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A lecture on Eid... when science flirts with the mind and soul!

A lecture on Eid… when science flirts with the mind and soul!

Happy New Year.

On holidays, people go to parks, gardens and beaches, where they have fun, play and swim, looking for the pleasure of soul and body, but in some countries people go to the lecture hall to listen to a lecture on Eid!! Yes, they go there in order to attend a sober scientific lecture that caress the mind and spirit, in which they feel aspects of science and knowledge.

Let me take you, dear reader, on a journey through time and space, and take you back in time to one of those lectures that some people attend on holidays.

We are in the year 1825 AD, as a series of lectures founded by Michael Faraday are being held at the Royal Institution in the British capital (London), called the Christmas Lecture (or Christmas Lecture), those lectures that were intended for young people but attracted the general public of all ages. annually to this day.

People flocked to attend those Christmas lectures, and learn about the chemical history of the candle. The streets around the Royal Institution in the British capital crowded carriages, roads were crisscrossed, traffic stopped, traffic was reorganized, and for the first time in history, one-way streets were invented. The directions in the streets around the Royal Institute have been re-planned for traffic to flow again in the fog capital!!

We’re still in ancient times, and in 1848 there was a highlight in that series when Faraday talked about the “chemical history of the candle” giving six lectures on the chemistry and physics of flames as part of the Christmas Lecture Series.

In the introduction to his speech, the lecturer said: “We can learn a lot from the principles of physics and chemistry when we study the combustion of a candle.” The lectures were interesting and interesting; It showed how the solid, liquid and gas phases are transformed by heat, so that solid wax turns into molten wax, and how the molten rises in the candle wick as a result of the capillary property and the difference in osmotic pressure inside the capillaries, then how the molten turns into hydrocarbon vapor that volatilizes over the wick to meet the oxygen of the atmospheric air and interact with it to occur ignition.

The lectures described the different areas of combustion in the candle flame, and showed the presence of glowing carbon particles in the lighting area to radiate the flame with light. The accompanying presentations included the description and analysis of the combustion products of carbon dioxide and water, and explained the properties of the resulting hydrogen and oxygen gases and their recombination to form water.

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After more than a century and a few decades, my fate wanted me to attend one of the festive lectures at the Royal Institution of London, where the lecturer spoke about building bridges, and showed how bridges of science and knowledge connect between pure science and applied engineering to build physical bridges across cities and rivers.

science delivery

Communication of science means knowledge and awareness of science to the public, and arousing a passion for science. It seeks to teach science to young people, which reflects on the productive and economic capacity of society. Hence, science communication has become an important issue for individuals and societies. Scientific communication is reflected in the development and competitiveness of the economic community. Studies by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have confirmed the existence of a direct relationship between the understanding of science and the economic capacity of society. An educated worker has better productivity than a worker who is scientifically illiterate.

The issue of science communication and scientific media preoccupied scientists. It is part of their human and societal mission, and scientific communication methods have developed into a solid science with its origins and rules, which it calls “the science of science communication”, and it is a branched science with various aspects.

We may now realize that all people need to understand science to deal with their lives efficiently in our modern world that is based on advanced technology. During the modern technology that changes in its ideas and methods and needs to be followed up and understood.

In addition, scientific literacy can benefit governments and societies, because knowledgeable voters establish a more democratic and efficient society. Moreover, science leads to better decision-making, as it solves questions that baffle the average person, for example, how human activity affects on climate, and why society should move towards clean energy.

In addition to all that, scientific communication to the public can generate support for scientific research and scientific studies, and stimulate innovation that drives society, in addition to that scientific communication enhances the image of scientists and demonstrates their role in supporting society, as well as arouses passion for understanding modern scientific methods instead of total dependence on What did ancient science find?

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The science of connecting science

If we look at the map of education for scientific communication and training for scientific media and its methods for communicating science to the public, we will find that “science communication” is an advanced science that is taught in Western universities, and this field needs great support in the Arab region, despite the presence of media colleges in the Arab world, There is no scientific degree in scientific media in Arab universities, while there are university degrees (bachelor’s) and higher degrees (diploma, master’s and doctorate) specialized in scientific media offered outside the Arab world (especially Europe and America).

The methods of communicating science may vary; The exact specialization may be in one of the various branches of this science, such as journalism, radio, science fairs and museums, media production, and others.

In this context, students are trained in personal communication and influencing skills, such as those used by professional actors. The student may use artistic methods, use entertainment and persuasion, including humor and storytelling, and may resort to telling a story; There is a “Tell me a story” training, as well as the use of various means of drawing, photography, similes, inference and simulation, and many of these methods can be trained in order to improve scientific communication methods and methods.

Here the student may also need to study the history of science in addition to studying the main media and psychology or sociology to show the importance of science and its connection to society, and in this regard the principles of science should be strengthened in the public and explained in accordance with a good understanding of social sciences, and scientists should use the means of persuasion and work on Activate them, and be accurate and acquainted with the latest sciences.

The ancients used to communicate science and knowledge in attractive ways, and religious books conveyed wisdom and knowledge to all humans through stories, (We tell you the best stories) [سورة يوسف].

The famous physicist Albert Einstein said, “Most of the basic ideas of science are fundamentally simple, and may, as a rule, be expressed in a language understandable to all.”

I may mention to my PhD professor at Lancaster University in Britain, Keith Morgan, who said: “If you cannot communicate the subject of your thesis to an 8-year-old, you do not understand the subject!!”

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Scientific media

Science media differs from science education in one key point. In science education, we start from the teacher’s knowledge and the information he has that he wants to communicate to the learner, but when we communicate sciences (media or otherwise), the process is reversed, as we start from the recipient or the learner to identify what he needs of knowledge, and planning is done to deliver knowledge and science to him.

The plan for achieving communication and scientific information consists of four main tasks:

The first task: to identify the science that is most relevant to the decisions people face.
The second task: Determine what people already know, and then work to identify the knowledge gap.
Task 3: Design communications to fill critical gaps (between what people know and what they need to know).
The fourth task: assessing the adequacy of those communications.

As mentioned above, comprehensive scientific communication must be achieved in the light of the use of social sciences, taking into account the societal conditions and the economic background of the society.

Steps on the way

– We must realize that the climate is different (outside, the demand for science is by holding a Christmas lecture and the demand for it to communicate science), and here it is worth devising methods for presenting science to the public, and communicating with international scientific schools and inviting them to benefit from their experience in teaching scientific media (and successful experiences can be guided by In international scientific cooperation to introduce modern sciences in Egyptian universities and others).

It is worth building on the roadmap presented by the Culture and Knowledge Council at the Egyptian Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, in which it proposed working to establish a scientific degree in the field of scientific media.

It is possible to start preparing a training seminar in the field of communication and scientific media, and preparing a study to establish a program in one of the media colleges on scientific media.

These are steps on the path of science, which is the path of progress, which requires effort and perseverance, and the path of a thousand miles begins with a single step.