The Story Behind IISc’s Online Plant Database

A scientist and his small team of volunteers have steered the cause of plants by creating a unique database, an important first step in the battle for species conservation and habitat restoration On the third floor of IISc’s Biological Sciences building is a room which, at first glance, may seem like a computer science lab. […]

We Learned (the Hard Way) Not To Have Manels

B Chagun Basha is a Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Fellow at IISc’s Centre for Policy Research established by the Department of Science and Technology (DST-CPR). While organising an event at IISc, he and his colleagues realised that they hadn’t paid much thought to gender inclusivity until it was explicitly pointed out to them that […]

Why I Teach Science Students About Folk Arts

A faculty member reflects on an unusual course offered to undergraduate students This year, I am teaching the sixth edition of the undergraduate humanities course “Mapping India with the Folk Arts”. In this course, we delve into indigenous knowledge, or common people’s knowledge, focusing on a different form of Indian folk art every year. By […]

‘The Underdog as Scientist’

The following extract is a speech made by Krishnaraja Wadiyar, the Maharaja of Mysore from 1894 until 1940, at a ceremony to lay the foundation stone of IISc’s Main Building in 1911 Very deep is the responsibility which has fallen on me to-day of laying the Corner Stone of these magnificent buildings, the future home […]

How a Village School in Karnataka is Tackling its Wastewater

A unique pilot project helmed by a team of scientists from India and Scotland Berambadi (Photo: Rohini Krishnamurthy) About 200 km southwest of Bengaluru is Berambadi, a village nestled between mountains, swathes of agricultural fields, the Hirikere lake, and the Bandipur National Park. This verdant countryside with tidy roads that borders Karnataka’s neighbours Kerala and […]

Monkey Business

A 1963 memo about a certain kind of ‘pest’ on campus IISc offers a home to a range of flora and fauna, from the slender loris to stray dogs, and has a number of visitors passing through, including rare birds such as the Kashmir flycatcher. In a circular from the Archives, dated 26 April 1963, […]

Not Your Average Scientific Investigation

“I have had no occasion to analyse ganja for the purpose of giving evidence in court” On 26 October 1936, HR Uzielli, Secretary to the Government of Madras, Revenue Department, wrote IISc’s Director a letter about a drug investigation in which an Institute faculty member had been involved. A man named Dandapani Pillai had been […]

T Ramakrishnan, a Pioneer of TB Research

The story of an IISc scientist who brought molecular techniques into research on the deadly disease in India   A young T Ramakrishnan, who lived with his family in Ernakulam in Kerala, helplessly watched his mother being sent to Andhra Pradesh’s Madanapalle sanatorium, one of the few such medical facilities in the country created to […]

India on the Minds of IISc’s Undergraduate Students

What do maps of India have to do with an undergrad course at the Institute? If you attended the closing ceremony of ‘India on Our Mind’ – the exhibition on Indian maps held at IISc from 18 March to 20 April – you might have spotted a bunch of students being given certificates that day […]

The Indian Science Congress at IISc

What old brochures of the event tell us about its purpose, and about how IISc saw itself The Indian Science Congress (ISC), an annual gathering of scientists, was begun in 1914 by two British chemists, JL Simonsen and PS MacMahon, who wanted to model it on the British Association for the Advancement of Science. In […]