A fountainhead of intrigue

Recently, a Chinese-American mathematician named Yitang Zhang claimed to have resolved the Landau-Siegel zeroes conjecture, which is related to the Riemann hypothesis. (Specifically, disproving the conjecture brings us a small stop closer to proving the Riemann hypothesis.) His paper hasn’t been validated verified by independent mathematicians yet, but it was newsworthy nonetheless because Zhang has … Read more

The covering COP27 quandary

worried young woman covering face with hand

“Of the 1,156 publicly-listed companies, regions and cities that have so far made net-zero pledges … [more than half] are little more than vague commitments or proposals,” according to a new UN report. Even when proper promises to cut emissions are in the picture, “Audi, Volkswagen, Daimler – now Mercedes-Benz – and BMW commissioned Bosch to … Read more

The ideologues cometh for the IITs

In July 2019, when the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched its Chandrayaan 2 mission, the spiritual guru Jaggi Vasudev was present in the control centre, along with other dignitaries, getting a close view of the launch from a balcony. After the launch, he was seen taking photographs with the scientists in the room. Many … Read more

The biopolitics of Covaxin

In a new investigation, STAT has reported fresh problems with Covaxin’s approval process in India, including the phase 2 trial dropping its placebo arm in favour of one preordained to make Covaxin look good and Bharat Biotech – the maker – commencing phase 3 trials based on results from animal studies. I’m also filing the report … Read more

A story of dogs

This article in The Wire, while entirely compelling, also contains an unarticulated tension. Headline: ‘How a Missing Stray Dog Led to the Withdrawal of a Caribbean High Commissioner to India’. Excerpt: Uploaded on social media, a grainy dimly-lit video apparently shows the night-time confrontation. A man, speaking English with an accent, stands outside the gate of a … Read more