Mobilizing for Democratization of Science in India: Learning from the PSM experience
In this paper the author describes the many layered meanings of science popularization programmes being undertaken by the peoples’ science movements (PSMs) in India with the aim to democratize the conduct and governance of modern science and technology over the period of last two and half decades. The author argues that the vast people’s network built over several decades serves diverse needs from popularization of science, to critiquing science policies and state sponsored environmentally unfriendly projects, to broadening access to literacy, education, health and self-help programmes for sustainable livelihoods. The author argues that the PSMs and their leaders are well aware that public engagement with the formation of ‘scientific counter publics’ takes roots in India in competition with the ideologies of neo-liberalism, cultural nationalism and neo-traditionalism. The author argues that the challenge facing the PSMs revolves around the dilemmas of building peoples’ coalition to deal with the challenge of mobilization for the democratization of governance of S&T in India.
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