One of the major challenges facing developing countries is to make science and technology an essential part of the culture of the people. A number of historical, cultural, political, social and economic situations have resulted in the need to develop policies and strategies that favor the popularization of science and technology in the developing countries. In order to deliberate on this issue, the Center for Science& technology of the Non-Aligned and other Developing Countries (NAM S&T Centre) jointly with National Research Institute for Science Policy (NRISP) have organized a 3- day International Workshop on “Policy making in Popularization of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI)” from 17 to 19 June, 2019 in Tehran- Iran.
The Inaugural Ceremony commenced with the presence of Iran’s Minister of Science, Research and Technology, Director General of NAM S&T Centre, NRISP President and senior professionals of more than 16countries of NAM members, and Iranian authorities on Monday, 17th. June, 2019 at the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology. Policy making in Popularization of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) is a new and important issue that is being raised for the first time in Iran. Topics of the Workshop are:
- Identification of educational contexts and strategies for the popularization of science, technology and innovation
- Development of science and technology infrastructures for the science popularization
- Popularization of science through indigenous cultural traditions
- The role of informal and non-formal education in the popularization of science, technology and innovation
- Identification of the challenges and limitations of popularization of science, technology and innovation
- Addressing and analyzing various approaches to distance learning
Speaking at the opening, Dr. Ahmadi, Advisor to the Minister of Science and NRISP President said that we expect the results of this three- day workshop to be beneficial with many successful science and technology experiences for participating countries. He also mentioned; when talking about policy-making in popularization of science, just like policy making in other fields, the first question that is raised relates to the extent of government involvement in this field. How much and in what ways the state should aid the system of science popularization in a country and in what fields should the discipline be promoted by natural mechanisms of science? In fact, this question is a key question in societies where foundations of their economic and political orders are based on a free market.
The next speaker was Dr. Amitava Bandopadhyay, Director General, NAM S&T Centre. Stressing that developing countries should share their scientific findings, Dr. Bandopadhyay said; conducting such meetings will help bring scientific achievements to other countries, including Europe and Africa. He also said; as you know, Iran is a nursery of science and is very active in the field of science development and providing the necessary programs are very precious in Iran. To implement ideas, there are many centers in Tehran that can share their ideas in the field of learning and educating, as well as providing successful models for STI and advancements to developing countries.
He explained the role of NAM S&T Centre as follows; this Center which its host is India holds meetings with 47 Asian and African countries in order to share the ideas.
Then Dr. Gholami, Iran’s Minister of Science, Research and Technology gave his speech and said; Iran, like other countries, has gained a good science and technology experience, especially in the past decade, and can share these experiences with other countries. For example, we have over 59 years of experience in the field of agriculture. In recent years, the Ministry of Science has taken good measures to centralize science at the community level, including opening the door of universities to the public, popularization of graduate theses. He then said: popularization of science and technology in developing countries is very important given the characteristics and conditions of these countries. Developing countries have common characteristics and policies for the popularization of science and technology make them close to each other. He stated that the NAM member countries and the participants in this meeting have high levels of capacity in science and technology that are unknown in the policies of the member states. The capabilities of developing countries, especially those of the NAM, are felt in science and technology, and by its appropriate popularization at the national and international levels, it is possible to develop and apply these achievements.
Then the specialized panels were held and participants from Iran and NAM member countries discussed the topic.