The informedness problem

The following is the text of a speech I prepared to deliver at the 11th Young Investigators’ Meeting in Guwahati on March 8, 2019. I wanted to use this opportunity to speak about education, which is one of science communication’s less known yet more important goals. I think it would be safe to argue that […]

Scicomm by scientists

Warning: profanity There are scientists who don’t want other scientists to communicate their work to the masses. There are scientists who want to but don’t have what they need to do it. And there are scientists who want to and are doing it. I love the last group. They are the best people to speak […]

Five reflections on science day

Science Day isn’t a very meaningful occasion in and of itself. It is the day C.V. Raman discovered the light-scattering effect named for him. Raman won a Nobel Prize for his discovery, and – by commemorating February 28 as ‘Science Day’ – India has come to celebrate the Nobel Prize itself more than anything else. Indeed, if […]

A wider world

Immense though the threat of war between India and Pakistan is right now, it’s not the only thing happening in the world. This is The Wire‘s lead story right now: No better way to give peace a chance than to talk about all the different things we can accomplish in peacetime.

The history, culture and science of ‘cardiac coherence breathing’

A recent article in Scientific American on the benefits of “proper breathing” for overall health has ignited anger across social media, with many in India accusing the magazine of rebranding or even appropriating the ancient Indian breathing technique of ‘pranayama’. Detailed description of the benefits of the 2500-year-old Indian technique of pranayama, dressed up in […]

Breaking down CMB Bharat

A consortium of Indian scientists has submitted a proposal to the national space agency for a new space science mission called CMB Bharat. Let’s break it down. What is CMB Bharat? According to Tarun Souradeep, a senior professor at the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune, the proposal is for a “comprehensive next generation […]

ISRO’s amazing tender notice

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has provided more details about its Gaganyaan programme, including new stages for its GSLV Mk III launch vehicle, through – of all things – a tender notice. Such surreptitiousness is par for the course for India’s spaceflight organisation, which has often done next to nothing to publicise even its […]

The problem with claiming “it’s aliens”

A Harvard astronomer believes that an interstellar object could possibly have originated from a civilization outside our solar system: — The New Yorker (@NewYorker) January 23, 2019 I doubt the New Yorker thinks Harvard University is a big deal the same way many Indians do, but its persistence with Avi Loeb’s ideas […]

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