In a panel titled “Science: Truth in the age of make belief” on day two of the Dhaka Lit Fest 2019, Garga Chatterjee sat with Pranay Lal, Samiya Selim, and Piers Bursill-Hall to discuss issues vital to understanding the world today.
What isn’t climate change receiving the urgency it deserves? How does the public absorb information? Have we lost hold of our ability to think critically? The scientists discussed these questions and considered topics including deep fake, climate crisis, and religious fundamentalism, and how messages get misconstrued in the age of misinformation.
“Things are much worse than you think,” stressed Bursill-Hall when speaking about deep fake information on the web. Samiya Selim’s expertise in sustainable development enlightened the audience on the role science education has on the discipline itself, posing that there is a disconnect between students and science that stems from the way the subject is taught in schools. Pranay Lal, a biochemist, posed that if something has been chipping away at our tool of critical analysis, systematic change has to happen – starting from home, curriculum, utilization of public funds and more.
The panel invited exciting questions and brought fascinating insight into truth and the absence of it – and what can replace it – through the lens of the sciences.