Science, Art, Litt, Science based Art & Science Communication
Interactive Science Series
Q: How do scientists and researchers in general come up with new ideas?
Krishna: You are a human being and your mind should work like an advanced one! Scientists are people who use their minds in the right way most of the time.
When you keep your mind open, you will find several problems around that need your immediate attention to get solved. Scientists are people who are highly responsive to this situation. And they are highly qualified people. They will also be in constant touch with their subject and learn all that is going on in their field and also the related ones. With the knowledge acquired, they creatively connect the problems they encounter and the knowledge they possess. And they solve these problems with a thing called "Scientific Creativity" which unlike artistic creativity, depends on facts, reality and application of knowledge.
Q: Science is wrong all the time, and scientists just move goalposts and backtrack through the scientific method. How is this impressive?
Krishna: If somebody proves you wrong sometimes in science that means that the person has a better understanding of the problem or a better solution to yours. It is undoubtedly progress!
If you correct yourself when proved wrong, it is again progress!
If somebody moves the goal post, overcoming that challenge is again progress!
Science moves forward by having a better understanding of the problem, correcting itself, and overcoming challenges. Isn’t that impressive?
Q: Is scientific method only way to get valid knowledge?
Krishna: You put your hand on a hot frying pan. Your hand will get burnt. Now you know that hot things will burn your body when touched. It is a valid knowledge too that you got out of first hand experience.
Then you encounter some interesting things. You don't know how they happen. Instead of testing and trying to understand using first hand data collected and knowledge derived from it, if you invent stories to fill the gaps ( scientists gave it a name - 'God of Gaps' - you imagine a supernatural power did it that way and try to fill the gap of knowledge).
Finally, you come into contact with strange things. You investigate, collect data, and try to understand them in realistic terms using this observed experience. You repeat it several times to confirm, ask your friends and colleagues too to confirm what you have observed and knowledge acquired in this way is right. We call that scientific methods and methodology which establish facts.
Now decide for yourself, which is valid and which is not and which one justifies what.
Q: What would be the reaction of our scientists if they get to know that this universe was created by them and they are other dimensional beings?
Krishna : Whether the universe came into existence on its own or created by someone, it really ‘s based on strict scientific principles. That is a fact.
If somebody created it, that somebody will definitely be a person (or entity) of science to make it so scientific. So the creator of this universe, if there is really one, should be a scientist and therefore will become a colleague of scientists here.
This puts a smile on any scientist’s face!
No matter what others feel and say, nobody can undo a fact! :)
Q: Hi there! I just wanted to say a quick hello. Reading some of your answers really impressed me and I thought you deserved to know how inspiring you are. :)
Krishna: Wow! A fan letter all the way from Australia! I knew I have friends all over the world who admire my work but this one bet all. You are a total stranger!
Anyway, thank you so much. If my work helps people and inspires them to lead a good life, that really makes my dream of building a true scientific world in thought and action come true.
Keep coming. You won't be disappointed.
Q: If people know that critical thinking is the best not only in science but also all through life's decision taking situations, why don't people follow it?
Krishna: Critical thinking makes you a person of science. Then you become neutral depending only on facts for decision making and following certain things in life.
People who are attached to something fear this. They cannot overcome their weaknesses and emotions out of respect or fear or love for the things they are attached to. It is difficult for such people to become critical thinkers.
We understand that. Not everybody, even if they are scientifically trained, cannot become critical thinkers and persons of science.
Q: What is National science day for?
Krishna: In 1986, the NCSTC asked the Government of India to designate February 28 as National Science Day. The first NSD (National Science Day) was celebrated on 28 February 1987 and NCSTC announced institution of the National Science Popularization awards for recognizing outstanding efforts in the area of science communication and popularization.
National Science Day is celebrated in India on 28 February each year to mark the discovery of the Raman effect by Indian physicist Sir Chandrashekhara Venkata Raman on 28 February 1928. For his discovery, Sir C.V. Raman was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930.
In India, National Science Week culminates in National Science Day, which takes place each year on 28 February to commemorate C. V. Raman's discovery of the Raman Effect.
National Science Day is being celebrated every year to widely spread a message about the Importance of science used in the daily life of the people. To display all the activities, efforts and achievements in the field of science for human welfare. It is the main science function of India. The objectives are: to discuss all the issues and implement new technologies for the development in the field of science; to give an opportunity to the scientific minded citizens in the country; to encourage the people as well as popularize the Science and Technology.
Q: Are there any degrees higher than Ph.D.?
Krishna: In some countries, yes, there are.
For example, in France (and other countries of Europe), there is a qualification called a habilitation (or"higher doctorate" or "second doctorate) , which comes after the PhD, but isn't a degree per se. It requires a second thesis, which is expected to be at a higher level than a PhD thesis and must be done independently. The habilitation is required in order to direct PhD students and to apply for Professor positions.
In Russia they have an equivalent to the standard Ph.D and a sort of "second Ph.D" after that, that is way harder to get than the first. The classic USSR higher education process has a 'candidate of sciences' that is considered somewhat equivalent to PhD; and you'd get a full 'doctor of sciences' degree after multiple years of post-doc research & teaching. It might be considered somewhat analogous (but also different) to USA concept of tenure track. And further after that one can become a correspondent member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, then a full member.
In Finland, someone with a doctor's degree and additional body of scientific work equivalent to another thesis can apply for the title of docent (dosentti). The title gives the right to mentor PhD students. Docenture is a degree in the sense that it does not imply employment at the university which bestows the title.
Doctor of Science (DSc), Doctor of Letters (DLitt), Doctor of Laws (LLD), Doctor of Music (Deus), Doctor of Engineering (DEng), Doctor of Economics (Dec) and Doctor of Business (DBus). These degrees are of a higher standing than either a Masters or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and are used to give formal public recognition to eminent scholars who have made substantial, original and distinguished contributions to their field.
Most universities in Australia have a Doctorate of Science (DSc). To qualify the university must decide that you have made a significant contribution to research after graduation. You cannot get it on your PhD work. To prove this you are expected to gather together a selection of books and publications you have written on a common theme and present them for consideration along with a modest fee. They appoint a committee to decide whether you deserve it.
In some countries you have the post-doctorate (in some countries it's a habilitation), which is research carried out after a doctorate, often together with a teaching position. The highest degree is a higher doctorate, which is awarded on the basis of a formally submitted portfolio of published research of a particularly high standard.
Universities can also award Higher doctorates honoris causa, in order to formally recognize someone’s achievements and contributions to a particular field.
(In some countries such as the U.K. the Doctor of Science is considered a higher degree than the Ph.D. It is given in recognition of making a significant contribution to one's field. In the U.S. it is the equivalent of a Ph.D. In Germany and France the Habilitation (Dr. hab.) is similar to the U.K.'s Doctor of Science and is awarded for academic research. In Germany only Dr. hab. can supervise Ph.D. candidates. It is similar to being a full professor in the U.S. )
But in several countries there is no degree higher than a Ph.D. And all the other ones are treated as just extensions of this highest degree. Sometimes DSc degree is considered equivalent to a PhD and sometimes it's considered beyond a PhD. This distinction typically varies by country. Therefore, all these are called 'terminal degrees'.
Another concept of "next step after PhD", at least in some countries, is the notion of an 'academic', i.e., a member of the relevant national Academy of Sciences. That membership is in essence an awarded/elected degree for continued contributions to science and demonstrated expertise.
Q: Have you done PD work after your Ph.D.?
Krishna: Yes, I did post-doctoral research too after my Ph.D.
Q: If we met aliens in the near future, then will our understanding about the universe and theirs be on the same page or differ?
Krishna: Science doesn’t differ from one star (and its planets) to another. Fundamental principles of science that rule this universe don’t change. If we both (the aliens of different star systems and us) try to understand this universe on scientific terms, they will be similar to one another!
But if we try to understand the universe on religious terms, they would definitely differ. Each living entity comes up with a different story on the creation of this universe.
Imagine this situation…
A huge asteroid colloids with the Earth in the future. Everything here gets destroyed. All living beings. All religions. All the scientific knowledge written in the books.
Then life originates here again and evolves into intelligent beings. Then in the initial stages of its civilization when it tries, it comes up with religious stories with different Gods because it doesn't have any knowledge about the present ones!
But in the later stages, if it tries to gain scientific knowledge, surprisingly it finds that the Earth revolves around the Sun, Earth is round - not flat, realizes gravity and space-time in the same way as we did! It also finds millions of stars, galaxies and black holes like we did!
It sees atoms and molecules and chemical reactions exactly in the same way as we do!
Their 'medical field' evolves similar to ours! Their technology would be similar to the present one. In fact all their scientific knowledge will be similar to ours!
Even if this happens a hundred times the results would be the same each time!
If intelligent life evolves in different parts of this universe, and if it has to have 'religions' and Gods in each part, they would all be different to each other - like the different religious stories and beliefs we have in different parts of Earth. But their scientific knowledge would be exactly the same in all the given situations! Because scientific awareness cannot be different in various parts of our planet or universe.
Why does scientific knowledge remain constant while religion and God keep changing?
Can you realize why? If you can, you will understand which one is telling the truth and which one you can trust ... Science or Religion?
Q: Can superstitions be proven correct with the help of science? Which “Superstitions” have actually been proven to be correct till now?
Krishna : If proven correct, they won’t be superstitions at all! Get that right first.
Superstitions means irrational beliefs.
If a rational explanation with evidence is provided, it won’t be irrational anymore!
Q: Do people with brain damage or Alzheimer's disease still go to prison if they commit a crime?
Some people try to do that even though they are perfectly alright to gain sympathy, overcome moral responsibility and get less punishment. It happened here in India and news papers reported it. More and more people are getting smarter and trying to take the help of science to hoodwink the law!
Scientists are worried about this and are discussing how to control this arena.
I read an article recently that discusses this problem…
Q: What questions do you ask famous scientists if you meet them?