THE HINDU SPEAKS ON SCIENTIFIC FACTS: Compiled by the Editor, The Hindu; Kasturi & Sons Ltd., 859, Anna Salai, Chennai-600002. Rs. 100.
THE SPIRIT of scientific interest and curiosity is the source of innovation not only in science but also in our everyday life. For a developing country like India, it is so very vital to nurture this spirit among every section of its society, in this knowledge-based era.
The Hindu Speaks on Scientific Facts is a book that serves to nurture this spirit in the minds of the young and the old alike.
The book is a compilation of 365 questions and answers that have featured in the "Question Corner" section of the Science and Technology supplement of The Hindu, started in 1995. This is a popular section, given the extent of readers' participation in providing the questions and answers.
The compilation is organised for easy reference into four broad categories Earth sciences: atmosphere, geology and hydrology; Life sciences: botany, zoology, health and medicine; Physical sciences: astronomy, physics and chemistry; General: applied science and technology. A subject index provided at the end also assists in easy access.
The questions are mostly general and relate to everyday experiences. A majority of the answers are from the readers themselves, which is an indication of the level and extent of the diffusions of scientific knowledge in the country.
Some questions have multiple answers all of which are equally valid. This is a valuable diversity in rational thinking, especially in the context of the examination-oriented, single-solution-based training given to the present-day students in science.
They provide a lot of food for thought and curiosity in the young and old minds alike. They stimulate the mind to think beyond the classroom curricula and disciplinary boundaries.
For example, "Why don't we sneeze when we sleep?" "What causes hiccups?" "Why does rain fall as drops and sheets?" The answers not only satisfy the curiosity behind the questions, but also germinate more questions, more insights and more analogies to similar phenomena.
This book has the potential of creating public awareness in science and in enhancing the appreciation of science in our daily lives.
The book is highly recommended for students and libraries in educational institutions and equally recommended to anyone who has an interest in science and in the world around us.
Send this article to Friends by