Ayurveda is not a science – but what does that mean?

This post has benefited immensely with inputs from Om Prasad. Calling something ‘not a science’ has become a pejorative, an insult. You say Ayurveda is not a science and suddenly, its loudest supporters demand to know what the problem is, what your problem is, and that you can go fuck yourself. But Ayurveda is notContinue reading “Ayurveda is not a science – but what does that mean?”

Science journalism, expertise and common sense

On March 27, the Johns Hopkins University said an article published on the website of the Centre For Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy (CDDEP), a Washington-based think tank, had used its logo without permission and distanced itself from the study, which had concluded that the number of people in India who could test positive forContinue reading “Science journalism, expertise and common sense”

A personal manifesto

Many people who are unsure of how their work can help put out the various (figurative) fires ravaging the country at the moment often quickly conclude that purpose is best found at the frontlines of this battle. The common trap here is to conflate the most obvious path with the most right path, or eitherContinue reading “A personal manifesto”

My country is burning. Why should I work?

A few days ago, I found asking myself the following question: My country is burning, why should I work? I ended up with some (admittedly inchoate) thoughts, delineated below. I’m trying to fight off this abject helplessness I’m feeling and edit some science articles, and failing. I’m not able to justify to myself why IContinue reading “My country is burning. Why should I work?”

Authority, authoritarianism and a scicomm paradox

I received a sharp reminder to better distinguish between activists and experts irrespective of how right the activists appear to be with the case of Ustad, that tiger shifted from its original habitat in Ranthambore sanctuary to Sajjangarh Zoo in 2015 after it killed three people. Local officials were in favour of the relocation toContinue reading “Authority, authoritarianism and a scicomm paradox”

The metaphorical transparency of responsible media

We in India often complain about how the media doesn’t care enough to cover science stories. But when we’re looking back and forward in time, we become blind to the media’s efforts.