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Science centres, museums vital of science promotion

Islamabad, November 17, 2016 (PPI-OT):Dr. Ishfaq Ahmad, veteran scientist and former Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Strategic Programmes, has stressed the need for making concerted efforts for the promotion of science and technology in the country. He expressed these aspirations at a seminar held here in connection with the World Science Day for Peace and Development bearing the theme “Celebrating Science Centres and Science Museums”.

Dr. Ahmed, who presided over the seminar, noted with pleasure Pakistan’s role in institutionalizing the UNESCO’s World Science Day for Peace and Development, for which he personally played an important role in the late nineties. He hoped that Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) will play a crucial role in promoting culture of science in the country. The seminar was organized by COMSATS in collaboration with the Office of Research, Innovation and Commercialization (Professional Development Department) of CIIT.

Welcoming the participants of the seminar, Dr. Raheel Qamar, Dean, Research, Innovation and Commercialization, CIIT, noted that science centres can help nurture scientific thought and help encourage the masses towards research and scientific learning. He urged the public sector to support such initiatives. The message from Federal Secretary Science and Technology Fazal Abbas Maken, who is also the Executive Director COMSATS, was read out by Tajammul Hussain, Advisor-Programmes (COMSATS).

In his message, Maken opined that science centres/museums help develop understanding of the world, raise public awareness regarding current research activities and stimulate interest in science among students of schools and colleges. He also highlighted COMSATS’ role over the years for promotion of science and technology in the developing countries, which is in keeping with the spirit of the World Science Day celebrated by the world community.

Director General UNESCO, Dr. Irina Bokova’s message was also read out by Raza Shah, National Professional officer, Natural Sciences, UNESCO, Islamabad. The Director General UNESCO considered science centres important for capacity-building, advocacy, and to send strong messages about the importance of science for sustainable development. She also called for partners and governments to support science museums and centres.

The technical session of the event comprised talks by Dr. Zain-ul-Abedin, Advisor, Department of Architecture, CIIT Islamabad; Mian Attique Ahmad, Secretary General, Museums Association of Pakistan (MAP); Fatima Sami, Graphic Exhibit Designer, National Museum of Science and Technology (NMST), Lahore; and Dr. Tariq Bin Tahir, former Director General, PAEC.

Dr. Abedin asserted the need for promoting museology in Pakistan, for which the government’s support is crucial, in addition to that of the general public. He believed that science centres and science museums help promote peace in the society. Fatima noted that NMST aims to create scientifically educated citizenry in the country, evoke interest in S and T and development of scientific attitude in the masses, as well as supplement the teaching of science at school and college levels.

Dr. Tariq presented his proposal on establishing ‘Children Science Discovery Centre’ in the country, based on the precedence from around the world. He noted the changing paradigm in science museums that now encourage more interactivity, apart from exhibiting ideas, artefacts and technologies. The seminar concluded on the note of making concerted efforts by the relevant stakeholders for promotion of science and technology and supporting science centres and science museums.

For more information, contact:
Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS)
COMSATS Headquarters: 4th Floor, Shahrah-e-Jamhuriat, Opp. Radio Pakistan,
G-5/2, Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: (+92-51) 9214515-17
Fax: (+92-51) 9216539
Email: comsats@comsats.org
Website: http://comsats.org

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