The term “scientific temper” refers to a logical, reasonable, and scientific mindset. If a person uses a scientific decision-making technique in everyday life, he is said to have a scientific temperament. Before formulating a hypothesis, you must repeatedly observe and verify a fact. Scientific temper is critical for fostering a progressive society free of superstitions and irrational customs and advancing the nation in all sectors (political, economic, and social) and creating tolerance among individuals for various opinions and ideas.
A brief background
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru initially defined Scientific Temper in 1946 in his book Discovery of India, describing it as process of thinking, behaving and connecting with others based of scientific notions. The tradition of skepticism and humanism has been articulated during these Indian intellectual tradition. These concepts are not new, and it can be traced back to antiquity — Buddhist, Jain, and Sankya, where the spirit of inquiry has been promoted throughout history. Leaders popularised the concept of scientific inquiry, and it gradually became part of the Indian culture during the Indian renaissance period.
Scientific Temper’s Importance in Today’s World
The scientific method based on reasoning and evidence might be equivalent to Scientific Temper. In this sense, scientific temper is favored and considered as opposed to ‘revealed knowledge,’ the proof for which does not extend beyond religious scriptures or superstitious beliefs. On the other hand, science believes that life, mind, and cosmos could be comprehended without the use of supernatural or revealed knowledge. In contrast to so-called revealed knowledge and varied metaphysical interpretations of life and the cosmos, which form the basis of numerous faiths and associated superstitious beliefs, scientific knowledge is universal and reliable. Scientific temper is a worldview, or viewpoint, that allows ordinary persons to choose efficient and reliable knowledge when making decisions in their personal and societal lives. The pursuit of logical inquiry, rather than the content or extent of a citizen’s knowledge base in one or more domains of the scientific corpus, is the hallmark of Scientific Temper. At the macro level, science and technology have aided India’s and the world’s socio-economic development. In the 1960s, India avoided famines and the import of food grains thanks to the Green Revolution, which had the unintended consequence of widening income inequities and environmental devastation. New scientific and technical endeavors, as well as people-centered policies, will provide solutions to these issues.
The availability of antibiotics against some prevalent ailments has extended the average life span of Indians. Similarly, communication capabilities have grown due to the introduction of television, mobile phones, and the widespread use of computers and the Internet. Despite this, educational availability and access differences continue to widen, and the benefits of science and technology do not reach all areas, religious groups, genders, or castes. It’s worth considering how far India’s economic and technological triumphs – as well as its Scientific Temper – have trickled down to the commoner. Scientific Temper increases as a function of how often science is used to solve issues in society.
The development of Scientific Temper
Scientific temper is grown within scientific knowledge space; hence, it is critical to make relevant, up-to-date, scientifically generated material available to the general public. Survey research has frequently shown that a typical citizen’s cognitive structure comprises both scientific and non-scientific areas. These two mutually incompatible places harmoniously coexist. A function of social, political, or cultural calling is the act of invocation of one or the other. Those who regard spreading Scientific Temper as their primary responsibility must strive to expand scientific venues.
How to improve scientific temper in India?
We need to educate people about the scientific process for acquiring knowledge. In India, superstitions and illogical beliefs are common, and the only way to eradicate them is to educate children about the lack of logic and reason in such beliefs. The process of instilling such knowledge should start at home and continue in the classroom.
- A national monitoring mechanism with authority to issue rules must be established to constantly monitor unscientific content in the media and education system, especially at the school level.
- Scientists and scientific organizations should operate more transparently and communicate with the general public to instill trust in science, scientists, and scientific institutions.
- The government should subsidize the operation of a television station dedicated to disseminating scientific temper.
- Besides content, government-mandated science communication activities should emphasize rationality, inquiry, and method.
The Scientific Temper is a personality trait that everyone is born with. Scientific temper is based on a child’s desire to touch, feel, experiment, and examine everything independently. However, due to societal or conventional influences, or the type of education provided in our schools, the youngster loses the ability to ask questions and investigate natural occurrences, causing them to accept beliefs imposed on them without putting them through scientific scrutiny. As a result, Scientific Temper should be introduced into the school curriculum at all levels so that a spirit of scientific inquiry can be instilled in children early.
- What is the need for scientific temper in India?
Scientific temper seeks to instill scientific thinking ideals, embrace scientific progress, and eliminate superstition, religious bigotry, and all types of pseudo-science. India must move away from superstition.
- How can we develop a scientific attitude?
Science education can help to cultivate a scientific attitude. It aids with the development of specific social ethics and values in pupils, such as honesty, logic, objectivity, and making decisions based on credible information. As a result, the instructor is the most significant person in forming a student’s scientific mindset.
- What are the challenges of scientific temper among the students?
Aligning the functioning and goals of the country’s education system is a crucial difficulty. From education to testing, the entire process has failed to embrace scientific temper, even though the same process has been entrusted with the task of instilling scientific temper in the country. The system must be updated to not conflict with the learners’ scientific temperamental characteristics.