Archive by category | Science administration

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

Becoming a parent in graduate school shaped my approach to work–life balance

The Kaushik family at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival in Woodburn, Oregon.

Out of breath and running late, I entered the room to discuss my latest research updates with faculty members and graduate-school colleagues. Flustered, embarrassed and more than seven months pregnant, I proceeded with the important presentation, not mentioning the false contractions I had woken up to that morning.  Read more

SciArt scribbles: CRISPR and the smell of rain

Mukund Thattai

Many scientists embrace the artistic medium to infuse new ideas into their scientific works. With science-art collaborations, both artists and scientists challenge their ways of thinking as well as the process of artistic and scientific inquiry. Can art hold a mirror to science? Can it help frame and answer uncomfortable questions about science: its practice and its impact on society? Do artistic practices inform science? In short, does art aid evidence?  Read more

Why ‘hike fellowship’ is a recurrent war cry for India’s researchers

Researchers gherao Indian science administrators during a protest to demand hike in fellowships in July 2014.

Following months of agitation by young scientists across India, the Indian government announced a hike in fellowships for research scholars earlier this month (February 2019). The stipends for junior research fellows (JRFs) were raised from a monthly Rs 25,000 to Rs 31,000, and that for senior research fellows (SRFs) from Rs 28,000 to Rs 35,000.  Read more

Science without borders: The Bhabha legacy

The campus of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research around the time of inauguration of its new buildings in January 1962 in south Bombay (now Mumbai).

As young physicists at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai circa 1981, Alak Ray and Prajval Shastri experienced an exciting era in the life of the institute, set up by visionary scientist Homi Jehangir Bhabha in 1945.  Read more

Speak up if you experience intolerance, racism in your lab

Speak up if you experience intolerance, racism in your lab

Last month, anti-Asian graffiti was painted in residences on the campus of my PhD alma mater, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, and Asian students’ work was vandalized with racist slogans. That same week brought allegations that a leading astrophysicist at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Garching, Germany, had used racist language towards trainees, among other bullying. (The astrophysicist has defended her behaviour, and says her comments were distorted and taken out of context; see news story and her explanation to Nature.)  … Read more