Science Communication Conclave 2020 – Panel Information

Panel 1: Lab to Media – Bridging the Language Gap

Language remains one of the biggest barriers to the dissemination of current scientific news among a wider audience beyond the scientific community. The natural language of the scientist or academic is far removed from what a common reader will be able to grasp and relate to. Bridging this gap is the biggest challenge before science journalists, who serve as the conduit between scientists and society. 

How can stories from the domain of scientific research be presented in a language that catches the interest and imagination of all readers? 

How can such news be presented sans the jargon, but without oversimplifying the science in it or draining it of substance? 

Can journalists and scientists help each other resolve the language conundrum to pave the way for compelling media reporting of science stories? 

This panel brings together different stakeholders in this issue to explore answers to the above. 

Panelists:

  • Prof. Debasis Deb, Dean, Undergraduate Studies, Professor, Dept. of Mining Engineering, IIT Kharagpur
  • Prof. Pallab Dasgupta, Head, Centre for Classical & Folk Arts, Dept. of Computer Science & Engineering, IIT Kharagpur
  • Prof. Abhijit Mukherjee, Dept. of Geology & Geophysics
  • Chirosree Basu, Editor, The Kgp Chronicle, IIT Kharagpur
  • B R Srikanth, Executive Editor, Deccan Chronicle
  • Talat Salahuddin, Senior Journalist, Akhbar-e-Mashriq
  • Mohammed Safi Shamsi, Freelance Journalist & YouTuber

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Panel 2: Is Science meant for ‘Breaking News’?

News media in present times, and electronic/digital news media, in particular, suffers the compulsion of ‘breaking news’ every day, and in fact every hour in many cases. What this implies is the inevitable sensationalization of news and a disproportionate emphasis on packaging rather than content. In such a scenario, science news faces the double whammy of denial of space and/or distorted presentation. 

How do scientists see this problem? 

How do science journalists and editors in different media work with and around their mandates to present the right news at the right time? 

This panel will look at the realities of science reporting vis-a-vis the breaking news culture, and try to arrive at ways and means to present scientific news in a timely manner and with a proper perspective.

Panelists:

  • Prof. Priyadarshi Patnaik, Head, Rekhi Centre of Excellence for the Science of Happiness, Professor, Dept. of Humanities & Social Sciences, IIT Kharagpur
  • Prof. Sunando Dasgupta, Professor, Dept. of Chemical Engineering, IIT Kharagpur
  • Prof. Somnath Roy, Associate Professor, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, IIT Kharagpur
  • Indrajit Kundu, Associate Editor, India Today
  • Amal Sarkar, Chief of News Bureau, Ei Samay
  • Amit Sengupta, Head of Media and Communications – East and Northeast, British High Commission, India

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 Panel 3: Role of alternative media in taking science to a wider audience

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.

Panelists:

  • 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, Researcher and Visual Communicator, Lancet and FT commision: Governing Health Futures
  • Sujoy Dhar, Founder & Group Editor, India Blooms News Service
  • Dr. Meher Wan, Scientist, CSIR- NISCAIR, Associate Editor, Science Reporter

Click Here for the details of the Panelists