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  • Breaking the intellectual isolation of the scientist in the developing countries
  • Keeping pace with the rapid progress in science and contemporary needs by promoting higher science education
  • Placing due emphasis on the interaction of modern trends in physics and their applications in current technological development with special reference to the needs of the countries of the third world
  • Promoting a scientific dialogue, provide opportunity and open avenues for cooperation and joint research programs
  • Broaden the outlook of the participants, to re-orient their scientific activities
  • Indicate the areas where research could be carried out with limited facilities of developing countries

For countries scientifically and geographically remote from active centers of learning, the acute feeling of isolation by the scientists of these nations can be alleviated to a major extent by organizing the meetings and conferences where experts and eminent scientists from advanced countries could share their knowledge and experience with them. The institution of International Nathiagali Summer College (INSC) emerged out of this vital need for communication and envisaged major objective of breaking intellectual isolation of scientists in developing counties.

INSC covers a wide range of topics on science & technology and emphasizes their application to contemporary needs of the society. It is in fact the only one of its kind to be organized in a developing country and has continued with unfailing regularity. Over the years, the College has served as a window to the latest developments in science and technology and has proved particularly useful for universities and other centers of higher learning. An opportunity, unique in the Third World, has thus been provided for establishing and reviewing contacts with world-renowned scientists as well as with the younger group of active scientists of both the advanced and the developing countries, leading to enhance South-South cooperation and North-South understanding.

Science helps in exploring the secrets the cosmic mysteries as well as the intricacies of the life. Scientists cannot escape the fact that survival of mankind is in itself one of the greatest and noblest goals.

Developing countries must realize that change is a natural phenomenon and that development is incompatible with a static and rigid view of the world. The spirit of free inquiry, curiosity, and the growth of a rational mindset needs to be encouraged and nurtured in the developing countries. There is something of a cohesive nature in all scientific explorations which determines and sets off the process of future development. It has a certain, long term purpose about itself which promotes optimism and an in-depth longing for a broader understanding. Indeed most of the problems of developing countries are amenable to solutions through appropriate application of modern science and technology. The rapid advances promise to transform the world beyond comprehensions in the coming decades.

In the developing countries, there is a general lack of commitment towards acquiring and enhancing scientific knowledge. As such, there are a very small number of active scientists and any effort made to promote science is always found halfhearted. Professor Abdus Salam, in one of his articles, laments about the state of science & technology in developing countries:

“The Third World, despite its realization that science & technology are the sustenance and its major hope for economic betterment, has taken science as only a marginal activity”.

“It is just impossible to talk only of technology transfer. One should talk of science transfer first, and technology transfer later. Unless you are very good at science you will never be good at technology”.

The best way to gauge and enhance this is through international cooperation aimed at the development of science & technology. It may not be enough to provide loans and financial aid but sharing of the essential know-how in science & technology education should be essential and mandatory. Enlightened aid thus should aim at enabling the developing countries to exploit their resources and gradually become self reliant. Science & technology cannot merely be transplanted in a country. Transfer of technology is of limited value, if the means are not available for its assimilation, adoption and application by the recipient state.

An important attribute of science is its transcendental nature, it knows no frontiers and thus promotes global contact and understanding. It encourages cooperation and exchange of ideas and tends to broaden the intellectual horizons. Scientists seek truth which is universal and their community is thus, in general, averse to the barriers that are sometimes imposed by vested interests in the way of free diffusion and sharing of knowledge. Science is not the monopoly of any single country or region and none should be discouraged from having an access to it. Assistance in promoting the learning of science has always played a key role in the development of science throughout history. No country can claim to have managed its scientific research without external inputs.

Science indeed derives its intellectual vitality from interaction and exchange of ideas. Progress in any scientific field depends upon pooling the experience of scientists. For the growth and advancement of knowledge, the importance of scientific seminars, meetings and conferences can hardly be overemphasized. Such activities form the core of the scientific culture and help scientists to share knowledge and learn from each other’s experiences. Learning of science essentially requires communication of scientific activities. A scientist must has the opportunity to learn from the work of others and benefit from it instead of duplicating the effort.

For science to flourish in any culture, its usefulness must be widely understood and appreciated. Scientific manpower must be strengthened and upgraded. For this purpose, a long term strategy of information exchange and education must be chalked out. Professional communication is one of the most important factors in the development and propagation of science and, of all types of communication, the one which provides face-to-face discussions is undoubtedly the most effective. The need of the day is a far more effective and prompts communication. Conferences and meetings go a long way in establishing reciprocal channels of communication.