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Expert laments lack of interest in physics

By Our Staff Correspondent

MYSORE, FEB.17. A seminar-cum-workshop was held here on Thursday as part of the World Year of Physics to commemorate 100th anniversary of the publication of Albert Einstein's epoch-making scientific papers.

The seminar on "Knowledge construction in physics" was held at the JSS College for Women in association with the Central Institute of Indian Languages and the Forum of Physics and Electronics Teachers. The objective of the seminar was to increase public awareness of physics.

S. Prakash, forum president, said the number of students opting for physics has declined in recent years and action must be taken by the international fraternity of physicists to share its vision and convictions about the subject with politicians and the public.

He said physics not only plays an important role in the development of science and technology but also has tremendous impact on society. Although this is evident to physicists, not everyone is aware of this impact, he said.

Dr. Prakash said physics plays a key role in areas such as energy production, environmental protection and public health. He said the emphasis of the international year celebrations should be to showcase physics as the basis of technology and the incubator for the emerging scientific and technological fields. The year provides an opportunity to revive dreams of a vibrant physics education and research programme rooted in pedagogic and scientific practice, he said. The celebrations are described as an opportunity for physicists to reach out to society at large.

Dr. Prakash called for a thoughtfully designed course that lays emphasis on knowledge construction and conceptual change.

N. Mukunda, Vice-President, Science Education Panel, Indian Academy of Science, Bangalore, stressed the importance of Einstein's work. He said advances in a subject take place in a steady manner and each step forward is built on a chain of developments and is rarely isolated.

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