The Tamil Nadu Science Forum (TNSF) is a voluntary organization, (a registered society) committed to science popularization and education. Started in 1980 by a group of research scholars of Madras University, it functioned during the 1980s mainly as an organizer of popular science lectures. In 1987, with the starting of Thulir, a monthly children’s science magazine in Tamil, the group moved on to science communication among children.
The Total Literacy Campaigns started in Tamil Nadu in the year 1991, proved to be a turning point for TNSF. TNSF provided the lead in these campaigns by assisting the District Literacy Societies in planning the various aspects of the campaign. This experience brought TNSF into a meaningful relationship with the marginalized sections of the society.
Scientific temper and popularising science are the two important goals of Tamil Nadu Science Forum. Currently, apart from the core area of science communication, TNSF is active in programmes on Universal Education, Universal Health Care and Health Education campaigns, Women Self-Reliance, Environment Education, Adult Literacy, and Sustainable Development.
TNSF has committed activists in almost all the districts of Tamil Nadu, and its strength lies mainly in rural areas. A sign of recognition has been that in the last few years, the state government has involved TNSF in a number of committees related to school curriculum, syllabus and textbook formation.
TNSF publishes a number of journals which have wide circulation in the state of Tamil Nadu. Thulir has a circulation of more than 12000, and is estimated to reach nearly 50,000 children. To reach urban children, TNSF started Jantar Mantar (JM), another magazine in English. Apart from these journals, there is also Vignyana Siragu, a monthly newsletter for TNSF members and Arivu Thendral, a monthly broadsheet for women working with SHGs run by TNSF. Vizhuthu is a quarterly magazine published by TNSF on behalf of Teacher’s Network which tracks current developments in education.
Samatvam Trust which shares the goals of TNSF to nurture creative, critical thinking and scientific enquiry has supported TNSF by contributing a sum of Rs 2.5 lakhs towards the publication of journals for a month.