Science Communication Conclave Speaker Bio

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Day 1:

Baidurya Bhattacharya is a Professor of Civil Engineering and the Dean of International Relations at IIT Kharagpur. His main research areas are Computational material science and Probabilistic Mechanics. He is a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Topic: Perspectives in Science Communication

T. V. Padma is an India-based science journalist, who has written extensively on science and related development policies in India, South Asia and developing countries. She currently writes for international and national outlets, including Nature, Chemistry World, Physics World, BioWorld, New Scientist; and for Hindustan Times. Earlier, she had been the founding South Asia head of SciDev.Net, a not-for-profit, free-access international science website focusing on science policies and research in developing countries, ran development communication projects as project editor-cum-coordinator at Panos Institute South Asia and science correspondent of the Press Trust of India (PTI). Padma was most recently the 2017 Journalist-in-Residence at Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS). She also authored a chapter on the advent of online science journalism in India, in a 2017 Springer publication “Bridging the Communication Gap in Science and Technology – Lessons from India”. Padma was part of SciDev.Net’s award-winning team in 2005 that won the Association of British Science writers (ABSW) prize for best science reporting on the web, for their coverage of the Dec 2004 Asian tsunami. She is also a recipient of the FAO’s World Food Day prize for best reporting on health and nutrition issues in India. Padma has reported from several international conferences and been part of science communications workshops in Asia, notably, UNESCO’s workshops on reporting on science of HIV/AIDS, for women science journalists, in Chennai and Bangkok. She has a masters degree in science and a post-graduate diploma in bioethics.

Topic: Evolution and Futuristic Trends in Indian Science Journalism

Dinesh C. Sharma is an award-winning journalist and author with over 30 years’ experience of reporting on science, technology, innovation, medicine and environment-related issues for national and international media outlets. Currently, his columns appear in Mail Today,,,, besides dispatches in medical journal, The Lancet and other international publications. He is also a contributing author for the Ecological Society of America. In June 2008, Dinesh had the privilege of becoming first Asian journalist to go to the Arctic to report on an ongoing international scientific expedition relating to climate change. This resulted in a science travelogue, Witness to the Meltdown (Vigyan Prasar, 2015). His career as an author began with the award of New India Fellowship in 2006. Since then he has authored three major books. An international, updated edition of his book on India’s IT industry was published by the MIT Press (USA) in 2015 as The Outsourcer: The Story of India’s IT Revolution, under its celebrated ‘History of Computing’ series edited by William Aspray and Thomas J Misa. In 2016, The Outsourcer won the prestigious Computer History Museum Book Prize instituted by the Society for the History of Technology.

Topic: Mainstreaming Science Beat in Indian Media Case Study: India Science Wire

Prof. Parthasarathi Chakraborty is Associate Professor at the Centre For Oceans, Rivers, Atmosphere and Land Science at IIT Kharagpur. A Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize awardee and winner of the National Geoscience Award (Ministry of Mines, Govt. of India), IAGC-Kharaka Award conferred by the International Association of Geochemistry. Prof. Chakraborty is an Associate/Senior Editor of several well-known journals, such as the Marine Pollution Bulletin, Bulletin of Environmental contamination and Toxicology and Current Pollution Reports. His main areas of interest are Metal speciation, Metal Biogeochemical cycling, Metal pollution, and Environmental Impact Assessment. Prof. Chakraborty has made unique and outstanding contributions to the field of Environmental Geochemistry that have facilitated the understanding of the metals-natural ligands interactions in marine environments. He initiated the metal speciation study in India to understand the role of metal-natural ligands interactions in controlling distribution, fate, mobility, and bioavailability of trace/toxic metals in marine environments.

Topic: Environmental Geochemistry – Ocean Pollution

Ipsa Jain is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Bengaluru. She did PhD from IISc in the area of Molecular Biology, Oncology (cancer cell migration and cancer drug resistance). Ipsa’s work is an exploration of the visual medium to bring science to a larger audience. She creates images that are inspired by stories of science. Her latest experimental work explores into the motifs and drawings inspired by microscopic and the natural world fit in the realm of art. She is currently a part of The Life Of Sciences collective.

Topic: Visual Science Communication – Graphics

Shwetank Shekhar Dubey – Starting off as a Radio Jockey with FM Rainbow, All India Radio in the year 2000, Shwetank Shekhar Dubey entered the world of journalism as a Radio Journalist with BBC World Service in 2001. He subsequently moved to print media with his first stint at The Statesman newspaper. He then experimented with Video Journalism with Mint, the joint venture between Hindustan Times and Wall Street Journal His return to print was with The Sunday Pioneer newspaper. He then joined The Times of India to launch the Noida edition. He was soon moved to the Delhi Edition where he is currently working as a Deputy News Editor and takes out the city pages. Over his experience of over two decades, Shwetank Dubey has written and reported on various topics, including politics, crime, science and technology, civic issues, book and movie reviews, among others.

Topic: Challenges of Science Stories in Print Media

Pathik Guha is the former Science Editor, The Telegraph. He has been reporting on science for the last 43 years, both in Bengali and English. He has been with the Dainik Basumati, Aaj-Kaal, The Telegraph, and now with the Anandabazar Patrika. He has mastered the art of science storytelling highlighting significant areas of work, policies, personas in vernacular media. He has edited science magazines and science supplements.

Topic: Science Communication through Vernacular Story-telling

Sahana Ghosh is a Microbiologist who took to journalism following her passion for writing. She is a staff writer with Mongabay, an international science news website. In her stories Sahana explores biodiversity, plough through scientific data, regulations and policy papers and mix it all up with emotions to bring to the fore human stories from the green lens. She writes about the greys-the unseen dots that connect science, technology, environment with humans and cultures. She anchors the series ‘Environment and Her’ in Mongabay-India. Sahana is a guest lecturer at the Statesman School of Print Journalism and a freelance writer with The Quint. Prior to this she was Principal Correspondent with Indo Asian News Service. She is an alumnus of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program and is a Solutions Journalism Network, Earth Journalism Network and Nature India Science Media fellow.

Topic: Solutions and Data Journalism for Science Reporting, Multimedia and Social Media Outreach

Day 2:

Prof. Swagata Dasgupta is Professor, Department of Chemistry,  and Dean, Office of Continuing Education and an acclaimed specialist in biophysical chemistry. Prof. Dasgupta heads the Protein Chemistry Laboratory at IIT Kharagpur where her group’s research is aimed at an understanding of protein interactions with small molecules, other proteins and nanoparticles. She is  a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore and  West Bengal Academy of Science and Technology and is a member of the program advisory committee on Organic Chemistry of the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) of the Government of, India. She has also served on the Women Scientists committee and the Early Career Research Award committee in Chemical Sciences.  Prof. Dasgupta is also one of the the Associate Editors of ACS Omega, a journal of the American Chemical Society.

Topic: The Art of Science Storytelling – Case Study Enzymes

Prof. Bhargab Maitra is a noted expert in urban planning and development, and transportation. He is the Head of the Ranbir Chitra Gupta School of Infrastructure Design and Management and Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering at IIT Kharagpur. Prof. Maitra is Life Member, Indian Roads Congress, Institute of Urban Transport (India) and Transportation Research Group of India. He has headed the Future of Cities Project of the Government of India and is widely consulted by the Central and state governments of India and government bodies in matters related to urban planning and transportation. Prof. Maitra is also been an international adviser for government agencies in Brazil and Saudi Arabia among other nations.

Topic: Urban Safety Planning and Transportation

Prof. Abhijit Mukherjee is a renowned hydro-geologist. He is Associate Professor, Geology and Geophysics, Environmental Science and Engineering and Associate Editor of several well-known journals, such as the Journal of Hydrology, and Groundwater for Sustainable Development. Prof. Mukherjee’s research areas are ‘Arsenic and other contaminants’, Interaction of groundwater with sea and river water, Groundwater recharge and estimation, Groundwater evolution of large sedimentary basins, Groundwater exploration, management and remediation and Influence of water systems on ancient civilizations. Among his current research is the use of AI in predicting future groundwater resources. He regularly works with top international organizations including NASA and the British Geological Survey.

Topic: Water Resources: Water Security, Virtual Water Flows, Water Governance

Prof. Brajesh Dubey is Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering and Associated Faculty, PK Sinha Center for Bioenergy. He heads the Environmental Engineering and Management Teaching and Research Lab at IIT Kharagpur. His research interests encompass some of the newer challenges of the environmental field and most of his research projects over the last decade and half have had direct application and policy implications. His main concerns are Geoenvironmental engineering, Integrated Solid and Hazardous Waste Management, environmental nanotechnology, biogas production from waste, waste treatment technologies, recycling of waste materials, emerging contaminants and sustainability issues. Prof. Dubey has edited several internationally reputed journals in the field of Environmental Engineering and Science and is member of both International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) and National Solid Waste Association of India (NSWAI). 

Topic: Waste Management

Prof. Saibal Gupta is Professor and Head of the Department of Geology and Geophysics. A well-known geophysicist, Prof. Gupta was conferred the INSA Teachers Award in 2019. He has also received Top Teaching Feedback at IIT Kharagpur from 2014-2018. Prof. Gupta’s main research areas are Structural Geology, Metamorphic Petrology and Tectonics. He is primarily interested in the nature and evolution of orogeny through time. At present, he is actively collaborating with geophysicists throughout the world in investigating the extent to which the exposed upper crust and the record of its geological evolution can give us an insight into the present-day lower crust. He is also investigating the role of tectonics in influencing contaminants in groundwater. With the Space Application Centre (SAC) in Ahmedabad, he is working on the identification of terrestrial analogues of the Martian surface.

Topic: Earth Sciences including Alternate Planet like Topography

Prof. Suman Chakraborty is Professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Dean of the Office of Sponsored and Industrial Research Consultancy at IIT Kharagpur. His research interests are in the area of Microfluidics, Nanofluidics, and CFD. Prof. Chakraborty is a Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar awardee and Fellow of various National and International Academies of Science and Engineering. He has had a pioneering impact on the understanding of the science of microscale fluid mechanics. His theory on electrokinetic transport of blood through microfluidic conduits has led to the development of an original device for analyzing the flow of blood from a droplet into a microfluidic capillary. His contributions on fluid flows in miniaturized devices, leading to the development of low cost medical diagnostic devices, is expected to revolutionize rapid, portable, accurate, and inexpensive medical diagnostics. 

Topic: Health Tech & Biomedical Entrepreneurship

Prof. Sudeshna Sarkar is Head, Centre of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence and Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Kharagpur. A much sought after consultant and researcher on both government, national and multinational organizations, Prof. Sarkar works with Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing. She is interested in applying AI and Machine Learning methods to different domains – from climate modelling and prediction to Intelligent transportation. She has been working with Natural Language Processing of Indian languages, information retrieval and recommendation systems and text mining applications. She is also interested in doing analytics of mobility data. As Head of IIT Kharagpur’s AI Centre, she is looking forward to developing NLP tools in Indian languages, evolving Integrated Information System and Knowledge Discovery Platform for oil and gas exploration, using data of natural resources and various rural and other government schemes for innovative solutions in social good among other objectives.

Topic: Artificial Intelligence and What Next?

Prof. Chacko Jacob is a scientist with major experience in thin film synthesis of wide bandgap materials like SiC, GaN, ZnO, diamond, and others. He is a Professor at the Materials Science Centre of IIT Kharagpur. The research in his lab is focused on developing gas phase synthesis methods for materials. His specializations are wide bandgap semiconductors, sensors based on these materials, direct fluorination of polymers, nanomaterials and nanostructures. Understanding the correlation between the processing conditions, the developed micro- or nano-structure and the measured properties is at the heart of most of the research undertaken at the lab. Prof. Jacob is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and Life Member of the Materials Research Society of India. 

Topic: Nano Materials & New Materials

Prof. Anandaroop Bhattacharya is Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Associate Dean, International Relations and Co-Professor-in-Charge, Academy of Classical and Folk Arts at IIT Kharagpur. His research his primarily based on the areas of Thermal Management of Electronic and Electrical Systems, Transport Phenomena in Porous Media and Gas Turbine Heat Transfer. He is also looking into the areas of Microscale flows, Electrohydrodynamics and Energy Cycles. A holder of several patents in India and abroad, Prof. Bhattacharya has extensive industry experience and his technologies have been incorporated in several industrial products.

Topic: Reading Research Papers

Prof. Partha Pratim Chakrabarti is former Director of IIT Kharagpur and Professor at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and Centre of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence at IIT Kharagpur. Prof Partha P Chakrabarti’s areas of interest include Artificial Intelligence (AI), Formal Methods, CAD for VLSI & Embedded Systems, Fault Tolerance, Algorithm Design and Digital Repositories. He has been an outstanding educator, mentor and stellar administrator and researcher. He has made fundamental scientific contributions in the area of Artificial Intelligence and Automated Reasoning. As researcher and administrator, he led the development of key Institutional Initiatives at IIT Kharagpur, led key National Initiatives such as the National Digital Library, and spearheaded collaborative work on behalf of and with government organizations, top R&D companies and academia worldwide. A Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar awardee, he is Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi and the Indian Academy of Science, Bangalore, Indian National Academy of Engineering and the West Bengal Academy of Science & Technology.

Topic: Vigyan Katha Sagar

Prof. P.B.S Bhadoria is Coordinator, Rural Technology Action Group and Visiting Professor Agricultural and Food Engineering at IIT Kharagpur. He is also the coordinator of the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan project at IIT Kharagpur and heads the Design Innovation Centre at the Institute. Prof. Bhadoria was coordinator of the Food Security Project of the Government of India from 2014-18. His main research interests are Development and Transfer of Rural Technology, Sustainable Agricultural Production and Products Design and Innovation. He holds 38 patents in rural technology and is a much sought after consultant by governmental and non-governmental agencies both at home and abroad. An organizer of 26 hackathons himself, Prof. Bhadoria was part of the jury for Smart India Hackathon, 2019, organised by the Government of India. 

Prof. Dillip Kumar Swain has been involved in teaching and research activities of the Institute since his joining in the year 2006. Prof. Swain completed his Doctoral Degree from Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India, which received the Fertilizer Association of India Silver Jubilee Award in 2003 for the outstanding doctoral research in Fertilizer Usage. Before joining this Institute, Prof. Swain worked as Post-Doctoral Fellow at the United Nations University, Tokyo, Japan, availing Japan Society for the Promotion Science Fellowship. Prof. Swain teaches the subjects: Systems Approach in Agriculture, Soil-Plant-Water Relationships, Crop Production Systems, and Organic Food Chain Management for undergraduate and postgraduate students in Agricultural and Food Engineering. The research areas of Prof. Swain are Climate Change Adaptations/Mitigations for Crop Production, Organic Farming and Sustainable Agricultural Production, and Crop Modeling and Simulation. He is working on assessment of climate change impacts on food grain production of India and evaluation of adaptations through environmental controlled experiment and simulation analysis. Prof. Swain is also involved in outreach activities through demonstration of food production
technologies in farmers’ fields.

Topic: Food Security