National Science Day Observed at Birla Museum

Celebrating the spirit of science and the increasing awareness about the nuances of the scientific method, Birla Industrial & Technological Museum (BITM), Kolkata commemorated the National Science Day on February 28, 2023. The day-long festivities, dedicated to asking the right questions in science, was BITM’s tribute to Sir C. V. Raman’s ground-breaking work in the field of light scattering, that won him the 1930 Nobel in Physics and whose publication is celebrated as the National Science Day each year.

Supported by the Kolkata Police, the day was initiated with Science March by students and teachers – starting from Park-Circus Maidan to BITM – carrying posters and banners to increase science engagement and awareness. This was followed by release of gas balloons accompanied with Scientist names. Science from the surroundings was introduced in the form of a spectacular Open-Air Science Show featuring giant smoke cloud, levitating bottles, lethal lasers and vibrating waves.

The achievements of Indian Scientists were then celebrated in the form of an Open-House Quiz Contest. Popular Lecture and interactive session on ‘Light Illuminates and the Study of Light Enlightens’ by Dr. Bhupati Chakrabarti, Former Head, Department of Physics City College, University of Calcutta elucidated the ubiquity of light and the driving role it plays for the living world. How the dual nature of light proved to be a significant turning point – both in science and philosophy and opened up new vistas – was the crux of this National Science Day Lecture – delivered to students present at the BITM, Auditorium and also livestreamed.

This was followed by the screening of BITM’s 2021 production ‘Characterizing Colour – Sir C. V. Raman at Work’ – a documentary which has been the Official Selection for the Goethe-Institut Science Film Festival 2021, as one of the “outstanding examples of contemporary international science communication and filmmaking approaches”; the 7th International Science Film Festival of India 2021 in recognition of “the effort and contribution of film producers in the specialized areas of science and technology” and the 12th National Science Film Festival of India celebrating science outreach through cinema.

An assembly of over 200 clocks from the 1920s, courtesy the personal collection of Mr. Tapas Kumar Bose, was inaugurated in the exhibition ‘Technological Evolution of Time-keeping Devices’. Featuring an exotic cohort of Wall-Clocks, Table-Clocks, Pocket-Watches, Wrist-Watches – with Quartz, Automatic and Digital varieties alongside Smart-Watches, the vintage collection will be on display at BITM, Kolkata, till March 15, 2023.

This commemorative event was attended by over 950 students and underprivileged children from The BSS School, Patha Bhavan, Swamiji Vidyapith, Bargoda Annadacharan Banimondir, Uttarpara Children’s Own Home, Manirtat Raymoni Institution and Kolkata Bhalobasi Foundation.

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