On resource constraints and merit

In the face of complaints about how so few women have been awarded this year’s Swarnajayanti Fellowships in India, some scientists pushed back asking which of the male laureates who had been selected should have been left out instead. This is a version of the merit argument commonly applied to demands for reservation and quota in higherContinue reading “On resource constraints and merit”

Trump, science denial and violence

For a few days last week, before the mail-in votes had been counted in the US, the contest between Joe Biden and Donald Trump seemed set for a nail-biting finish. In this time a lot of people expressed disappointment on Twitter that nearly half of all Americans who had voted (Trump’s share of the popularContinue reading “Trump, science denial and violence”

Playing the devil’s advocate on Starlink

After SpaceX began to launch its Starlink satellite constellation to facilitate global internet coverage, astronomers began complaining that the satellites are likely to interfere with stargazing schemes, especially those of large, sensitive telescopes. Spaceflight stakeholders also began to worry, especially after SpaceX’s announcement that the Starlink constellation is in fact the precursor to a mega-constellationContinue reading “Playing the devil’s advocate on Starlink”

The INO story

The INO’s is a great story but stands unfortunately to become a depressing parable at the moment – the biggest bug yet in a spider’s web spun of bureaucracy and misinformation.

On the need for the India-based Neutrino Observatory

“I bet @1amnerd disagrees with this” was how Kapil Subramanian’s piece in The Hindu today was pointed out to me on Twitter. Titled ‘India must look beyond neutrinos’, the piece examines if India should be a “global leader in science” and if investing in a neutrino detector is the way to do it. A fewContinue reading “On the need for the India-based Neutrino Observatory”

Why Indian science projects must plan for cultural conversations, too

The Wire May 18, 2015 What should be the priority for science in India? Nature journal published answers from ten scientists in India it had asked this question to on May 13. One of the scientists was Prof. Naba Mondal, a physicist at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, and he said India has toContinue reading “Why Indian science projects must plan for cultural conversations, too”

Construction has started on two of the world's grandest neutrino observatories

The groundbreaking ceremony for the Jiangmen Underground Neutrino Observatory happened on January 10. This means construction on Asia’s two biggest neutrino experiments will have started in the span of a week, after the India-based Neutrino Observatory was given the go-ahead by the government on January 5. Where the INO uses a device called the ironContinue reading “Construction has started on two of the world's grandest neutrino observatories”

Construction has started on two of the world’s grandest neutrino observatories

The groundbreaking ceremony for the Jiangmen Underground Neutrino Observatory happened on January 10. This means construction on Asia’s two biggest neutrino experiments will have started in the span of a week, after the India-based Neutrino Observatory was given the go-ahead by the government on January 5. Where the INO uses a device called the ironContinue reading “Construction has started on two of the world’s grandest neutrino observatories”

Vaiko has a problem with the unmanned, fully automated neutrino observatory

Imagine a vast research facility situated below a hill – fully underground – hosting a massive particle detector made up of the world’s largest electromagnet and some 30,000 metal plates. Embracing this device is a magnetic field 35,000 times as strong as Earth’s, not to mention more than three million electronic channels carrying signals to and from computers monitoringContinue reading “Vaiko has a problem with the unmanned, fully automated neutrino observatory”

Cabinet approves India-based Neutrino Observatory

On Monday, the Prime Minister’s Office gave the go ahead for the India-based Neutrino Observatory, an underground physics experiment that will study particles called atmospheric neutrinos. The project is based out of Theni in Tamil Nadu, and the Tamil Nadu State Government is providing the infrastructural support. The observatory is expected to cost Rs 1,500Continue reading “Cabinet approves India-based Neutrino Observatory”

Curious Bends – Indian Luddites, an academic career, the great forgetting and more

Curious Bends is a weekly newsletter about science, tech., data and India. Akshat Rathi and I curate it. You can subscribe to it here. If have feedback, suggestions, or would just generally like to get in touch, just email us. 1. Say with pride that we’re Luddites Science is often confused with technology in India. TheContinue reading “Curious Bends – Indian Luddites, an academic career, the great forgetting and more”

A gamma ray telescope at Hanle: A note

A gamma ray telescope is set to come up at Hanle, Ladakh, in 2015 and start operations in 2016. Hanle was one of the sites proposed to install a part of the Cherenkov Telescope Array, too. A survey conducted in the 1980s and 90s threw up Hanle as a suitable site to host telescopes becauseContinue reading “A gamma ray telescope at Hanle: A note”