Panel 3: Role of Alternative Media in Taking Science to a Wider Audience

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Gone are the days when the columns of text in the morning newspaper or the staid newsreader on evening television was the only source of news for the reader. Today, there are various channels as well as formats to tell a story. There is print, online and television. There can be conventional reports or social media posts. Feature articles or video documentaries. Photo-essays or podcasts. Every channel and every format has its reach, often larger than is commonly known.

How can science communication make use of each of these optimally to reach the widest cross-section of the people? Scientists and communicators from alternative channels come together in this panel to break myths, dispel common concerns about alternative media and explore the future of science communication.


  • Prof. Satadal Saha, Visiting Professor, School of Medical Science & Technology, IIT Kharagpur
  • Prof. Swagato Chatterjee, Assistant Professor, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur
  • Prof. Jenia Mukherjee, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Humanities & Social Sciences, IIT Kharagpur
  • Satarupa Sen Bhattacharya, Editor, Citizen Matters
  • Dr. Lipsa Panda, Scientist & Visual Communicator
  • Sujoy Dhar, Founder & Group Editor, India Blooms News Service
  • Dr. Meher Wan, Scientist, CSIR- NISCAIR, Associate Editor, Science Reporter

Prof. Satadal Saha is Visiting Professor, School of Medical Science & Technology, and Project Director, Dr. B.C. Roy Institute of Medical Science and Research. He is a practising General Surgeon, with over 25 years of experience focusing mainly on laparoscopic and Colo-rectal surgery. His clinical work encompasses complex Gastro-intestinal tract cancer surgery, including Pancreatectomy and breast surgery. His research interest is Biomedical Systems. He has been deeply involved in rural healthcare delivery, development of rural healthcare software and skill development for poor rural youth. The ‘School for Skills: Allied Health Sciences’ founded by him in Birbhum in 2013 now has 7 centres across 5 districts in West Bengal.

Prof. Jenia Mukherjee is Assistant Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Kharagpur. Her main areas of interest are environmental history; political ecology; urban studies; and development studies. Trained in the discipline of history and specialized in environmental history, Prof. Mukherjee was selected as one of the 20 World Social Science Fellows in 2013 by the International Social Science Council, UNESCO on ‘sustainable urbanization’. She is presently elaborating the spatio-temporal scale of her research on the ‘blue infrastructures’ of Kolkata to contribute within the emerging field of political ecology with an explicit ‘developing’/ ‘third world’ perspective. She has headed and been part of several international collaborative studies, including the Hugli River of Cultures Pilot Project, from Bandel to Barrackpore (2018-20) and the SSHRC (Canada) funded project on ‘Dried fish matters: ’ (2018-25). She will also be working on ‘hydrosocial dynamics’ of the lower stretch of the Ganges with political ecologists and geographers of the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

Prof. Swagato Chatterjee is Assistant Professor, Vinod Gupta School of Management. Prof. Chatterjee’s areas of interest are Predictive Analytics, Game Theory, Big Data Analytics, Statistical Decision Modeling, Marketing Analytics and Bottom of Pyramid Marketing. Prof. Chatterjee is widely consulted by the industry and has consulted Fortune 500 companies, automotive and beverage brands as well as nationalized banks. He has also done Analytics consultancy for various organizations and institutions, including for media organizations, finance corporations, beverage companies and audit firms as well as for government organizations and NGOs. He has also edited peer-reviewed journals in his areas of interest, such as the Journal of Indian Business Research.

Sujoy Dhar is a journalist and writer based in Kolkata. He works with several foreign news agencies and publications as a correspondent. He is the only correspondent for Reuters in Kolkata and is a writer for Inter Press Service (IPS), Global Times (China), Women Feature Service (WFS) and PAN (Afghanistan), among others. He has worked for Washington Times for over two years and has written for Boston Globe, Al Jazeera, Time Asiaweek and other global publications. He now runs a 24×7 news agency, India Blooms News Service (IBNS) and its portal arm as the Editor-in-Chief, and a feature service, Trans World Features, along with co-editors/partners. He recently launched two more portals on subjects of his interest: Not in Town (on travel) and Just Earth News (development news).

Satarupa Sen Bhattacharya is National Editor at Citizen Matters, an online civic media platform that researches and reports on critical urban issues, ideas and solutions for cities. A content specialist with a strong flair for writing and editing, Satarupa has over 15 years of experience in writing, editing, planning and strategizing content for various alternative media channels, including a print magazine, a leading online news portal and an online magazine focused on development-cum-public affairs.

Meher Wan received his PhD degree in physics from Allahabad University in 2015. He did his post-doctoral fellowship at ATDC, IIT Kharagpur. His research interests include CVD growth of carbon and transition metal dichalcogenides (1-D & 2-D) nanostructures and micro/nano-fabrication of devices. He is currently Scientist at CSIR- National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources, Editor of Indian Journal of Engineering and Materials Science, and Associate Editor of Science Reporter.

Lipsa Panda is currently working as Researcher and Visual Communicator, Lancet and FT commision: Governing Health Futures, CSIR-IGIB. She holds a PhD in Respiratory Immunology from CSIR- IGIB, Delhi. To follow her passion of visualizing science, she renounced her postdoctoral fellowship and went on to study graphic design from Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts and Communication, Delhi. As an anti-disciplinary researcher, she has worked with various individual projects such as GARBH-Ini, SOLID, TRISUTRA, NCBS, Elsevier and many more where she has contributed to amalgamate their Science with Design. Apart from national projects, she is a consulting designer for I-DAIR (supported by Fondation Botnar and accompanied by Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator Foundation).