the public from July 29 to September 28 at the Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum.

The next stop will be Kolkata, where it be open at the Science City from November 4 to December 31. The final stop will be at the National Science Centre in New Delhi from January 21 to March 30 next year.

The exhibitions will be open on weekends and holidays as well, from 10 am to 6 pm.

The show focuses on seven mega-science projects supported by countries around the world, including India. They are the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, Switzerland; the India-based Neutrino Observatory, Tamil Nadu; the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research, Germany; the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, a fusion reactor in France; the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatories in the US and on the one being planned in India; the Thirty Meter Telescope; and the Square Kilometer Array, South Africa.

Also read: Two Very Similar Projects in Tamil Nadu – but Only One Is Opposed. Why?

These projects throw light on crucial questions related to the origin of the universe and its evolution through its various stages. They relate to particle physics, including properties of particles like the Higgs boson and neutrinos, the detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes and merging neutron stars, and precision engineering challenges involving the containment of extremely energetic plasmas.

Among other things, the programme will highlight India’s contributions in these research and development activities.

The inaugural event at each venue will be followed two days of events comprising talks and lectures by eminent speakers from research and industry. These will be live-streamed through social media platforms.

Its organisers – the Departments of Science and Technology and Atomic Energy and the National Council of Science Museum (NCSM) – will also conduct quizzes, essay writing contests, drawing contests and science awareness cyclothons to engage schoolchildren and other students in attendance.

V.K. Saraswat, a member of NITI Aayog, emphasised the importance of science and technology for the country’s economic growth of the country in his launch speech, and hoped that the programme will help to inspire youth to take up scientific work as a career.

K. VijayRaghavan, the principal scientific adviser to the Government of India, spoke of the need to make scientific and technological developments available in local languages to ensure they are accessible to more people (an issue he has discussed before in some detail).

A.D.Choudhary, the director-general of the NCSM, said the organisation was working on a plan to expand the show’s footprint to include smaller cities as well.

Sunderarajan Padmanabhan writes for India Science Wire and tweets at @ndpsr.

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