Tag: science communication

  • Notes on covering QM

    Notes on covering QM
  • Neuromorphic hype

    Neuromorphic hype

    We all know there’s a difference between operating an Indica Diesel car and a WDP 4 diesel locomotive. The former has two cylinders and the latter 16. But that doesn’t mean the WDP 4 simply has eight times more components as the Indica. This is what comes to my mind when I come across articles […]

  • The passive voice is political

    The passive voice is political

    Eric Martinez, Francis Mollica and Edward Gibson of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Edinburgh won an Ig Nobel Prize for literature this year for their work on what makes legal documents so hard to read. Ironically, the abstract of their paper, published in July 2022, is also very hard to read, […]

  • On anticipation and the history of science

    In mid-2012, shortly after physicists working with the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Europe had announced the discovery of a particle that looked a lot like the Higgs boson, there was some clamour in India over news reports not paying enough attention or homage to the work of Satyendra Nath Bose. Bose and Albert Einstein […]

  • A false union in science journalism

    At what point does a journalist become a stenographer? Most people would say it’s when the journalist stops questioning claims and reprints them uncritically, as if they were simply a machine. So at what point does a science journalist become a stenographer? You’ll probably say at the same point – when they become uncritical of […]

  • The omicron variant and scicomm

    Somewhere between the middle of India’s second major COVID-19 outbreak in March-May this year and today, a lot of us appear to have lost sight of a fact that was central to our understanding of COVID-19 outbreaks in 2020: that the only way a disease outbreak, especially of the novel coronavirus, can be truly devastating […]

  • On AWSAR, Saransh, etc.

    The Indian National Young Academy of Sciences has announced a “thesis competition for PhD students” called ‘Saranash’. A PhD student will have three minutes, and three slides, to describe their work via video, and winners stand to receive Rs 10,000, Rs 6,000 and Rs 4,000 in cash, for the first three places. It’s a good […]

  • The problem with rooting for science

    The idea that trusting in science involves a lot of faith, instead of reason, is lost on most people. More often than not, as a science journalist, I encounter faith through extreme examples – such as the Bloch sphere (used to represent the state of a qubit) or wave functions (‘mathematical objects’ used to understand […]

  • Scicommers as knowledge producers

    Reading the latest edition of Raghavendra Gadagkar’s column in The Wire Science, ‘More Fun Than Fun’, about how scientists should become communicators and communicators should be treated as knowledge-producers, I began wondering if the knowledge produced by the latter is in fact not the same knowledge but something entirely new. The idea that communicators simply […]

  • On the lab-leak hypothesis

    One problem with the debate over the novel coronavirus’s “lab leak” origin hypothesis is a problem I’m starting to see in quite a few other areas of pandemic-related analysis and discussion. It’s that no one will say why others are wrong, even as they insist others are, and go on about why they are right. […]