Research funding in India

After Vidya Krishnan of The Hindu broke the news of the 'Dehradun Declaration', which imposed a startling funding restriction on the Centres for Scientific and Industrial Research, multiple perspectives on the issue came to light for me. One was about the tensions between funding curiosity-driven research and funding research conducted in the national interest (assuming for …

Geoff Marcy

About a week go, NASA announced the 20th anniversary of the discovery of the first exoplanet, and all I could do was think of the amazing Geoff Marcy. When it comes to exoplanet astronomy and the hunt for these objects, Marcy is THE guy (The Atlantic compared his contributions to Copernicus's). He's an astronomer at …

Awards week

I went into this year's Nobel Prize Announcements Week a little confused about why I was excited. For me the prizes have always highlighted the recipients' work, and that's likelier than not a field of study I've probably never heard of (with the exceptions being physics – though I don't presume I'm familiar with all of …

Physics Nobel rewards neutrino work, but has sting in the tail for India

As neutrino astronomy comes of age, the Nobel Foundation has decided to award Takaaki Kajita and Arthur B. McDonald with the physics prize for 2015 for their discovery of neutrino oscillations – a property which indicates that the fundamental particle has mass. Takaaki Kajita is affiliated with the Super-Kamiokande neutrino detector in Japan. He and Yoji …

How an ancient Chinese text fought malaria and won a Nobel, while India lags behind

On October 5, Youyou Tu became only the 12th woman in history to be awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. She shared one half of the prize with William Campbell and Satoshi Omura, the discoverers of the drug called ivermectin used to fight against filarial diseases and river blindness. Tu’s claim to fame …