Monday, October 22, 2012
Kolkata (Calcutta) was the first city that developed a series of science centers and museums in India. It brings the world of science closer to millions of people.
Calcutta is the home of the popular Science City located at the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass. It was built during the 21st century, accommodating up to 2,215 people. Science City is one remarkable science museum in India that promotes learning about sciences, the environment, communications, and about modern technology. Science City is a series of centers, museums, halls, theatres and parks. These attractions made the complex the largest center in the sub-continent.
Science City aims to expose the growth of Science and Technology along with its applications for the environment and human welfare. People behind this center want to promote public understanding and awareness, especially with regard to the importance of scientific studies and culture. The center also wants to popularize science and technology by providing seminars, exhibitions, lectures, camps and other programs.
Science City has a sylvan surrounding of beautiful landscape and gardens. It consists of two facilities namely, the Science and Convention Center. The Science Center also includes an Evolution Theme Park, Space Odyssey, Maritime Center, Dynamotion Hall and a Science Park.
The Evolution Theme Park stands in a 1,300 square meter area that takes visitors back to early age of evolution. It provides knowledge on gigantic animals of the past like dinosaurs and birds. It is divided into seven period settings ending with the advent of man.
The Space Odyssey is a circular dome shaped auditorium that looks like an inverted bowl. It is the main attraction of the complex building, housing the first theater for large format films, a time Machine, planetarium, Van de Graff generator and mirror magic. 3D Vision theaters showcase virtual reality on space sciences, electricity and motion. The spherical multi media projection system provides information on planets in the solar system.
The Maritime Center is a pavilion that describes maritime history, activity and subjects. The center is a two story building that was built on a 700 meters area similar to a ship. It exhibits scaled models, replicas, artifacts and sea going vessels. A quiz corner also supplements the exhibit.
The Dynamotion Hall has an exhibition of giant robotic insects, interactive exhibits, butterfly corner and aquaria. This is a large spiral shaped hall that offers a deep understanding on certain scientific phenomenon. Visitors can create music on the piano floor and virtual harp as well as make large dishes float on air. Exciting exhibits like a working tornado, aqua mobile and energy ball would keep people immersed on the discovery processes.
The hall also showcases robotic insect having 28 static models and 23 large animated models of insects. The exhibition provides information about different insects like the housefly, wasp, mosquito and beetle as well as the termite, cricket, spider and many more.
The Science Park provides free choices of learning outdoor exhibits. It includes a Children’s Play Corner, Gravity Coaster, Road Train and a Maze. This is along with the Caterpillar Ride, Monorail Cycle, Butterfly Nursery and Musical Fountain. This fountain dances to the music with colored water jets.
The Convention Center has a Grand Theater that can occupy 2,232 seats. It also has a seminar building having 11 halls with a 15 to 100 seating capacity. This place also includes one Mini Auditorium for 450 people and a 20,000 square meter open air exhibition ground. It is the perfect place for conventions, company AGMs, meetings and cultural programs.
There are also 8 halls that can accommodate 200 to 250 people. It has modern amenities. Visitors can visit the lounges (Bengal Gallery, Durga Mandap and Mukta Mancha), food plaza, basement and the open field. Hence, upcoming facilities include an Earth Exploration Hall, Powers of Ten (dimension of the Universe) and Illusions (visual perception).
People of all ages can learn various scientific processes and even enhance their understanding through the discovery methods and outdoor settings these scientific institutions can provide. It is an ideal tourist destination for aspiring Scientists and for those who are interested in Science and Technology. It is a great place for children to develop their interest in the field.
For diverse reasons, Forensic Science is becoming a very popular subject, although few people seem to have a concrete idea about this branch of Science. Probably the main reason for the popularity of forensics is the success some TV shows have enjoyed during the past few years. CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) is by far the best example, where teams composed by fashionable young investigators skillfully manage to solve the most complicated criminal cases whose preliminary evidence often lead to unpredictable outcomes.
However, the reality of the forensics world is often far from what is depicted on TV serials. Actual forensic investigations involve several groups of people, each specialized in a different area of expertise, rather than being a small group where the members perform very different tests and methods.
Leaving Hollywood aside, let’s take a brief look at the main areas that compete to forensic experts.
Forensic Anthropology: These experts search, recover and analyze human remains with the aim of establishing the identity of unknown individuals. They can deal with remains such as skeletons or decomposed, mummified, burned, or otherwise unrecognizable bodies to inquire parameters such as age at death, sex, stature (height), ancestry or pathology. Other estimations such as time since death and manner of death are also carried out. They are involved in criminal cases but also when deaths resulted from accident, suicide, or even mass disasters or human rights violations (i.e., genocide).
Forensic Pathology: These are also known as Medical Examiners. They usually carry out autopsies of dead bodies to establish cause of death and identity, or confirm it if not known yet. Autopsies are performed when death was sudden or unexpected, as it is the case of accidents, homicides, suicides or other tragedies.
Forensic Odontology or Forensic Dentistry: Specialize on using dental evidence to establish identity. Dentition remains are often helpful in cases of mass disasters or where multiple deaths occurred. Dental forensics also analyze bite marks looking for dental features that could lead to a match between a wound and a suspect's dental features like tooth alignment and shape.
Forensic Nurses get involved in recognition of cases of abuse, either child physical or sexual abuse, or cases where adult domestic violence, raping are suspected. They usually work in hospital emergency room situations
Forensic Chemistry and its related field Forensic Toxicology deal with the analysis of chemicals such as drugs and poisons that may occur in body fluids or at crime scenes. Such studies can contribute to know the cause of death in murder, identify chemicals used in explosives or used to start or accelerate a fire. Other elements of interest for this field include fingerprints, soil, dust, fibers, glass and hairs.
DNA Analysis and Molecular Biology are becoming popular subjects in forensic science. The main purpose of this field is the analysis of DNA for purposes of human identification
Forensics is a big and growing field of the law related professional sphere and involves other aspects that I will address in other articles. Keep in mind that whichever branch one chooses to embrace, becoming a forensic scientist requires full commitment with ethics and a lifelong dedication. Just remember that working in forensics is not just a fashionable position but a job bearing some responsibility on imparting Justice and the freedom of the innocent and the ability of the Law to punish the guilty are at stake.