Battling Blind Beliefs: Physics Department Workshop

Battling Blind Beliefs: Physics Department Workshop

Sriya Sainath | Mar 26, 2017

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On the 18th and 19th of March, 2016, the department of physics held a TEQIP II sponsored workshop, based on the theme of “Developing Scientific Literacy in Combatting Superstitions & Blind Beliefs”. Conducted in the senate hall of NIT Rourkela, it spanned over the mornings and afternoons of Saturday and Sunday, and consisted of talks delivered by many prominent speakers.

The registrations started from 9:00 AM and continued up to 9:45 AM on Saturday. After the registration process was over, the event was inaugurated and a short tea break followed. The talks that were covered on the first day of the two-day event, divided into two half by the lunch break from 1:30-2:30 PM, were:



Scientific Literacy: An introduction

Prof. S. Panigrahi

Science and Superstition

Dr Kamalkanta Jena

Religion & Superstitions

 Prof Sankar Tripathy

Developing Scientific  Tempore

Prof Sasikanta Acharya

When Beliefs turn Blinds

Prof. R.K. Biswal


Education for Excellence

(Developing scientific literacy)

Prof Rajeev Kumar Panda



From 4:30-5:30 PM, there was held a round table discussion on the given topic, where the delegates got a chance to contribute. Since Prof. G.S. Tripathy and Dr Nikhilananda Panigrahi couldn’t make it to the conference due to unavoidable reasons, Prof. Sankar Prasad Tripathy, Prof. Pravat Kumar Mallick and Dr R.K. Panda took up discussions instead.

The programme commenced from 10:00 AM the following day, opening up to yet another sequence of talks and conferences.



Social & Religious Route of Superstitions in Indian context

Prof Prahlad Mallick

Superstitions: Cause, Remedy and Prevention

Prof. S. Panigrahi


Scientific Tempore in Progress of Science

Dr Gagan Behari Dhal

Laboratory to Layman

Dr Kamalkanta Jena

Myth: Hindrance to medical science


Dr R.K.panda, Medical officer


From 12:00 Noon to 1:00 PM, there was another round table discussion on the theme of the workshop, followed by a lunch break from 1:00-2:30 PM. After completion of all the discussions on the agenda, the valedictory function was conducted, and the feedback and the recorded clips of the presented topics were released.

Presided over by Prof S. Panigrahi, the workshop was organised to stimulate scientific temper, especially in young minds, through formal and non-formal education. One of the student coordinators, Ram Bhyri, believes:

“The event was really motivating. It taught us how scientific knowledge can be practically applied to bring awareness within superstitious communities. The talks and discussions were very informative- I hope we can have more of such opportunities to learn.”


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