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National Science Day celebrations at CSIR-NIScPR

March 4, 2024


CSIR-National Institute of Science Communication and Policy Research (CSIR-NIScPR) organised a lecture in New Delhi today to celebrate the National Science Day 2024. The chief guest for the occasion was Dr. Shiv Kumar Sharma, National Organising Secretary, VIBHA. Dr. Rajni Kant, Former and Founder Director, ICMR-Regional Medical Research Centre, Gorakhpur delivered the keynote address.

The welcome address was given by Prof. Ranjana Aggarwal, Director CSIR-NIScPR. Prof Aggarwal spoke about the importance of harnessing indigenous knowledge and technology for achieving scientific progress in India. She also talked about the importance of health communication for disease management such as during the COVID-19 pandemic and also highlighted the importance of science communication for health campaigns. Dr. Sharma spoke about the importance of indigenous technology for Indian society and the need to identify indigenous knowledge and technology and integrate this knowledge into current science practices.

Dr. Rajni Kant delivered the keynote address on “Understanding Health Communication and its Role in Disease Management.” The talk covered different aspects of health communication, its importance, the various barriers and challenges, the use of emerging platforms such as social media to communicate about health, and the need to tackle growing health misinformation on these platforms. He stressed the use of indigenous technology(s) especially during the recent COVID-19 pandemic to tackle various aspects such as the development of vaccines to protective kits. He also highlighted the need for digital health literacy among the public and the need to train health professionals and scientists in communicating science while also training journalists and other media professionals in aspects specific to reporting about health. Dr Paramananda Barman, coordinator of this session, delivered the vote of thanks.

The lecture session was followed by a brainstorming session on the “Use of Social Media in Health Communication” including various experts from different Indian organisations. The experts included Dr. Rajni Kant, Dr Padma Rani, Manipal Institute of Communication, Dr. Nancepreet Kaur, Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI), Ms. Sophia Lonappan, Public Health & Risk Communications, WHO India, Mr Kaushik Bose, GHS, Dr. Gita Bamezai, Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Dr. Y. Madhavi, Dr. Sujit Bhattacharya, Dr. Suman Ray, Dr Charu Lata & Dr Paramananda Barman from CSIR-NIScPR. The brainstorming session covered multiple aspects of the use of social media for health communication such as its importance, the challenges, the spread of misinformation on social media, and the different ways to combat this misinformation through promoting digital health literacy, creating awareness at the grassroots level through the involvement of various stakeholders such as government organisations, scientists and science communicators, healthcare workers, policymakers, etc.

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