Introducing the Menrva Foundation for Science and Reason
November 9, 2011
The following is a statement from the Menrva Foundation for Science and Reason, a group working to promote science in Indonesia.
Recent rapid developments of science have profoundly altered the course of human life. Literacy of science has improved life expectancy, built massive structures, sent the Voyager out of heliosphere, collided protons in particle accelerators, crafted a vaccine that have saved numerous life, and more importantly, shaped mankind’s way of thinking. However, although it has been proved that science works, pseudoscience and superstition are still rampant among mankind. Astrology, homeopathy, channeling, mid-brain activation and other voodoo-sciences are applied by tremendous number of people to ease their problems instantly. Those superstitions are not only deceiving, but also amazingly hazardous to, inter alia, physical and psychological health.
The saddening fact is that the superstitions are too widespread in Indonesian civilization. Astrology, mid-brain activation, alternative medicines, inter alia, is far more popular than science. The reasons behind these are obvious: the Indonesian society’s eyes are not opened to science and skepticism. The poetry of reality is hardly known, and, as a result of long-term dictatorship, critical thinking is regarded as “rebel” or “subversive.” The eye of the Indonesians must be awakened since both the former and the latter are significant for the advancement of Indonesian civilization.
Therefore a foundation is constructed in order to solve the mentioned problems. Founded in 2011, Menrva Foundation for Science and Reason is striving to popularize science in Indonesia. In addition, the foundation also struggles to build a rational and critical society in Indonesia. In order to fulfill these visions, several programs are launched:
The program is to write popular and newest science article in Indonesian language in order to facilitate the access of knowledge to the community. The article may be in form of translation or new article written by scholars from Menrva.
Some segments of the society are more interested in absorbing information via video. Therefore Menrva shall satisfy the demand by creating subtitle for popular science and debunking videos.
3. Science Club
The agenda of this science club is to discuss popular science in a moderated and relaxed fashion. This program is held every week on Friday with various topics. Several theme that had been discussed are “Science of Love”, “Astrobiology”, and “Science v Pseudoscience.”
The goal is to review, investigate, and criticize superstition, mysticism, and pseudoscience in Indonesian society. This debunking program will be commenced in the form of documented live investigation or debunking article.
The Menrva Foundation for Science and Reason's website is available at http://menrvaindonesia.org/.