The Coordinating Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation (COSTI) was established on February 1, 2013 as mandated by the cabinet decision of September 9, 2011 with the specific aim of coordination and monitoring of Science,
Press Release - Science Centre
COSTI, the Coordinating Secretariat for Science Technology and Innovation under the purview of the Minister (Senior) of Scientific Affairs and in line with its mandate to coordinate science and technology activities as outlined under the Objective 3.1 of the STI Strategy 2011-2015 – ‘Implement Science for all initiative’ – will hold a coordinating workshop for the establishment of a science centre in Sri Lanka.
The workshop, scheduled to be held from 22-24 January 2014 at Waters Edge, Battaramulla, is being organized in partnership with the Ministries of Education and National Heritage and The Association of Science & Technology Centres (ASTC) – a nonprofit organization of science centers and museums dedicated to furthering public engagement with science. The National Academy of Science Sri Lanka (NASSL), The Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka (IESL), The Sri Lanka Institute of Architects (SLIA), The National Institute of Education (NIE) and Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) have joined COSTI as co-organizers of this workshop. The visit of the ASTC delegation is funded by the US National Science Foundation.
Sri Lanka with a world recognized cultural heritage going back to many centuries, and a population of over 20 million people does not have a single Exploratorium or a museum dedicated to science and technology at the national level. Such centers set up under different ministers such as Culture in India, Education in Singapore and Science and technology in Malaysia, are becoming increasingly recognized and valued as a key component of educational and recreational infrastructure in many countries. India our closest neighbor has 27 science centres scattered around the country. While Bangladesh, Thailand, Singapore and Nepal has 1 each, Malaysia and Pakistan each have 2 science centres in the country. Being the only country in the region that has no such centre it is important to establish a Science Centre in Sri Lanka to inculcate scientific awareness and knowledge among the masses, especially among the younger generations and school children.
The workshop which will be attended by over 100 academics, policy makers, and other stake holders, will provide a platform to discus and develop modalities related to the establishment of a state of-the-art National Science Centre with exhibit galleries/interactive exhibits/exploratorium to show case among others Sri Lanka’s traditional knowledge, our heritage, our rich biodiversity, wonders of science, marvels of the human body etc., as well as the management aspects of the centre.
The proposal to establish a National Science Centre in Sri Lanka has been accepted and endorsed by His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who in his 2014 Budget speech recognized the need for such a centre in the country, since setting up of such a centre will help promote the scientific knowledge required for the advancement of our society.
Layout of the Workshop
The Workshop will consist of an inauguration on 22 January 2014 at Waters Edge, Battaramulla attended by Hon. Minster for Scientific Affairs Prof. Tissa Vitarana, Hon Minister of National Heritage Dr. Jagath Balasuriya and Hon deputy Minister of Education Mr. Mohanlal Grero , followed by three days of plenary and break-out sessions. The Key note address will be delivered by Ms. Gillian Thomas, CEO of the Miami Science Museum, USA. While seven internationally renowned Science centre administrators/managers will share their knowledge and experience in establishing and managing science centres around the world our own scientists/science administrators will speak about our perceptions of a science centre and how ‘local knowledge’ should receive emphasis in such a centre. Sri Lankan scientists/science administrators involved in science education and popularization of science will have the opportunity to present their views and discuss/learn about exhibits, programmes and how to develop them, the content design and how to involve the scientific community in the establishment and operation of a science centre as well as ways and means of inspiring the learning process through science centres.
The expected outcome:
A road map/modalities towards the establishment of a state of-the-art Science Centre with exhibit galleries/interactive exhibits/Exploratorium to show case among others Sri Lanka’s traditional knowledge, our heritage, our rich biodiversity, Future Earth, wonders of science, marvels of the human body etc.