Discover Truth Through Practice, And Through Practice Verify And Develop Truth
Bangaluru (PIB-GR-TYP-BIN): The Vice President of India Mr. Mohd. Hamid Ansari has said that the use of science and scientific method is essential for socio-economic development, through research in industry and agriculture, and a search for truth through experiment. The dictum of a 20thcentury statesman sums it up: ‘discover truth through practice, and through practice verify and develop truth.’ Alongside, it is essential to wage a vigorous battle against all types of irrational beliefs and resultant bigotry. Delivering inaugural address at the “15th All India People’s Science Congress at Central College, Bengaluru” on May 22, he said that imbibing scientific reasoning, and development of scientific outlook, is intrinsic to modernity in our times.
He said that today, Science is indispensable for addressing major contemporary challenges of economic growth and social transformation in societies. The socio-economic health of a nation now depends, more and more on, among other factors, the health of the state of its science and technology.
The Vice President opined that Science presupposes, and emanates from, scientific method and its application to problems confronting humans. It accords absolute priority to empirical investigations and logical reasoning. It eschews a priori conclusions emanating from authority or tradition. In its quest for truth, it makes space available for dissenting voices and alternate lines of investigation. It thereby promotes a rational approach. In societal matters, it induces a secular approach towards individual belief systems and helps fight against social intolerance.
He further said that one set of thinkers opt for ‘science and technology determinism’ and suggest that one would follow another; a second group opine ‘social shaping’ and argue that it is never science and technology itself that cause change; instead, it is the people. A valid judgement would perhaps include elements of both and suggest that affirmative action of social shaping could help bring about social results desired by advancements of science and technology.
The Vice President said that the obvious instrumentality is education. At one level, it overcomes ignorance in a formal sense. Does it address itself to superstition and obscurantism? The answer is in the negative; the reason, regrettably, is to be found in ideologies and social belief and practices that prevail in various segments of our society. These induce a narrowing of the mind and cultivation of prejudices and intolerance. They impede, even suppress, the voice of rationalists.
He emphasized that these disturbing trends need to be countered. This can be done if citizens discharge their constitutional duties. In a plural society, the sanctity of all sacred texts is to be observed. The sacred text for the citizen quo citizen, it has been rightly observed, is the Constitution and the duties enjoined by it. Therefore, the promotion and embedding of science and scientific temper in our citizenry is a constitutional duty apart from being a moral one, if we are to emerge as a modern, progressive nation.