Fostering a Scientific Temper:

Fostering a Scientific Temper:

India is perhaps the only country which has an entry in its Constitution Article 51A(h) about fundamental duties that are expected to be performed by the citizens,among which is the duty ‘to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform’. 

Until the maturing of the Internet it was not easy for an ordinary citizen to fulfil this obligation, but today, especially with the 5G connectivity likely to be available soon, this should well become possible. The internet has become increasingly more relevant as a source of information about science. 

I am sharing in this post, a wide range of resources for the interested citizen to develop a scientific temper by just  viewing videos. And the curious would then follow Wikipedia, Medium and other relevant resources to know more. 

We begin by listing a few YouTube channels to watch. YouTube is a particularly relevant platform because of its enormous reach: it is the second most accessed website worldwide, where 2 billion registered users watch videos monthly. 

1: World Science Festival 

2: Closer to truth

3: Royal Institution

4: Nobel Prize

5: Big Think

6: TED talks: TED, TEDx, TED-Ed

7: MIT

8: The European Graduate School

9: Oxford University

10: UCTV: University of California TV

11: Santa Fe Institute

12: ICTP: International Centre for Theoretical Physics

13: Talks at Google

14: Microsoft Research

15: IBM Research

For those who want to get into Physics at length, here are some :

90 Physics YouTube channels :

It is also a good idea to follow a few individuals that are great science communicators:

1: Carl Sagan

2: Michio Kaku

3: Brian Greene

4: Brian Cox

5: Max Tegmark

6: Richard Feynman

7: Lex Friedman

8: Niel de Grasse Tyson

9: Jim Al Khalili

10: Jeff Hawkins

11: Arvin Ash

For those who may want to pursue more rigorous academic courses, here are a few distinguished academics to follow:

Walter Levine: Physics

Gilbert Strang: Linear Algebra

Andrew Ng: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Michael Sandel: Justice, morality and ethics

While it may not be obvious, democracy is strengthened by citizens having a scientific spirit of enquiry and reforms. Active, engaged citizens strengthen the institutions of a good democracy, and build a better society. 

This is not a complete or exhaustive list, but something that I could put together easily and contains many sources that I am familiar with and follow regularly. I would be happy to learn of more resources from others that helps make this a better collection, and I will include them in my later versions of this 

For those who want to explore this theme a little more, I have created the following  weekend course delivered through WhatsApp 

FAST: First Principles and Scientific Temper

First Principles is a framework for deconstructing complex problems, applied by Elon Musk for his enterprises, and inculcating a Scientific Temper is a Constitutional duty cast upon all of us under Article 51A(h). 

In the NEP2020, the phrase is mentioned at 4 places: on pages 5 and 6, on pages 16,34 and 38. 

Elon Musk has said that if he hadn’t used first principles thinking to advance Tesla technology, he would have been stuck in the horse-and-carriage stage of the transportation revolution. The real power of first-principles thinking is moving away from incremental improvement and into possibility. 

The two together help in creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship, and are essential to flourish, thrive and prosper in an unknown and uncertain future. This course is perhaps a rare effort to make these concepts accessible to a large number of interested learners, simply through WhatsApp on a mobile device. We elucidate what are and more importantly what are not ‘first principles’.  We also share strategies to enhance our scientific temper. 

In this era of availability of large number of digital learning resources, it is even more important to become aware of the importance of thinking from first principles and training the youth in it. 

The structure of this weekend course is as follows:

Day 1 ( Saturday): What are first principles?

1.1: Philosophical Origins

1.2: Elon Musk on the importance of first principles and its applications

1.3: The step-wise approach to first principles thinking 

1.4: What is not a first principle? Barriers to First principles thinking

1.5: First principles in marketing strategy, in law and in daily life

Day 2( Sunday): Developing a Scientific Temper

2.1: Origins of the phrase: mentions in the NEP

2.2: Directive principles of the Indian Constitution 

2.3: The Scientific approach : Science and pseudoscience

2.4: Asking Questions : the basis of Science

2.5: Science as public knowledge 

Enrolment and fee payment: 

Fresh cohorts for the above weekend course begin on the 1st Saturday of every month.

  • As the course is delivered through WhatsApp the enrolment process is simply that of sending a WhatsApp message to Prof MM Pant at +919810073724
  • The fee for the above course is Rs 1000/- and can be easily remitted through PayTM to MM Pant ( mobile number : +919810073724).
  • For those who would rather pay into a Bank account, the relevant information is : 
  • Madan Mohan Pant
  • HDFC Bank, Unitech Cyber Park, Sector 39, Gurgaon 

        A/c 26451000000301


  • (The account number is 26451 followed by six zeroes followed by 301)

To know more, please send a WhatsApp message to Prof MM Pant at +919810073724

About mmpant

Prof. M.M.Pant has a Ph.D in Computational Physics, along with a Professional Law Degree, and has been a practitioner in the fields of Law, IT enabled education and IT implementation. Drawing upon his experience in world class international institutions and having taught in various modes of Face-to-Face, Distance Learning and Technology Enhanced Training, Prof. Pant is now exploring the nature of institutions which will be successors to the IITs, which represented the 1960s, IIMs, which represented the 1970 and Open Universities which were the rage of 1980s & 90s. He believes that the convergence between various media and technologies would fundamentally alter the way learning would be created, packaged, and delivered to learners. His current activities are all directed toward actual implementation of these new age educational initiatives that transform education in the post Internet post WTO era.. Prof. Pant, has been a Former Pro-Vice Chancellor, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and has been on the faculty of IIT – Kanpur (the premier Engineering institution in India), MLNR Engineering College and Faculty & Visiting Professor - University of Western Ontario-Canada. He has been visiting scientist to research centers in Italy, England, Germany & Sweden and has delivered international lectures with about 80 papers published. During his association of almost 15 years with the IGNOU, Prof. Pant has served as the Director Computing and has been the Member of All Bodies (i.e. School boards, Academic council, Planning board, Finance committee and the Board of management). With his interest in Law, backed with practice of Law in a High Court, and his basic training in Science and IT, Prof. Pant has been particularly interested in the Cyber Law, Patent & trade mark issues, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) issues etc. and has been involved with many activities, conferences on “Law & IT” Prof. Pant is presently; • Advisor to Media Lab Asia - Chairman of working group on ICT for Education, chairman of PRSG handling projects on ICT for education. • Lead Consultant for an ADB funded project for ICT in Basic Education in Uzbekistan • Member of the drafting Group for India’s National Policy on ICT in education • Chairman of the group creating books for class 11 and 12 students on ‘Computers and Communication Technology’ appointed by the NCERT • Preparing a ‘Theme Paper” for the NCTE in the area of ICT and Teacher Training • Advisor and mentor to several leading Indian and Multi-national Companies in the area of education. Prof. Pant has in the recent past been ; • Member – Board of Management – I I T, Delhi for 6 years (two consecutive terms) • One-man committee to create the Project Report & Legislation for Delhi IT-enabled Open University • Advisor to the Delhi Government on Asian Network of Major Cities Project (ANMC-21) distance learning project in association with Tokyo Metropolitan Government. • Chairman Board of Studies, All India Management Association With his mission to create and implement new business opportunities in the area of e-learning & learning facilitation, Prof. Pant has promoted Planet EDU Pvt. Ltd., as its Founder & Chairman, along with a team of highly experienced and skilled professionals from Education & Training, Operations, IT and Finance.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply