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Scicomm

Anonymity in journalism and a conflict of ethics

I wrote the following essay at the invitation of a journal in December 2020. (This was the first draft. There were additional drafts that incorporated feedback from a few editors.) It couldn’t be published because I had to back out of the commission owing to limitations of time and health. I formally withdrew my submission […]

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Analysis Science

Tek Fog and science

If you haven’t read The Wire‘s Tek Fog investigation, do so right away – not just because it’s necessary preamble to this post but because it concerns you either because you’re an Indian citizen and you need to update your awareness of what the BJP is capable of or because device-hacking, which is one level of […]

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Analysis

Political merch from a newsroom

Shekhar Gupta, the editor of The Print, shared the following image on his Instagram profile a couple days ago: The post had the following note: Since we so love politics at ThePrint, we are developing a range of gifting merchandise. This mug is one such example. In the course of the next few days I […]

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Life notes

Ending 2020

My blogging took a hit this year – as did everything for everyone. I couldn’t publish nearly as much as I’d have liked. While the average post length was the highest it’s ever been – 989 words – and audience engagement was through the roof, I had to just forget many ideas for posts I’d […]

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Culture Scicomm Science

‘Hunters’, sci-fi and pseudoscience

One of the ways in which pseudoscience is connected to authoritarian governments is through its newfound purpose and duty to supply an alternate intellectual tradition that subsumes science as well as culminates in the identitarian superiority of a race, culture or ethnic group. In return, aspects of the tradition are empowered by the regime both […]

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Culture Op-eds Science

Why are the Nobel Prizes still relevant?

Note: A condensed version of this post has been published in The Wire. Around this time last week, the world had nine new Nobel Prize winners in the sciences (physics, chemistry and medicine), all but one of whom were white and none were women. Before the announcements began, Göran Hansson, the Swede-in-chief of these prizes, […]

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Analysis Op-eds

Religious sentiments: upsetting them v. getting upset

If the BJP/Congress have been offended by Prashant Bhushan’s tweet, it could only be because they have interpreted his tweet offensively.