Do your bit, broaden your science menu

Featured image credit: Hans/pixabay

Don’t judge the best science journalists in India after having read only the worst science journalism.

Corrected: Environmental journalism in India and false balance

Credit: mamnaimie/Flickr, CC BY 2.0

If only in Indian environmental journalism, there is no Other Side anymore for sure.

Lingua franca

Featured image credit: allypark/Flickr, CC BY 2.0 Guilt can be just as disabling as arrogance, however. The political good which Spivak has done far outweighs the fact that she leads a well-heeled life in the States. If complicity means living in capitalist society, then just about everyone but Fidel Castro stands accused of it; if it means ‘buying in’ (as the Americans revealingly phrase it) to something called Western Reason, then only those racist or non-dialectical thinkers for whom such reason is uniformly oppressive need worry about it. … In any case, Spivak… Read More

Corrected: ‘Life’s Greatest Secret’ by Matthew Cobb

‘Life’s Greatest Secret’ focuses on those efforts to explore the DNA that were only a sideshow in ‘The Gene’ but possess intrigues of their own.

Some notes and updates

The LHC tunnel. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Four years of the Higgs boson, live-tweeting and timezones, new music, and quickly reviewing an Erikson book.

Talking about science, NCBS

On June 24, I was invited to talk at the NCBS Science Writing Workshop, held every year for 10 days.

Tom Kibble (1932-2016)

From left to right: Tom Kibble, Gerald Guralnik, Richard Hagen, François Englert and Robert Brout. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Kibble was one of the six theorists who, in 1964, came up with the ABEGHHK’tH mechanism to explain how gauge bosons acquired mass.

A universe out of sight

The Pillars of Creation. Credit: NASA/ESA

We’ve been able to find that the universe is expanding faster than we thought. The LHC has produced the most data on one day. Good news, right?

Stenograph the science down

On the way to the results. Credit: jurvetson/Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Is it that we’re paying no attention to the science and instead reproducing statements line by line because they’re made of gold?

A happy Lord of the Rings Day to you

A map of Middle Earth.

The LotR trilogy made for the first modern great epic fantasy, its guiding light so very bright that even those who came after struggled to match its success.

The bad, avoidable and useless forms of journalism

Bad journalism: A Hindustan Times report on March 2 claims a high-schooler from West Bengal won a “prestigious” scholarship sponsored by NASA to study at Oxford University, having been selected on the back of a theory she had developed on blackholes. The piece was one-sided. Avoidable journalism: The report – one among a dozen others, all on the same lines – turned out to have many holes. One of the first giveaways as usual was the language used to describe the science. Huffington Post India was (among) the first to publish NASA’s clarification, that… Read More

A return to Umberto Eco

Umberto Eco. Credit: Sud Foto/Sergio Siano, CC BY 2.0

The unwavering intensity of his writing, and of his commitment to seem to be chronicling something as opposed to be vainly conjecturing something, is what made his fiction worth committing to.