Nature India | Indigenus

Announcing winners of NI Essay Competition 2020

We are delighted to announce the winners of the Nature India Essay Competition 2020.

The first prize winner is Hyderabad-based neuroscientist Gowri Natarajan for her essay titled ‘Memories of paati, a story of her grandmother that advocates the need for employing artificial intelligence and targeted therapies for the management of Alzheimer’s disease. Her narrative strongly underlines the importance for socially-relevant science.


Gowri Natarajan


Kavitha S.

Abhilash Gangadharan

Two essays jointly take the second spot — Abhilash Gangadharan’s “A predictive lifeline, a compelling personal narrative on the need for better equipping our hospitals with neonatal medical diagnostic tools;  and Kavitha Sankaranarayanan’s A grain of truth“, her passionate, philosophical and humorous take on a drought-tolerant idly rice variety.

Abhilash is a PhD scholar at New Delhi’s Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology and Kavitha heads the Ion Channel Biology Laboratory at the AU-KBC Research Centre of Anna University in Chennai.

Aditi Ghose

Arijit Goswami

On third position, again jointly, are Aditi Ghose and Arijit Goswami. While Aditi’s Mapping the malady of cancer talks of her learning from a failed science communication project that prompted her team to approach it better, Arijit’s A friend indeed is a well well-reasoned take on the omnipresence of artificial intelligence and chatbots in our everyday lives.

Aditi is an education assistant at Kolkata’s Birla Industrial and Technological Museum and Arijit is a manager at Capgemini India in Mumbai.

Shambhavi Naik

A special mention goes to Shambhavi Naik‘s essay Return of the Ridleys, a gripping narrative of a very important wildlife concern around the endangered Olive Ridley turtles, with on the ground reportage that offers solutions. Shambhavi is a fellow at Bangalore based Takshashila Institution and Director of CloudKrate Solutions Pvt Ltd.

Congratulations to all the winners! The winning essays will be published in the Nature India annual volume due for publication later this year as well as in the Nature India blog Indigenus soon. Stay tuned!

The top essays will win cash prizes, a three-year subscription to Nature, trophies and certificates. The special mention essay will receive a trophy and certificate of appreciation. We will also release a list, in due course, of some more honourable mentions in this essay competition and award them certificates of appreciation.

Nature India received more than 200 essays in a call opened in January 2020 in partnership with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). The essay competition was aimed at providing 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 was open for scientists, researchers, writers or authors aged 25 to 50. The essayists had 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. The submitted essays were judged by a panel of editors, scientists and science communicators.


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