Thursday 19 November 2015

‘Community Sciencing’

‘Science’ has always been a noun as we learned it from our good old English classes. The Oxford Dictionary defines Science as “The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.” Yes, Science is a noun indeed.

But, consider this… it is actually the ‘action’, the ‘process’, and the ‘effort’ of doing those observations and experiments, thus the verb that really matters. Hence, Science is arguably a verb as well as it is an active process of learning.

Sciencing’ is one particular word occasionally used as a present participle form of the verb ‘Science’. The Urban Dictionary has ‘Sciencing’ as ‘the act of doing science.” There are also a few cool expressions on this such as ‘I’m sciencing as fast as I can’, ‘I’m busy sciencing’, ‘let’s go sciencing’, and ‘What scientists do? Sciencing!’

Let me join the fray. Have you heard of the phrase ‘Community Sciencing’? If you haven’t, then I could have the honor to coin it. What does it mean? Think of ‘Community Policing’ which loosely means ‘the philosophy that promotes organizational strategies and the systematic use of partnerships and problem solving techniques, to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues, such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime.’

Put this in the context of the science education awareness in Malaysia, then let’s define ‘Community Sciencing’ as ‘the systematic use of partnerships and problem solving techniques, to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to the science education issues, such as the decline in the interest on science subjects in schools and to pursue science-related careers.’

In a bigger picture, ‘Community Sciencing’ can be a rallying platform for the government agencies, education institutions, businesses, non-government organizations and other socially responsible parties and individuals within a particular community to collaborate in creating awareness among its members on the importance of science education.

The Petrosains Science Festival (PSF) is an excellent example of a ‘Community Sciencing’ initiative whereby hundreds of organizations and individuals come together in a single platform of promoting science education by reaching out to hundreds of thousands people in Kuala Lumpur City Centre. Visitors from our past festivals in 2013 and 2014 were enthralled with various inspiring education activities such as booth exhibitions, talks and forums by scientists, interactive workshops, captivated science shows, lively show performances, and personality appearances.

The Petrosains Science Festival has proven that ‘Community Sciencing’ is indeed alive in Kuala Lumpur! And we are hoping for a bigger participation by both the private and public members of the community for the sake of the community in 2016! For more updates on Petrosains Science Festival 2016, visit! 

Shared by Hasnan
Guest Blogger

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