Guilty as “accused”

May 29, 2007

Sometime ago, Arunn, a professor from IITM put up a post in his blog complaining about the lack of enthusiasm for science blogging in India. I have nothing much to add to what he has already said.

However, something is painfully clear – I, among the few Indians blogging on Science, haven’t done enough to make the situation better. And hence, the title of this post.

I very much sympathize with Arunn’s frustration – I am no stranger to that feeling. Last year, when I was still an undergraduate, I had along with some other undergraduate colleagues of mine started a blog named blogphysica . From whatever experience I have gained from that exercise, I can safely say that it is almost equally difficult to convince students about blogging science.

And that is just a restatement of what has already been said . A more pertinent question is of course, what can be done about it ? That, I realize is a difficult question – and it should be answered in the way all such difficult questions are answered : Formulate solutions, Attempt to implement them, Note the obstacles that arise, Go back to the drawing board armed with that knowledge and Repeat till you succeed.

This is a game in establishing a vibrant Indian SciBlogsphere and we are not going to win it in a day. It is very tempting for us to get annoyed when say, Scian Melt gets disbanded or when Panta Rei gets very few entries , but, I think we will win this game in the end .

Do I have anything more concrete to say than that broadly optimistic assertion ? Yes, indeed. Among the links to the left, you will find a list of links listed under the title “India/Science”. That list, captures in a way all that I know about Indian SciBlogging.

In particular, let me draw your attention to some blogs whose names have never been raised in this discussion before [1]. Indian Science News and Popular Science Writing – both maintained by a journalist named Y.Bala Murali Krishna. If we dig a little bit, we come across the “about us” posts tucked among the early posts in the blog [2].

So, we are told

Welcome to this “Popular Science Writing” blog aimed at promoting popular science writing for the young and the old and even the scientists,besides inculcating scientific temper.Any articles on this aspect are most welcome. …

I am bureau chief-cum-special correspondent of the United News of India(UNI) now working in Panaji-Goa specialising in science and technology, media and related issues besides photography. I have also been a journalism educator and resource person to the National Council for Science and Technology Communication(NCSTC) under the Union Ministry of Science and Technology….

I have been engaged in participating in various science writing workshops across the country as a resource person besides various annual National Science Communication Congress sessions.Our aim is to prepare a dedicated band of people including the scientists, particularly the youth,who could write for different media organisations exposing the potential of the Indian Science and Scientists to the common man.The process involves application of various journalistic forms of writing, known as genres and avoiding jargon.

and the second blog welcomes us with the post

Hi friends,

This blog is to bring out some of the best science stories contributed from journalists,particularly of the United News of India, across the length and the bredth of India to benefit the readers.

It is aimed at encouraging popular science writing by post graduate students,scientists and journalists.

So, my question is this – How many other science writers are out there , who will be both eminently capable and very much interested in advancing the cause of Ind-Sci-Blogging ? And how is it that such kind of science writers are rare in Indian blogsphere despite the fact that we have whole institutions devoted to science communication ?

Note :

[1] To be fair to Arunn, he has already made it clear that his interest in this particular post is to understand “why “scientists” (or say, Ph. Ds. who have an expertise) in India seems not to have picked blogging yet as a means for communication.” And the blog I am now referring to, does not fall under that category.

[2] Those familiar with blogsphere would probably remark that it is not a very good blogging practice to bury the “About us” page among the early posts.

One Response to “Guilty as “accused””

  1. Arunn Says:

    Loganayagam: Thanks for this post. A solution from our personal sides is of course to continue blogging on science. I shall keep my end up🙂

    Unlike many others who are quick to comment and/or take umbrage and comment even before reading the blog post in its entirety, you have actually fully comprehended my post. Your [1] here was particularly heart warming. Thanks for affording your reading time.

    The two blogs you mention here seems to be interesting ventures. Will take a look.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: