The Science of Gilbert Fowler

The first head of the Department of Biochemistry was one of the most consequential researchers of his time   Gilbert John Fowler wore many scientific hats: he was a chemist, a biologist and an environmental scientist – decades before environmental science became an active field of scientific investigation. He even fancied himself as an economist. […]

The Land on Which We Stand

 IISc’s neighbourhood has a long and rich history In the late 1890s, JN Tata was hunting for a suitable location for what eventually came to be known as the Indian Institute of Science (IISc). By the early 1900s, Bangalore had become the frontrunner to host the research institute, not least because of the wholehearted support […]

Decoding the Signatures of Monsoons Past in Fossils and Genes

Studying how a changing monsoon could affect our biodiversity Scientists predict that the current bout of climate change, induced by human activities, will severely impact the monsoon. How will the expected change in this weather system affect India’s rich biological diversity? Given the complexity of both the monsoon and anthropogenic climate change, the answer is […]

Mysore and the Making of a Modern Science Institution

The State of Mysore played a crucial role in helping establish IISc and influenced its research in the years that followed “Mysore is the best administered state in the world,” John Sankey, the Lord Chancellor of Great Britain and a human rights activist, is said to have declared during the first Round Table Conference in […]

Cracking the Puzzle of the “Mother of All Molecules”: A Conversation with Venki Ramakrishnan

How is genetic information translated into chains of amino acids which combine to form proteins, the building blocks of life? In Gene Machine, published by Harper Collins India, Nobel Laureate and the President of the Royal Society Venkatraman Ramakrishnan – better known as Venki Ramakrishnan – answers this fundamental question in biology even as he […]

Why You Should Work Out for a Healthy Brain

American neuroscientist Michael Zigmond’s research shows that physical exercise could go a long way in fighting Parkinson’s disease Michael Zigmond is a believer. “I don’t know why anybody wouldn’t want to be a neuroscientist,” quips the IISc-DST Centenary Chair Professor. Notwithstanding his evangelism about the virtues of a career in neuroscience, Zigmond found his own […]

‘Neither Indian Nor European, But Something New’

The Common Dining Hall built by Otto Koenigsberger in 1944 was a creative experiment forced upon him by circumstances The Students’ Hostel Office in IISc is located in a unique building. Sandwiched between Nesara and Kabini restaurants, its unusual form is surprisingly well-concealed, even from the discerning eyes of those who walk past it routinely. […]

The ABC of X and Y

Jennifer Graves is Distinguished Professor at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. Her groundbreaking investigations into how genomes are organised in Australia’s unique fauna have yielded insights into our understanding of evolutionary genetics, particularly the function and evolution of mammalian genomes. She is also well known for her influential studies on human sex chromosomes and […]