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Science Introduction Workshops

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In May 2013 the "Conference on Development of Education of four Major Tibetan Buddhist Schools and Bon Tradition" took place in Dharamsala, attended by delegates from all 51 Buddhist monasteries in India and Nepal. Among other things, the conference representatives decided that Western natural science should be introduced as a school subject in the foreseeable future in all monasteries (and not exclusively in those of the Gelugpa tradition, where this is to a certain extent already the case). It was also decided that until the individual monasteries are able to begin regular instruction, "Intensive Weeks" including scientific topics should be introduced intermittently.

In addition, SmD has developed a one-week "Science Introduction Workshop" which, in collaboration with the Ministry of Religion and Culture of the Tibetan exile governing body, will be offered in exile monasteries in all areas of India and Nepal. For a start, the question should be clarified as to why and how Western natural sciences should be taught in the monasteries. In addition, through the use of concrete examples in mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology, including numerous observations and individually carried-out experiments, the participants will be offered a gateway to Western natural sciences. Rather than drilling, it is more important at the moment to demonstrate to nuns and monks how natural science experimentation and deduction works.

In 2015, these workshops were carried out in Dharamsala, Kathmandu und Dehradun. One can say that the goal has been reached when at the end of the course (as happened recently) one of the nuns, full of enthusiasm for her personal discovery, declared that: "there are also male and female organs and the same reproduction processes in the plant kingdom".