Monday, November 3, 2008

8th Indian Science Communication Congress (ISCC-2008)

The enormous knowledge incidence from all around the world at one hand has largely widened the canvas and scope for development, while plurality of mass media has opened up new vistas for channelising and creating a knowledge society at the other. The ability of a nation to use and create knowledge capital determines its capacity to empower people at large towards taking advantage of this vast pool of emerging scientific knowledge for wealth creation and well being of a nation. The knowledge oriented paradigm of development would be crucial especially for emerging world in the decades to come as the time has arrived to converge all sets of mass media to better equip the society for a steady and evenly flow of quality information in all sectors.

In the age of knowledge revolution and globalisation no country can even afford to miss this opportunity that is coming on our way as a result of democratisation of knowledge, which if not harnessed properly can lead to irreversible consequences. The abundance of old and new knowledge is more challenging as compared to that of deficit of knowledge because of unchecked constant bombarding of knowledge amongst us through plenty of information channels. The common man is in great dilemma as he is unable to decide as what is useful!

We are now in process of formation of knowledge cocoons surrounding ourselves. Inside these cocoons we are left with no option other than to converge all media and sharpen our edges to rupture the cocoon and come out of it to see the world and respond to it differently; that would mark the beginning of sustainable knowledge generation, delivery and utility system. Booming radio/TV channels, films and other media are flooded with lots of science information in their own way. Folk arts are still prevailing in rural areas causing remarkable changes in village life. Web media is becoming popular in general public; browsing centres are growing in nooks and corners of streets and even in villages for communication, entertainment and getting medical and marketing details. Innumerable books, journals, newspapers and other printed products are adding to revolutionize the way a common man gets information.

Convergence is not only related to technology, it is also a concept of combining various systems, processes and actions for multiple objectives with impact of technology and a quantum leap towards mature knowledge society. The conventional and new media crossroad which embraces grassroot audience and media corporate, the dynamics between media producers and media consumers changes. It also induces changes within cultural, social, economical and industrial arena that necessitates the audience to seek more knowledge and therefore more emphasis is needed on quality of contents, presentation and packaging. The proliferation of information resources is to be transformed into utility oriented marketable products that will promote knowledge economy.

The world has now entered into an era of convergence culture and we need to take steps to converge all the media to take advantage of it for developing a science oriented society. The NSCC-2008 is going to redefine scope of media convergence in the age of knowledge revolution for harnessing the immense potential offered for S&T communication. The issues amongst others emerging out of this area of unpredictable possibilities will be addressed, such as: the balance between knowledge abundance and knowledge deficit; knowledge creation vs knowledge handling; open access of science research and knowledge marketing; quality of contents and quality of packaging; problems of getting desired information with solutions; studies on converging bilateral, trilateral or multilateral media for effective S&T communication; the other side of media convergence; the problems and prospects of knowledge revolution; role of institutional convergence; converging networks, methods, processes, practices, professions for S&T communication; and alike.

Objectives :

To encourage discussion and interaction on issues and aspects concerning S&T communication.

To bring science communicators, scientists, technologists, journalists, academicians together.

To offer budding S&T communicators a wider exposure and enable them to express their views/ ideas.

To address various issues vital to promotion of science and technology communication.

To explore and share newer tools, ways, means for better target specific S&T communication.

To provide a forum for young and experienced researchers and practitioners of S&T communication.

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Sub Themes : There will be 5 Scientific Sessions on the following sub themes :

Understanding Media Convergence : The session introduces, defines and explores various concepts, determines various facets, aspects, and sub-sets for convergence of different mass media.

Understanding Knowledge Revolution : The session finds out as what benefits can we expect for S&T communication in the age of knowledge proliferation with pedagogical aspects, methods and models.

Converging Media and Knowledge Ecosystems : The session discovers role of software materials, institutions, scientists, technologists, media houses, and science museums with case studies.

Human Capital in Knowledge Society : The session examines role of science communicators, young science enthusiasts with training opportunities, science literacy, S&T temper, and scientific wisdom.

Knowledge Economy and Knowledge Marketing : The session deals with issues of content development, knowledge processing and retrieval systems, packaging and delivery mechanisms, including knowledge-media interaction, effective methodologies and best practices.

ISCC Format
The technical sessions will have presentation of contributory research papers, review papers, survey analyses, case studies, and invited talks. Discussions in split groups would offer close exchange of thoughts and ideas. Deliberations will be in English, Hindi, and Tamil. A sub-theme cannot be the title of a paper/ presentation; select a narrower topic under a sub theme and design your research study around it. Papers must be prepared in standard research paper format, i.e. title of paper, name(s) and address of author(s), abstract, key words, introduction, objectives, methodology, observations, discussion, analysis, inferences, conclusions, recommendations, references, along with illustrations, graphics, photos including captions. In addition to scientific sessions and split groups, there would be two workshops and an open ended roundtable. One workshop would be for young researchers/ students; whereas the other would highlight global perspectives in S&T Communication.

Who can participate
Researchers and practitioners of S&T communication, i.e. scientists, technologists, academicians, writers, journalists, editors, scholars and faculty members of journalism, public relation and information officers of scientific organizations, representatives of media organizations, newspapers, magazines, science cells of AIR/ TV channels, science activists from NGOs; and senior government officials/ policy makers.

Travel Fellowship
Limited number of travel fellowships are available for selected/ invited delegates from India.International delegates will make their own travel arrangements; the organizers could offer free stay and meals. Best paper/ presentation awards would be given in junior and senior categories based on independent evaluation.

Registration/ Submission of Paper/ Abstract
Last Date - November 15, 2008. Selected applicants would be invited for presentation. Indian Journal of Science Communication would publish selected papers.

Exhibition of Popular S&T Publications and Information Products
The exhibition is being organized at the venue; please bring/ send your publications, articles, books, magazines, Cds, kits and software materials for display.

Addresses for Communication :
Dr. P. Iyamperumal
Secretariat, ISCC-2008
Executive Director, Tamil Nadu Science and Technology Centre
Gandhi Manadapam Road, Guindy, Chennai - 600025 (Tamil Nadu), India
Phone : +91-044-24918787; Mobile : +91-9840014412; +91-9444991415

Dr. Manoj Patairiya
Convener, ISCC-2008
Director/ Scientist ‘F’, National Council for Science & Technology Communication
Technology Bhavan, New Mehrauli Road, New Delhi – 110016, India
Phone : +91-11-26537976, 26590238; Fax : +91-11-26866675

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