Robert Silverberg & Randall Garrett's "The Chosen People" (as by Robert Randall) (novelette, communications, free): Teaching the scientific method to deeply tradition bound
Story summary.There is a deeply religious & tradition-bound alien society on a world called Nidor. Humans came a few decades back, & seem to be wise & religious beyond question; so they're respected & have been allowed to run a local school that teaches the familiar to youngsters, sometimes in new ways. And what a revolution it is brewing!
Story is told via a massive local disaster that can only be averted with the new ways of thinking: "Hugl", small insect-sized pests, travel in vast swarms & destroy everything in their path. Only "Edris powder", the traditional insecticide, is not working this year...
Fact sheet.First published: Astounding, June 1956.
According to ISFDB, it's first of the 3 stories that make up the fix-up novel "The Shrouded Planet".
Download full text as part of scans of Astounding (British Edition), November 1956.
Among the stories from Astounding/Analog issues edited by John Campbell.
Related: Stories of Robert Silverberg, Randall Garrett.