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Publishing metrics and agricultural science

Chickpea crop improvement has been a key area of Varshney's research.

H-index is an author-level metric that measures both productivity and citation impact of an author’s publications across the global scientific community. It is calculated by counting the number of publications in which an author has been cited by other authors. H-index 100 means each of the latest 100 of the author’s papers have been cited at least 100 times.  Read more

Achieving a Bose–Einstein Condensate from my living room during lockdown

Amruta Gadge adjusting a laser before the lockdown in the apparatus put together to produce Bose-Einstein condensates.

During the COVID-19 lockdown which led to the closure of many labs around the world, Amruta Gadge, a postdoctoral researcher in the Quantum Systems and Devices group at the University of Sussex*, made headlines for remotely setting up a Bose–Einstein condensate from her living room. Gadge, an alumna of the University of Pune, tells us how she achieved that.  Read more

Diaspora scientists gauge India’s pandemic ‘new normal’

A session discussing perspectives of new faculty who have relocated to India saw high participation at the virtual event.

As the global economy took a hit with the coronavirus pandemic, and science job opportunities seemed up in the air, more than 400 diaspora Indian scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs got together in early September 2020 to make sense of what this ‘new normal’ might look like.  Read more

Curating during a contagion

A COVID-19 themed exhibition at Birla Industrial and Technological Museum, Kolkata.

In the middle of a pandemic, imagine planning a science exhibition that explains the contagion to people. What should it feature — test-kits, ventilators, surgical masks and PPE suits? Does the museum have enough supplies to create exhibits? Can the exhibits be sanitised and safely displayed for the audience? Will enough people turn up?  Read more

COVID-19 fuels India’s biotech entrepreneurship

COVID-19 fuels India's biotech entrepreneurship

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently called for self-reliance in the country’s fight against the COVID-19 crisis. Being a biologist by training, the question that came to my mind immediately was: are India’s biologists and biotechnologists self-reliant in their laboratories across the country?  Read more

Lockdown unlocking technology for India’s farmers

A farmer holding up a sample for the plant doctors to see.

It’s a Friday morning and Lakshmi, a farmer who grows paddy, maize and finger millet in central Tamil Nadu, is peering into her phone camera adjusting the webinar settings. From behind her, the top of her toddler’s head pops up on the screen as she navigates her way around the virtual ‘plant clinic’. “I can’t hear you sir, please unmute yourself,” Laxmi says several times in Tamil before the expert on the other side heeds.  Read more

How coronavirus data from history is helping fight COVID-19

How coronavirus data from history is helping fight COVID-19

Many of us had heard the term ‘coronavirus’ for the first time at the office lunch table. Our team lunches are unusual, discussing topics that range from evolution, to bodily functions to Bollywood. The scientific experts in the team were trying to explain how the coronavirus works, its relation to respiration and the conspiracy theories associated with it.  Read more

Mapping the malady of cancer

Mapping the malady of cancer

A group of cancer patients under palliative care, aged under 15, were scheduled for a guided visit to our Science Centre. As a science communicator I was desperate to make it special. Having lined up the choicest of our expositions, I was adamant on giving them an amazing experience. From decking the halls with cheerful banners, to ensuring that they could touch and see science-in-action – I believed that all would take part.  Read more