BANGIYA BIJNAN PARISHAD, A pioneer science organization for cultivation and popularization of science and scientific knowledge was founded in the year 1948 by the collective efforts of all the eminent scientists and educationists of Bengal under the leadership of the great Savant Acharya Satyendra Nath Bose, the National Professor. The chequered history of Parishad since inception illustrates how a powerful social movement, namely Science-Movement generated out of the ideas and values of such organization. Now a days, Peoples’ Science movement spearheaded by so many groups across the country received inspiration directly or indirectly from Bangiya Bijnan Parishad.
The necessity of science in the development of India was felt by the national leaders since the days of freedom movement and their ideas were channelised with active co-operation from many scientists of that time, namely, Prof. M. N. Saha, Prof. S. S. Bhatnagar, Prof. H. Bhaba, Prof. P. C. Mahalanobis and others. Saha’s Indian Science News Association and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) under the leadership of Bhatnagar took initiative in disseminating science among the people. Those were great efforts no doubt, but it was Satyendra Nath Bose who articulated the idea of science popularization through Indian languages. He stressed that unless one cultivates science through his own language, he will neither be able to grasp it, nor be able to apply it. That was his conviction. For that, from the inception, Bangiya Bijnan Parishad publishes a monthly journal of popular science in Bengali, Jnan-O-Bijnan since January 1948. Incidently, this journal is being published in the fish day of the month till date.
However, the idea and outlook of science popularization (or science communication, as often said) has slowly changed since the days of Satyendra nath. Now print media is not the only vehicle of carrying messages o science, but different electronic audiovisual media,cultural media,jathas,popular lectures with the help of slides/transparency etc. faithfully serve the causes of science communicators.Naturally,Bangiya Bijnan Parishad also diverted its activities accordingly, though its publication division is still the most active one.
Satyendra nath did not believe that science is an intellectual exercise only. He looked after its applications, be it social or economical. Experiments, Do-it-yourself types of experiments,model making by school students received his support. There is a Hate-Kalame division in ParishadÂ since its inception. As time passed, this division was made an instrument of vocational training in science and technological subjects. Bangiya bijnan parishad is probably the biggest peoples’ Science organization that sustainably organizes such vocational training courses.