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Abraham Tobiloba Gabriel: Societies’ Role in Inspiring Scientific Curiosity and Creativity.

Science (from Latin scientia, meaning “knowledge”) is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.
Science is fundamentally human pursuit – done by people, for better understanding of ourselves and the world around us. It has permeated every aspect of our lives, from the obvious advances in healthcare, medicine and technology to the indispensable items of our everyday lives – applications that we use all the time – remote controls, air conditioning, the internet, the food we eat, and so on.
The essential role which societies play in inspiring scientific curiosity and creativity cannot be undermined. It is a known fact that the society is a group of people with common interests and goals coming together to live as one sharing their ideas, values, philosophies and opinions for the betterment of everyone in the society.
The advancement we have in technology today for the convenience of humanity is not unconnected to the power of curiosity and creativity of scientists. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Curiosity as “the desire to learn or to know more about something”, while Creativity is defined as “the ability to make new things or think of new ideas”.
Curiosity sets pace for creativity. Before something creative can take place, the creator’s curiosity or inquisitiveness must have initially been alive and perked up. Many people assume that creativity is an inborn talent that they either do or do not have: just as everyone is not equally intelligent, everyone is not equally creative. However, creativity is more skill than inborn talent, and it is a skill that the society can help people develop because it is a key to success in nearly everything we do. Creativity is a key component of health and happiness and a core skill to practice. Creativity is not limited to artistic and musical expression – it is also essential for science, math, and even social and emotional intelligence.
While curiosity is a hallmark of scientific research, it also plays an important role in how we engage with and learn science. As humans, we are inherently curious, born ready and eager to explore the world around us. The time spent with children is a reminder that the questions they ask are from a close observation of the world which are incessant and sometimes profound. Children’s curiosity certainly differs in depth and degree from professional scientists making progress on the edge of knowledge, but far less so in kind. At any age, puzzlements and curiosities propel our efforts to learn science.
A lot of people think that science is a body of knowledge, a collection of facts they need to memorize. That approach to learning about science, however, emphasizes only facts and concepts. It leaves little room for the creative thinking central to science. If instead, science is taught as a process of learning, of observing and of gathering information about the way that nature works, then there’s more room for incorporating creativity. Creative people are more flexible and better problem solvers, which makes them more able to adapt to technological advances and deal with change – as well as take advantage of new opportunities.
The Universe is all of space and time and their contents, including planets, stars, galaxies, and all other forms of matter and energy. While the spatial size of the entire Universe is still unknown, it is possible to measure the observable universe. Thanks to the creative and hard work of a collaborative grant to the Space Science Institute, millions of people who are scientifically curious about the universe they are in, are able to have details about the planets, stars and galaxies, and in fact, they are able to see what the planets and stars look like, from images gotten by satellites in space.
It is worthy of note to mention here that the significance of inspiring scientific curiosity and creativity in individuals is to move the society forward. The society pays no little role in inspiring notable individuals. Just to mention a few individuals such as: Mark Zuckerberg the founder of Facebook saw a need for people to socialize without leaving the comforts of their homes and started out on an internet based social media, Bill Gates the founder of Google saw the need for people to search for important information with ease and created a platform for efficiently searching the internet for information and even the Wright brothers who invented aircraft solved the need of man’s aspiration to fly like birds. The society in which they found themselves definitely triggered their scientific and creative essence.
Nigeria is a country blessed with a lot of things needed to grow scientifically, and we have a lot of people out there who have interests and are ready to explore scientific knowledge, to discover new things but are handicapped due to the lack of conducive environment to work in and lack of materials to work with, among other more challenges. Due to these issues, many have lost interest to be scientifically creative and have lost their mind of curiosity.
The government can help revive these curiosity and creativity, and even inspire these attributes in some other people by creating science programs, focusing on unleashing curiosity at the cutting edge of scientific fields in scientists’ quests for new knowledge. Also, better encouragement for students in the science-based course of studies will go a long way as inventions from all around the world comes from curious minded people who refused to give up and partnership from individuals who recognizes these talents. From exploring how very small atomic particles take on emergent properties that can form the basis for new materials, to building instrumentation and tools that allow exploration of long standing questions and open up new ones not yet asked, to exploring mechanisms underlying how communities of microbes communicate, curiosity and imagination are essential to the enterprise of understanding our natural world.
Also, the society can come together and establish foundations where science can be learned. These foundations will have portfolios that will seek occasions, approaches and models that help bring science to people in ways that capture the wonder of nature as well as the excitement that comes from asking questions and figuring things out. Public engagement with the solar eclipse is just one example.
And there should be foundation grantees that will demonstrate the appeal of everyday phenomena, as well; including when this phenomenon is made more accessible through high-quality, low-cost tools that anybody – kids and adults alike – can use to engage in meaningful exploration and discovery.
Furthermore, people should be able to come together, with the help of the government to establish Science & Technology Museums, that will be equipped with science-rich educational institutions design exhibits, that aim to invite their visitors to ask and pursue questions and to keep them coming back in their quests for understanding. Time in these halls demonstrate that science can be irresistible.
Over time, persistent curiosity and inquiry can provide opportunities for much deeper engagement with science. With that, can come confidence that one can figure things out, that marvels can be understood, that assumptions should be examined and that science is trustworthy. To borrow the words of an Indian born scientist, Manu Prakash: “We are all born curious. Science translates these curiosities into questions. Questions anyone can ask, questions anyone can answer, and with critical thinking and the right set of tools, distinguish fact from fiction.”

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