Nature India Photo Contest 2019: Finalist #5

And here’s finalist number five in the Nature India Photo Contest 2019:

Avijit Ghosh, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
Photo caption: Empowering meal

Avijit Ghosh

“In many parts of rural India, school students are given mid-day meals. These free lunches for children in primary and upper primary classes are an innovative scheme to help children get nutrition while also incentivising their school attendance. This scheme exemplifies how food can be used as a means of empowering communities – both through nutrition and education.” — Avijit Ghosh

Welcome to the top 10 shortlist, Avijit!

Watch this space as we announce the other finalists in the coming days.

The winning pictures will get cash prizes worth $350, $250 and $200 respectively. The top 10 finalists will be featured here, on Nature India’s blog Indigenus and in our subsequent annual issue. 

These entries have been judged for novelty, creativity, quality and print worthiness. The winner and two runners-up will also receive a copy of the Nature India Annual Volume 2019 and a bag of Nature Research goodies (including Collector’s first issues of Nature and Scientific American and some other keepsakes). Winning entries stand a chance of being featured on the cover of one of our forthcoming print publications.

Nature India Photo Contest 2019: Finalist #4

It’s time now to unveil the finalist number four in the Nature India Photo Contest 2019:

Owais Rashid Hakiem, National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi, India.
Photo caption: Fishy business

Owais Rashid Hakiem

“During the festive season, consumers pay little attention to the quality or freshness of food products as markets are flooded with a variety of options. Just like vegetable buyers, fish and meat eaters can judge the quality of their raw food with some tell-tale signs. This photograph was captured near the Chittaranjan Park fish market in Delhi during the Durga Puja festival.” — Owais Rashid Hakiem

Congratulations Owais for being selected in the top 10 shortlist!

Watch this space as we announce the other finalists in the coming days.

The winning pictures will get cash prizes worth $350, $250 and $200 respectively. The top 10 finalists will be featured here, on Nature India’s blog Indigenus and in our subsequent annual issue. 

These entries have been judged for novelty, creativity, quality and print worthiness. The winner and two runners-up will also receive a copy of the Nature India Annual Volume 2019 and a bag of Nature Research goodies (including Collector’s first issues of Nature and Scientific American and some other keepsakes). Winning entries stand a chance of being featured on the cover of one of our forthcoming print publications.

Nature India Photo Contest 2019: Finalist #3

And here’s our third finalist in the Nature India Photo Contest 2019:

Biplab Sarkar, Howrah, West Bengal.
Photo caption: Hunger

Biplab Sarkar

“The word ‘security’ attains a different meaning when preceded by the word ‘food’. Food security is one of the key issues facing humankind today, especially the developing world. In this picture, a hungry man and a hungry dog look at the same pile of waste for food, bringing to fore the stark reality – when it comes to food, humans and animals seem to follow the same social rules.This photo was taken with a cell phone camera at Howrah, West Bengal, India.” — Biplap Sarkar

Congratulations Biplab for making it to the top 10 shortlist!

Watch this space as we announce the other finalists in the coming days.

The winning pictures will get cash prizes worth $350, $250 and $200 respectively. The top 10 finalists will be featured here, on Nature India’s blog Indigenus and in our subsequent annual issue. 

These entries have been judged for novelty, creativity, quality and print worthiness. The winner and two runners-up will also receive a copy of the Nature India Annual Volume 2019 and a bag of Nature Research goodies (including Collector’s first issues of Nature and Scientific American and some other keepsakes). Winning entries stand a chance of being featured on the cover of one of our forthcoming print publications.

Nature India Photo Contest 2019: Finalist #2

Announcing the second finalist in the Nature India Photo Contest 2019:

Mikhail Kapychka, Keiv, Ukraine.
Photo caption: Granny’s recipes

Mikhail Kapychka

“My old grandmother cooks a delicious Ukrainian beetroot soup – borscht. Our traditional foods, packed with nutrition and made from local ingredients, need to come back to our kitchens to ensure food security and to support local farming communities. I shot this picture in my granny’s home in the Kiev region of Ukraine.” — Mikhail Kapychka.

Congratulations Mikhail for making it to top 10!

Watch this space as we announce the other finalists in the coming days.

The winning pictures will get cash prizes worth $350, $250 and $200 respectively. The top 10 finalists will be featured here, on Nature India’s blog Indigenus and in our subsequent annual issue. 

These entries have been judged for novelty, creativity, quality and print worthiness. The winner and two runners-up will also receive a copy of the Nature India Annual Volume 2019 and a bag of Nature Research goodies (including Collector’s first issues of Nature and Scientific American and some other keepsakes). Winning entries stand a chance of being featured on the cover of one of our forthcoming print publications.

Nature India Photo Contest 2019: Finalist #1

It’s time to roll out the shortlist of the Nature India Photo Contest 2019.

The 6th edition of our photo contest themed “food” opened in November 2019 and has received some remarkable entries from around the world.

We invited pictures that show food beyond just an instagram-worthy plateful — pictures that demonstrate the link between food and evironment, food and health/nutrition, food security, the processes and techniques of growing food, packaging, cooking or even the politics behind food storage and supply.

Like always, entries came from a mix of amateur and professional photographers, scientists and non-scientists, mobile cameras and high-end DSLRs.

The Nature India editorial and design teams chose ten stunning finalists, that will be rolled out (in no particular order of merit) over the next few days. Nature India’s final decision to chose the winner will be partly influenced by the engagement and reception these pictures receive here at the Indigenus blog, on Twitter and on Facebook. To give all finalists a fair chance, we will consider the social media engagement each picture gets only during the first seven days of its announcement. The final results will be announced sometime in early February 2020.

So here’s finalist number one in the Nature India photo contest 2019:

Sudip Maiti, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.

Photo caption: Open air restaurant

Sudip Maiti

“A daily-wage worker cooks lunch for himself and his fellow workers in a hand-pulled cart below the famous Howrah Bridge in Kolkata, India. I was drawn to this scene because cooking is a private matter, mostly done indoors. In this man’s life, this important activity of the day happens in a busy, public space. The photo conveys the hardships such people face for their daily food, with a smile on their faces.” — Sudip Maiti.

Congratulations Sudip for making it to top 10!

Watch this space as we announce the other finalists in the coming days.

The winning pictures will get cash prizes worth $350, $250 and $200 respectively. The top 10 finalists will be featured here, on Nature India’s blog Indigenus and in our subsequent annual issue. 

These entries have been judged for novelty, creativity, quality and print worthiness. The winner and two runners-up will also receive a copy of the Nature India Annual Volume 2019 and a bag of Nature Research goodies (including Collector’s first issues of Nature and Scientific American and some other keepsakes). Winning entries stand a chance of being featured on the cover of one of our forthcoming print publications.

CERN Science Gateway – for audiences of all ages, and for the scientific community

Ana Godinho, the Head of Education, Communications and Outreach at CERN, talked to us about the CERN Science Gateway, a very exciting outreach project.

 

On a recent trip to Lisbon, the taxi driver asked me where I had flown in from.

“Geneva,” I replied.

“And what do you do there?” he asked.

“I work at CERN,” I said.

“Ah, CERN. Where they accelerate particles round the huge tunnel,” the taxi driver cheerfully offered.

 

Was I surprised that someone from outside the scientific world was familiar with CERN? As a matter of fact – no, I wasn’t. Over more than a decade, concerted communications and public engagement programmes have contributed to CERN becoming part of popular culture. The start of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), in 2008, and the discovery of the Higgs boson, in 2012, captured the imagination of both scientific communities (notice the plural) and the so-called lay public alike.

CERN is one of the world’s leading laboratories for particle physics. Today, it is also recognised as a source of inspiration and engagement for citizens around the world. The taxi driver could well have been one of the over 100 000 visitors that visit CERN each year (he wasn’t), or he could know one of the close to 1000 teachers that take part in CERN’s programmes, or any of the almost 7000 students that each year participate in hands-on physics workshops at CERN.

To expand and diversify its education, communication and public engagement portfolio, CERN is preparing to build a new education and outreach centre – CERN Science Gateway. Housed in an iconic building designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano, CERN Science Gateway will enable a diverse audience across all ages and all sectors of the public to engage with the science, the discoveries, the technologies and the people working at CERN. A series of three pavilions and two tunnels, joined by a bridge floating over the road running in front of CERN, will house exhibitions, laboratories for informal learning and a 900-seater auditorium. An ample and forest-like outdoor area will consolidate the vision of a village, where people will meet to explore CERN Science Gateway, and depart on a discovery of the CERN sites.

CERN Science Gateway Credit: Renzo Piano Building Workshop

CERN Science Gateway’s permanent exhibitions will be housed in the two suspended tubes. In ‘Discover CERN’ children and adults alike will feel they are behind the scenes at CERN, interacting with technologies and discoveries in their actual setting, embedded in stories featuring real scientists and engineers. ‘Our Universe’ will be a journey through space and time back to the origin of everything we see around us today – the Big Bang. It will also be a journey into the future, inviting visitors to discover the big mysteries that govern our universe: dark matter, gravity, extra dimensions and more. Another hands-on exhibition area (located in one of the pavilions) will explore the quantum world – visitor will investigate on a macro scale the weird world in which particles move and interact.

Hands-on and minds-on is the motto for the learning laboratories in CERN Science Gateway. Through enquiry-based learning, children (from age five), students and families will work independently on experiments linked to the research carried out at CERN. Specially trained tutors will guide the visitors on their exploration into the working methods, technologies and research of the world’s largest particle physics laboratory.

CERN Science Gateway Credit: Renzo Piano Building Workshop

The modular auditorium will provide a unique space (in fact, several spaces) for both the scientific community and for public events. It will be a privileged venue for the meetings of the collaborations of the experiments at CERN and indeed for the wider particle physics community. For the public of all ages, science shows, film festivals, theatre, performances, debates will be part of a wide-reaching and diverse programme, making CERN a hub for multidisciplinary debate, learning and participation.

This ambitious project (as all projects at CERN) costs at CHF 79 million, and is fully covered by external funds, raised through a dedicated fundraising strategy. Several important donations have been secured since the work started on the project, in 2017, setting us confidently on the path to start building work in 2020 and opening CERN Science Gateway in the third quarter of 2022.

 

Make a note in your diaries for a visit to Geneva in 2022, to explore Science Gateway and CERN!

My science failures: All the light bulbs that did not work

Science stories are equal to success stories. Right? Wrong. In thinking of scientists as successful people, many times we often assume that their career paths are straightforward, meticulously-planned and yield positive outcomes. However, things don’t always go as planned. Behind every small success, there’s probably a string of failures — work that did not make it to the curriculum vitae, rejected papers, turned-down applications, declined grants, unsuccessful job interviews, and many closed doors.

Science blooms in these failures as much as it does in the glory of accepted manuscripts, grants, awards and patents. In this blog series “My Science Failures” we will hear some straight-from-the-heart stories of these secret milestones in the lives of scientists — and learn how they turned these events on their head (or did not). You can join the resultant online conversation with the #mysciencefailures hashtag. Let us know at indigenus@nature.com if you would want to tell us your story.

The first volunteer in this dare-to-bare series is Karishma Kaushik, an Assistant Professor and Ramalingaswami Fellow at the Institute of Bioinformatics and Biotechnology, Savitribai Phule Pune University. Karishma shares the ‘failure’ milestones of her career, and discovers a sense of gratitude for things that did not go her way.

Meetali Barhate (Morya Arties), IBB, SPPU

‘I haven’t failed, I’ve just found 10,000 that won’t work’ — Thomas Alva Edison on the invention of the light bulb.

While failure is an integral part of our scientific journeys, we are often too crestfallen to acknowledge and share these stories. But it is these closed doors that force us to consider alternative options and look for unexpected openings. It is, therefore, imperative to talk openly of failures at the workplace and recognize them as integral to career progression.

Taking the initiative, a few members of the academic community have published their ‘CVs of Failures’ or ‘Anti-Portfolios’, which instead of listing successes and accomplishments, chronicle rejections, failures and ‘changes of plans’.

Such open records of career failures help de-stigmatize rejections in academia, and have spurred a discussion on including a ‘failures’ section in one’s curriculum vitae. Whether one decides to publish a full-length failure resume or not, chronicling these difficult milestones for oneself is definitely an invaluable exercise and brings forth unprecedented insights as I realized first-hand.

So, this is my ‘real’ career story.

1. I almost failed my 10th standard History exam: A stellar student through my school years, I least expected to make a dismally poor grade in my 10th standard History exam. Blame it on the exam paper getting mixed up or misplaced, the fact remained that this single score brought down my average grade. This meant that to get into a reputed junior college, I couldn’t get into the exclusive Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics programme, and had to take Biology as an add on.

Little could I imagine that being ‘forced’ to take Biology would set me on a career path as a physician!

2. I never planned a career in medicine: Forced to take up as biology as an add-on, I neglected the subject for most part of junior college. Two months before the 12th standard examinations, I came across an excellent piece of human biology educational material. Those realistic illustrations of the human body fascinated me. I decided to pursue medicine and began preparing for medical college. To this day, I am convinced I must have been one of the last people to fill those medical entrance exam forms!

It has been close to 20 years in medicine and the biological sciences, and with each career milestone, I have only grown to love the subject and my work more.

3. I did not get into a government medical college: I blamed it on my last minute decision to pursue medicine, but the fact remains I did not make it to the cut-off list for a government medical college. I took up a state-subsidized seat at a relatively new private medical college.

It turned out to be a wonderful student phase, where I not only excelled academically but also through my participation in health-related public talk shows and symposiums, discovered a natural inclination for public speaking. Honing this ability to address large audiences has inevitably shaped my career decisions, particularly to seek opportunities that include teaching.

4. I did not get into my top choice of residency programmes: During medical college, I decided on two choices of specialty to potentially pursue, dermatology and pathology. Short-listed for interviews for both at a prestigious medical college in India, I did not make it to the final lists for either. Determined not to ‘lapse’ a year, I took up a residency program in clinical microbiology.

In this programme, I had the opportunity to do a notable piece of research work for my thesis for which I interfaced with basic scientists’. This led me to pursue a PhD in the US. I recently returned to India as one of the country’s few trained physician-scientists. It was ‘denial’ and not ‘design’ that set me on this career path.

5. I was rejected by graduate schools for two years: Moving to the US with my husband, my search for PhD positions coincided with the economic recession of 2008. My rounds of the Bay Area’s top graduate schools left with me with an appreciation for academic science in the US, but also with a harsh realization of the immigration and funding constraints. After two years of close to 10 applications and no success, I decided to apply outside of California, focusing on cities my husband could also relocate to. I finally accepted an offer from a well-known school in Texas. I spent the first year telling myself we would be out of Texas as soon as the PhD was done.

My ‘stint’ in Texas lasted almost a decade and marked one of the most luminous phases of my professional and personal life. I could never imagine myself saying ‘Texas is home’!

6. I did not get into the first three labs I tried in graduate school: I started the first year of my Ph.D. rotating through three laboratories, after which I was expected to find a laboratory to pursue my PhD. At the end of one year, all three rotations yielded no takers, either due to space constraints or the fact that I didn’t have a particular skill set. I petitioned the programme to allow me a fourth rotation.

That ended up being my PhD lab. That also ended up being a wonderful mentorship experience, start of a new research group, a 5 year PhD with five papers, extensive teaching experience, professional independence, and a work environment that supported my choice of motherhood and parenting. To think, I almost did not join this lab!

7. I struggled with the science for almost half the PhD: While I really liked the laboratory I finally ended up in, I found myself completely out of depth with the science. It was interdisciplinary, employed biophysical concepts and developed mathematical models – it was exactly the Ph.D. I did not anticipate. Nevertheless, I persevered at it.

Mid-way through the PhD, I discovered an interesting phenomenon, after which I focused on probing the biological aspects of it, while a talented undergraduate worked on the mathematical models. This proved to be a turning point in my PhD journey, and the gateway to a highly productive remaining stint.

8. I walked out of a prestigious post-doc laboratory: With a very productive PhD stint, landing a post-doc was not difficult. I joined a ‘pedigreed’ research group where the science was cutting edge, and advantageously, in the same city I was living in. Within a month, I noticed glaring signs of a toxic and bullying academic culture. I had seen enough of academia to read through intense-levels of micromanagement, a flurry of to-do lists on a Friday night demanding work over the weekend, and pressure to respond to emails at 4 a.m. This was not normal or acceptable. Fortunately, I had the support system and flexibility to walk out.

The silver lining in this brief stint was that I discovered, in this short span of time, that I had it in me to steer my own research. I believe that this was the best and possibly, the boldest professional decision I have ever made.

As anticipated, making my own ‘list of failures’ was an exercise in introspection. It highlighted the varied challenges I have managed to overcome in this professional journey, and underscored that while there were many things beyond my control, I was able to effectively respond and redirect my career trajectory. Most importantly, looking at these career failures, I discovered a deep sense of gratitude for all the things that did not go my way. I realized that the best-laid plans that did not work actually led me to where I am today.

Revisiting this list will serve as a reminder to embrace the entire journey, its ups and downs, closed doors and unexpected openings, crushing lows and dizzying highs. For, it’s both – the things that work and the things that do not – that shape our unique career stories.

Away from home: Fast track to research dreams

Our ‘Away from home’ interactive map features 51 bright Indian postdocs from around the world. Write to us at npgindia@nature.com to suggest names of postdocs from countries and disciplines we haven’t covered yet.

Soma Ghosh is a postdoctoral fellow at the Weizmann Institute of Science (WIS) in Israel. A doctorate from the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, New Delhi, she works on a strategy to prevent the resistance that some lung cancers develop to immunotherapy, one of the main treatments for certain types of cancer. In this guest post, Soma talks about living far away from family and working six days a week in the lab to realise her research dream.

Soma Ghosh

Peering into cancer cells

For the past three years, I have been in Prof. Yosef Yarden’s group in the Biological Regulation Department of WIS researching a protein often overexpressed in cancer cells. This protein can make certain tumours resistant or more aggressive to anti-cancer therapies.

After a doctorate focusing on radiology and oncology, I had joined a pharmaceutical company as an oncology consultant to work on strategies for drug development and marketing. I was good at my job, but realised that it wasn’t for me. After two years in the company, I started searching for labs where I could do a postdoc. I wrote to a lot of professors working in my field of interest.

One of the professors I wrote to was Prof. Yosef (Yossi) Yarden. I had not paid attention at first to the fact that he was in Israel. He answered fairly quickly and suggested I visit his lab first. I found a great atmosphere in the lab. I met people from all over the world, including India, and the research interested me very much. Although I had been out of a lab for two years, my passion for research was alive. Yossi took a few days to discuss things with his lab members, and his answer was a ‘yes’.

I wrote a project proposal and soon got a grant through the Feinberg Graduate School. From writing the letter to finalizing the grant, everything happened fairly quickly. Three months later, I was unpacking my bags at WIS. Answers from the other places I had written arrived in drips and drabs but I had already found my calling by then.

Coming to Israel on Yom Kippur

I arrived in Israel on a Friday – the eve of Yom Kippur, the Jewish holy day of atonement. I was shocked to find everything closed and deathly quiet. I ate food from home, which some friends here had thankfully suggested that I bring along. The holiday ended on Saturday night and I got an email from Yossi saying we would meet on Sunday. That was strange too – I didn’t realize back then that Sunday is a workday in Israel. The reception in the lab was a warm one, and things have been great ever since. One of my lab member’s even took me to the open market in Rehovot so I could buy ingredients for the food I love to cook.

My husband’s patent-consulting job is based in New Delhi but when I told him of my plans to conduct research in Israel, he was supportive. Though the separation has had its difficulties, we manage to meet several times a year.

My father was supportive as well. As a scientist with India’s science ministry, he had worked with WIS researchers and was aware of the institute’s excellence. My mother had doubts but after visiting Israel she has fallen in love with the place.

Maximising the work week

Working with Prof. Yossi Yarden is a very special experience. He starts his workday at 7:00 and ends it at 7:00. We sometimes get emails from him at 11 in the night, always with thoughtful, constructive comments. It might seem that he asks a lot from his students, but ultimately we achieve higher, get better results and opportunities to advance our scientific careers. He creates a positive atmosphere, always speaking quietly and with reason. That doesn’t mean we don’t have fun ‒ we also laugh a lot. His research assistant Sara Lavi is always ready to lend an ear or solve a problem. My lab members are very friendly, supportive and helpful. I feel really lucky.

In my spare time, I like to cook. I also enjoy Indian music and global cinema. I am an ardent fan of Marvel characters.

In between my ongoing research and writing a paper on the results of three years of research in Yarden’s lab, I keep thinking about my return to India and reuniting with my husband and family. I also look forward to driving again when I return. Whatever else awaits me, scientific research will continue to play a central role in my life.

Making Israel your research destination

Israel is a beautiful country to work in. Drawing from my experience, here are some general tips for researchers looking for a postdoc position in Israel:

  • While applying for positions, focus on the work you are doing and be clear on why you chose those experiments and what their implications are. Everyone is well informed these days and they expect clear and direct answers.
  • Broaden your wet-lab skills and get expertise on molecular diagnostic approaches, especially the new ones such as CRISPR. I believe Indian labs nowadays provide platforms and opportunities to get hands on experience to such techniques.
  • Be transparent and honest in your resume about the techniques and knowledge that you have and do not try to write things that you haven’t done. Eventually, people find out and it can lead to a problem later.
  • In cancer research, one thing I have observed is the importance of thinking how your research or study can have clinical implications. This is a key question which every major lab/ research institute/ university would like to hear when you apply in Israel or anywhere outside.
  • Pick your lab of interest and study what they are doing or have done in the past. Align and search for labs that match your interest, don’t just select random labs where you would not be able to justify your candidature.

Nature India Essay Competition 2020 now open

SpiffyJ/Getty

Nature India in partnership with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is launching an essay competition to provide young and experienced scientists, researchers and authors in India, a platform to share ideas on how socially-impactful science can advance and strengthen the country.

The Nature India essay competition is now open for scientists, researchers, writers or authors aged 25 to 50. The essayists will have an opportunity to draft a compelling narrative with personal anecdotes, emotion and a science-backed story that may become potentially historic in helping shape the roadmap for India’s scientific future.

We invite thoughts on the societal impact of science in India in not more than 1000 words. We are looking for essays with an aspirational tone, emotions and story-telling without too much sentimentality.  The essays should be reasoned, well-researched, forward-looking and supported by existing science. They should ideally be informative and entertaining in equal measure. Adding a personal perspective to the narration is desirable. We are not looking for academic papers, an academic writing style or science fiction.

Submitted essays will be judged by a panel of editors, scientists and science communicators.

The deadline for completed essays is midnight, India time, on 9 March 2020. The winners will have their essays published in the Nature India annual volume as well as the Nature India blog Indigenus. The top three essays will win cash prizes (Rs 40,000, Rs 30, 000 and Rs 20,000 or equivalent), a three-year subscription to Nature, trophies and certificates. We will also feature the essayists and their ideas in a Nature India podcast.

Please send your submissions to natureindia@nature.com with the subject line “Nature India Essay Competition 2020”. Please include your name, affiliation and contact details in the email. We look forward to reading your imaginative and thought-provoking essays.

For inspiration, you may want to read these essays adjudged winner and runners-up (1, 2) of the Nature essay competition 2019.

[TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Please read these terms and conditions carefully. By entering into this Nature India Essay Competition (“Promotion”), you agree that you have read these terms and that you agree to them. Failure to comply with these terms and conditions may result in your disqualification from the Promotion.

  1. Information about how to enter and prize details form part of these Terms and Conditions. Entry into this Promotion is deemed to be an acceptance of these Terms and Conditions.
  2. This Promotion is run by Nature Research, a division of Springer Nature Limited, a company registered in England with registered number 00785998 and registered office at The Campus, 4 Crinan Street, London N1 9XW (“Promoter”).
  3. To enter this Promotion you must be: (a) resident of India; and (b) aged between 25 years old and 50 years old on or before 9th January 2020. This Promotion is void in Cuba, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Russia, Ukraine, Sudan, and Syria or where otherwise prohibited or restricted by law. Any government officials that enter the Promotion are responsible for ensuring that they may enter and/or receive a prize if they win and that the prize does not exceed the relevant limit for their role and jurisdiction. If a winner is not able to accept the prize then a charity donation can be made instead to a Springer Nature approved charity.
  4. This Promotion is not open to directors or employees (or members of their immediate families) of Promoter or any affiliate of Promoter. Promoter reserves the right to verify the eligibility of entrants.
  5. The Promotion is open for entries between 00:00 Indian Standard Time on 9th January 2020 and 00:00 on 9th March 2020 IST.
  6. No purchase is necessary to enter this prize Promotion and will not increase your chances of winning.
  7. You can enter this Promotion in the following way: write and submit an essay on the societal impact of science in India in a text file, along with your email address by submitting your text file to Nature India at the email address natureindia@nature.com. Entries should be in a text file (.doc, .docx), written in good and understandable English, with a word limit of 1000 words or less not including references.
  8. This Promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. By participating you hereby release and hold harmless Instagram, Twitter and Facebook from any and all liability associated with this Promotion.
  9. Only one entry per eligible person. Multiple entries will be deemed to be invalid and may lead to disqualification.
  10. Promoter accepts no responsibility for any entries that are incomplete, illegible, corrupted or fail to reach Promoter by the closing date for any reason. Proof of posting or sending is not proof of receipt. Entries via agents or third parties are invalid. No other form of entry is permitted. Please keep a copy of your entry as we will be unable to return entries or provide copies.
  11. The prize for the Promotion consists of the following: (a) three cash prizes (of Rs 40,000, Rs 30,000, Rs 20,000 respectively); (b) 3 year’s personal subscription to Nature; and (c) publication in Nature India’s annual volume and Indigenus blog. The cash prize can only be paid into the bank account of the winner.
  12. The editors reserve full editorial discretion in choosing winner(s), and may decide to award none of the entries. All essays submitted by entrants to the Promotion shall be subject to the Publisher’s editorial acceptance processes. Publication of any essay is at the sole and absolute discretion of the Publisher, and any failure by the Publisher to publish, or non-publication, of such essays, for any reason whatsoever, shall not be a breach by it of this Terms and Conditions.
  13. The prizes shall be awarded as follows: essays will be judged by a panel of Nature editorial staff and by an external judging panel. Judges will consider the editorial impact and general quality of the essay, as well as its adherence to existing science and reason. Full names of the judging panel will be available on request. Any decision will be final and binding and no further communication will be entered into in relation to it.
  14. Ownership of entries: for consideration into this competition, you must be willing to sign a license to publish form granting a license of the intellectual property rights in your essay to the Promoter. Such license will be supplied by the Promoter to selected entries and will include the right to use the entry in promotional or marketing material in print and online. You confirm that your entry is your own original work, is not defamatory and does not infringe any laws, including privacy laws, whether of the UK or elsewhere, or any rights of any third party, that no other person was involved in the creation of your entry, that you have the right to give Promoter and its respective licensees permission to use it for the purposes specified herein, it is lawful for you to enter and that you agree not to transfer files which contain viruses or any other harmful programs.  Please note that it is the responsibility of the entrants/author(s) to obtain permission from the copyright holder to reproduce third party intellectual property (including without limitation figures or tables that have previously been published elsewhere).
  15. The winner(s) of the Promotion shall be notified as follows: informed by email. If the winner enters the Promotion via social media, the Promoter will use reasonable endeavours to contact the winner, but reserves the right to reject any such entry the winner cannot be contacted.
  16. The winner(s) will be required to confirm acceptance of the prize within five working days and may be required to complete and return an eligibility form stating their age and residency details, among other details. Promoter will endeavour to ensure that winner(s) receive their prizes within 30 days of the date they confirm acceptance of the prize and have fulfilled any post-promotion requirements. If a winner does not accept the prize within five working days of being notified, they will forfeit their prize and Promoter reserves the right to choose another winner(s). Promoter’s decision is final and Promoter reserves the right not to correspond on any matter.
  17. The name, region of residence and likeness of the winners may be used by Promoter for reasonable post-event publicity in any form including on Promoters website and social media pages at no cost.
  18. You can find out who has won a prize by sending an e-mail to natureindia@nature.com or checking nature.com/natureindia. Winners will be announced on Nature India’s blog Indigenus.
  19. Promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend these Terms and Conditions or change the Prize (to one of equal or greater value) as required by the circumstances. No cash equivalent to the Prize is available.
  20. All personal data submitted by entrants is subject to and will be treated in a manner consistent with Promoter’s Privacy Policy accessible at http://www.nature.com/info/privacy.html. By participating in this Promotion, entrants hereby agree that Promoter may collect and use their personal information and acknowledge that they have read and accepted the Promoter Privacy Policy.
  21. Promoter may at its sole discretion disqualify any entrant found to be tampering or interfering with the entry process or operation of the website, or to be acting in any manner deemed to be disruptive of or prejudicial to the operation or administration of the Promotion. Entries not submitted in accordance with these Terms and Conditions or entries that are incomplete or illegible (as determined in our sole discretion) will not be eligible.
  22. Other than for death or personal injury arising from negligence of the Promoter, so far as is permitted by law, the Promoter hereby excludes all liability for any loss, damage, cost and expense, whether direct or indirect, howsoever caused in connection with the Promotion or any aspect of the Prize. All activities are undertaken at the entrants own risk. Your legal rights as a consumer are not affected.
  23. The Promotion may be sponsored by a third party engaged by the Promoter.
  24. These terms and conditions shall be governed by and construed in accordance with Indian law. Disputes arising in connection with this Agreement shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the Indian courts.]

Interactions: Ankita Anirban

Ankita joins Nature Reviews Physics after a brief period as locum associate editor at Nature Reviews Materials. After a BSc degree from King’s College London, Ankita went on to pursue an MPhil at the University of Cambridge, on low-temperature transport of one-dimensional electron systems. She then continued with PhD studies on the theme of electron transport of topological insulator heterostructures at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge.

What made you want to be a physicist?

As a child, I loved fantasy novels and used to wish that I lived in a world with magic, elves and dragons. Physics classes at school seemed dull in comparison, until I discovered quantum mechanics through popular science books as a teenager. Suddenly it seemed that our world could be as crazy as Alice in Wonderland with strange phenomena like entanglement and superposition of particles. This seemed cooler than dragons as we could actually “see” these things happen in a lab – and so I became a physicist!

If you weren’t a physicist, what would you like to be (and why)?

A travel writer/journalist. I’d love to explore lots of interesting and remote places around the world and write about the stories and people I met.

Which is the development that you would really like to see in the next 10 years?

I want science to become more accessible. So many non-scientists are intimidated by the idea of science and maths. I would love for science to become “dinner table conversation” in the way politics or books or films are for the general public.

What would be your (physics) superpower?

To have magic eyes – that can work as a microscope (maybe even an electron microscope!) and zoom into all the details of things around me, and also as a telescope to see distant galaxies.

What’s your favourite (quasi-)particle?

Probably the humble electron. It’s not a glamorous particle, but I’ve spent years making electronic devices which I think of as “electron playgrounds” so I have grown attached to them.

What Sci-Fi gadget / technology would you most like to have / see come true (and why)?

Definitely a time-machine. Ignoring all the related paradoxes I’d have to deal with, I want to be able to transport myself to the past and actually find out what history was like.