Scientists and researchers have been doing their best in the fight against Covid-19 by coming up with solutions to the various challenges borne by this pandemic. Govt. of India is planning to come out with a new policy on Scientific Social Responsibility to bridge the gap between science and society.
India is going to be possibly the first country in the world to implement a Scientific Social Responsibility (SSR) Policy on the lines of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to encourage science and technology (S&T) institutions and individual scientists in the country to proactively engage in science outreach activities to connect science with the society.
Scientific Social Responsibility
Scientific Social Responsibility is ‘the ethical obligation of knowledge workers in all fields of science and technology to voluntarily contribute their knowledge and resources to the widest spectrum of stakeholders in society, in a spirit of service and conscious reciprocity’, according to the draft document.
Here, knowledge workers include anyone who participates in the knowledge economy in the areas of human, social, natural, physical, biological, medical, mathematical and computer/data sciences and their associated technologies.
Confluence of scientific knowledge with visionary leadership and social conscience
Building synergies among all stakeholders in scientific knowledge community and also about developing linkages between science and society
Bridging science-society, science-science and society-science gaps, thereby bringing trust, partnership and responsibility of science at an accelerated peace towards achieving social goals
What inspired it?
The Constitution of India (Part-IV, Article 51A(h)) mandates for developing the scientific temper, humanism and spirit of enquiry as part of the fundamental duties of a citizen.
This idea has been carried forward in earlier science policies of India (Scientific Policy Resolution 1958, Technology Policy Statement 1983, Science and Technology Policy 2003 and Science Technology and Innovation Policy 2013) that propagate for taking the message and benefits of science to society and for bridging the gap between the two.
The new SSR Policy is an effort to make scientific institutions and individual scientists more responsible to society and other stakeholders. Scientists have an ethical obligation of ‘giving back’ to society when they use taxpayers’ money for doing science, says the draft.