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From the archives of India Today
He is a former Director, Birla Industrial and Technological Museum, Kolkata
B.Sc from Calcutta University, mining engineering from ISM, Dhanbad.
Usually to be found
Working with teachers and students.
Classical music, reading poetry and travelling to the mountains.
Education being reduced to rote learning without understanding of basic principles.
Committing to memory and vomiting on paper. This is how Samar Bagchi sums up his take on science education in Indian schools. He’s been trying to undo the damage inflicted on generations of students from his days at the Birla Industrial and Technological Museum in Kolkata, where as director he carried out wide-ranging education programmes in schools in West Bengal.
Whether it was through the popular science quiz, Quest, on Doordarshan, between 1983 and 1988, or the 100-odd workshops that he conducted in schools for science teachers, with the slogans, ‘Science is Doing’ and ‘Where There is no Laboratory’, Bagchi has always been a people’s scientist. He received a national award in 1992 for popularising science through the media.
-by Abhijit Dasgupta