Waters and bridges between science journalism and scicomm

concrete bridge over clear blue river beside mountain

On November 24-25, the Science Journalists’ Association of India (SJAI) conducted its inaugural conference at the National Institute of Immunology (NII), New Delhi. I attended it as a delegate. A persistent internal monologue of mine at the event was the lack of an explicit distinction between science communicators and science journalists. One of my peers … Read more

Cognitive ability and voting ‘leave’ on Brexit

schoolchild solving elementary science test

In a new study published in the journal PLoS ONE on November 22, a pair of researchers from the University of Bath in the UK have reported that “higher cognitive ability” is “linked to higher chance of having voted against Brexit” in the June 2016 referendum. The authors have reported this based on ‘Understanding Society’, a “nationally representative annual … Read more

India has a right to noise

green and red fireworks display

Excerpt from ‘More light, less sound: On firecrackers and a festival of light’, an editorial in The Hindu on November 7, 2023: The Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules 2000 stipulate that firecrackers cannot be burst in ‘silence zones’, designated by State governments, and anywhere after 10 p.m. From 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. (i.e., … Read more

On Somanath withdrawing his autobiography

Excerpt from The Hindu, November 4, 2023: S. Somanath, Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), told The Hindu that he’s withdrawing the publication of his memoir, Nilavu Kudicha Simhangal, penned in Malayalam. The decision followed a report in the Malayala Manorama on Saturday that quoted excerpts from the book suggesting K. Sivan, former ISRO chairman … Read more

India’s science leadership

On October 17, the National Council for Education Research and Training (NCERT) introduced a reading module for middle-school students called “Chandrayaan Utsav”. It was released by Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan in the presence of S. Somanath, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation, and claims that the Chandrayaan-3 achievement was great but not the … Read more

Gaganyaan: The ingredient is not the recipe

The nose cone bearing the spacecraft of the Chandrayaan-3 mission ahead of being fit to the launch vehicle.

For all the hoopla over indigeneity – from ISRO chairman S. Somanath exalting the vast wisdom of ancient Indians to political and ideological efforts to cast modern India as the world’s ‘vishwaguru’ – the pressure vessel of the crew module that will one day carry the first Indian astronauts to space won’t be made in … Read more

An EIA process just for the Himalaya?

photo of mountains surrounded by pine trees

In The Hindu today, lawyers Archana Vaidya and Vikram Hegde have written an article asking for a separate environment impact assessment (EIA) process for the Indian Himalayan region. The article begins with a brief history of the EIA, its origins in 1976 in the need to assess river-valley power projects from an “environmental point of … Read more