Archive by category | General

Spirit of inquiry

Reading an editorial by eminent Indian scientist Raghunath Anant Mashelkar in Science today, I wondered why asking questions of senior scientists in this country is seen as a mark of irreverence. In the recent past, I have come across some highly regarded scientists who thought it was inappropriate to question their findings. Contrary to the very spirit of science, they have chosen not to answer my queries or simply replied in monosyllables that amount to not answering. I know of colleagues who have had similar innocent questions bounced off such firewalls.  Read more

Market-worthy ideas, anyone?

A new business plan competition for researchers from India and the UK hopes to identify the most promising scientific advances with equally brilliant commercial spin-offs. This is the kind of boost that young researchers in this country are looking for. It would be interesting to see what innovative ideas come in for the competition from India and, of course, which ones finally win.  Read more

DisCERNing India

DisCERNing India

Pardon me if I sound like an excited child in a toy shop but I am just back from CERN, the particle physics lab on the Franco-Swiss border that everyone knows of now, thanks to ‘Angels and Demons’. The best part of the trip, besides being able to see all the experiment hubs, was the Indian presence at CERN (and I am itching to write a bigger article on it soon).  Read more

Greenhorn blues

As I get to speak to more and more research scholars in this country, I sense the increasing frustration in them on account of the usual peeves — poor facilities and meagre resources. But something far more worrisome is the angst brewing up because of insensitive seniors. Sparks flew when a researcher scratched the surface of this controversial topic recently. I have been wondering if this is a majority situation. Are Indian labs really unfriendly towards young researchers?  Read more

Reading material

What do scientists want to read when not reading scientific papers? This is the question we asked our potential readers in a country-wide survey before planning the content for Nature India . Why don’t I just begin by asking what you, our valued readers, want from NPG’s India-specific science portal that goes live in a couple of weeks.  Read more