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STS Seminar: The evolution of public-scientists: how Indian science museums are creating grassroots innovators

Higher seminar

Anwesha Chakraborty, Chalmers will be giving a talk at the Theory of Science and Science and Technology Studies Seminar on 14 December.

In this talk, my aim is to define and critically engage with the conceptual category of ¿grassroots innovation¿ bearing in mind the technopolitical culture of India, a rapidly developing technical power but burdened with consistent social problems for which the solutions need to be scalable, bottom-up and co-produced by experts and non-experts.

I do so by reporting the findings of a short ethnographic study carried out at the ¿Innovation Hub¿, a recently inaugurated (in 2013) facility (similar to the tinkering labs found in multiple European and American museums) at the first public science museum in India, the Birla Industrial and Technological Museum (BITM), Kolkata.

The space, as explained by its curator, is designed to encourage young members of the society (students from schools and universities) to participate in the national vision of promotion of scientific temper and to visualize themselves as innovators providing scientific and technical solutions to address societal challenges. The site was selected for the study because it was created as a part of the larger national plan drawn by the National Innovation Council, a think-tank formed to develop strategies on inclusive innovation and development. (NInC Report, 2013).

The findings of the ethnographic research have been used in the analysis in conjunction with definitions and examples of grassroots innovation and innovators provided in policy documents and annual activity reports of the prominent Indian think tanks working on this issue: National Innovation Council and National Innovation Foundation. These additional sources will help us understand if there is a continuity between the political rhetoric of grassroots innovation and the realisation of the idea in non-formal settings which encourage public engagement with science and technology.

Lecturer: Anwesha Chakraborty, Chalmers

Date: 12/14/2018

Time: 1:15 PM - 3:00 PM

Categories: Humanities

Organizer: Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science

Location: Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science
Room T340

Event URL: Read more about STS Seminar: The evolution of public-scientists: how Indian science museums are creating grassroots innovators

Contact person: Johan Söderberg

Page Manager: |Last update: 1/14/2009
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