Interviews

Reflections of a Pioneer Woman Scientist

Reflections of a Pioneer Woman Scientist

In her career as a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mildred “Millie” Dresselhaus, who is now 83, has researched the electronic structure of carbon in its myriad forms. Dresselhaus was in Oslo for the Kavli awards ceremony this year. I caught up with her for a chat for Science. Q:Tell us about your early years at MIT. A:I earned my Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1958 and married a fellow physicist that year. We both joined the research staff of MIT’s […]



The Rooster Sauce Guy

The Rooster Sauce Guy

A food writer based in southern California, Randy Clemens is best known as the author of The Sriracha Cookbook. This 2011 cookbook is dedicated to cooking with a southeast Asian sauce named after its Thai town of origin, Si Racha. In the U.S., the chile-and-garlic sauce is frequently referred to as “rooster sauce,” after the bird logo on the most popular brand, made by the California-based Huy Fong Foods. In recent years, Sriracha has become so trendy that, in 2010, Bon Appétit magazine dubbed it […]



Take my taxi to the moon

Take my taxi to the moon

Susmita Mohanty, the founder of India’s first private space company, Earth2Orbit, wants India to claim bigger piece of the space-launch pie.She is CEO of Earth2Orbit, which recently launched its first client satellite. An aerospace entrepreneur and spaceship designer, she has worked at NASA and Boeing, and holds a PhD in aerospace architecture How active is India’s space programme? The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), which was founded in 1969, launches rockets, builds and uses satellites extensively for earthly applications and has recently started planetary exploration. […]



Research that lights up lives

Research that lights up lives

Here is a picture that represents the gestation of Project Prakash. In order to get a first-hand sense of childhood blindness in India, Prof. Pawan Sinha visited a few places in the country, distant from the ambit of urban medical care facilities. Here he is working in a village with a young girl who gained sight in one eye at the age of 7 years. She is 11 years old in this picture. Also seen in the picture is Dr. Asim Sil, an ophthalmologist who […]



Chef Praveen Anand of Dakshin

Chef Praveen Anand of Dakshin

Praveen Anand is a Chennai-based chef trained in western cooking. Today, his passion is authentic South Indian food. His embrace of the traditional is significant in a nation that has quietly begun discarding some of its food customs. In his two-decade long career, he has researched foods of various communities in Southern India bringing dishes from each of them to a wider audience. The fruits of his labor are evident at Dakshin, listed as one of top 20 restaurants in Asia in the authoritative Miele […]



The “Raman Effect”

The “Raman Effect”

Abha Sur is part of the humanities faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As a physical chemist, she taught the subject and also published several papers on laser spectroscopy, her field of specialization. Then, the focus of her research shifted, taking her from the lab bench to the library archives. She wanted to find out more about the life and times of India’s first Nobel Laureate. Sir C. V. Raman’s (1888- 1970) name is immortalized in science because he demonstrated the molecular scattering of […]



Tarzan Girl

Tarzan Girl

Margaret Lowman is a pioneer in canopy science, a subset of field biology, and the author of the best-selling Life in the Treetops. She also co-authored It is a Jungle up there with her two sons. A professor at North Carolina State University and Director of the Nature Research Center in Raleigh, she is currently a Fulbright Senior Specialist Scholar to India. Q Why is it so important to study life in the treetops? A Forest canopies are the interface between atmosphere and earth — […]



“Particle Physics At The Crossroads”

“Particle Physics At The Crossroads”

Prof. Rohini Godbole, particle physicist, is a researcher at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. In a parallel universe, she would have been a Bank of Maharasthra employee: she was offered a job after she topped Pune University in B.Sc., Physics. “The salary was almost as much as my father’s at that time,” she recalls. A scholarly life, she decided, would suit her better. Today, she is part of a select group of scientists who will decide the design of the next-generation particle accelerator based […]



The Scent Expert

The Scent Expert

We humans use a combination of our five senses — sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste — to navigate the everyday world. Among those who operate without the benefit of one or more of these senses, the blind and the deaf have our immediate sympathy. But what of a person who cannot smell — an anosmic? Can we even begin to fathom her frustration? Smell is an undervalued sense. When we can drink in the scents and odors around us, it is hard to appreciate […]



One Minute with Nicholas Negroponte

One Minute with Nicholas Negroponte

Can tablet computers “parachuted” into remote areas transform childhood learning, asks Nicholas Negroponte, the man behind One Laptop per Child You’ll helicopter computers into remote areas so the children there can teach themselves to read and write. Where did the idea come from? One Laptop per Child (OLPC), even after giving out nearly 3 million laptops, is still criticised along the following lines: “Negroponte believes that you can give a child a laptop and walk away.” Whether I ever believed that or not is now […]