Celebrate the wonders of science and technology at the third edition of India Science Festival 

India Science Festival (ISF) by the Foundation for Advancing Science and Technology – India (FAST-India), is back with the third edition of the festival! Themed around Continuum – ISF will run from the 8th to 23rd January 2022. The festival is online and open to all.

India Science Festival 2022 (ISF 2022) will be a 15-day long virtual celebration of science. This year’s Festival, themed around “Continuum – where have we come from, where do we go?”, will explore the evolution of science and technology and its vital and intriguing intersections with culture, politics and society through a multitude of creative, thought-provoking and engaging programmes. 

FAST-India’s CEO Jayant Krishna said, “Our foundation is delighted to present its flagship event, India Science Festival as a celebration of science and technology in India. Within a span of three years, it has already emerged as India’s largest non-governmental science communication platform. Our festival will feature some of the most celebrated speakers from the best-in-class universities like Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard University, University of Cambridge, Stanford University, University of Oxford, IISc, IISERs, TIFR-NCBS, Ashoka University, and more! Apart from India, the countries represented have spanned across the world like the US, Canada, Japan, UK, continental Europe, China, South Korea, Singapore, South Africa, and several others. This year we would also have several scientists from government labs and S&T institutes from India participating in the festival.”

The Festival has partnered with world-class organizations like Social Alpha, The Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute at Harvard University, National Science Centre – New Delhi, IndiaBioscience, Cactus Communications, Asian Century Foundation, MIT Knight Science Journalism Programme, Science Gallery Bengaluru, The Indian Express and DBT/Wellcome Trust India Alliance, to name a few, to offer people of all ages an opportunity to learn and engage in science that impacts our every daily lives and shapes our collective future.

The Festival will feature live talks, panel discussions and fireside chats with eminent Indian and international experts in the fields of STEM, humanities, media and business. The line-up of speakers include Prof Vijay Raghavan (Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India), Dr. Jyotsna Dhawan (CEO, DBT/Wellcome Trust-India Alliance), Prof. Tarun Khanna (Harvard Business School, USA), Deborah Blum (Pulitzer prize-winning science journalist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA), Prof. Bhramar Mukherjee (Biostatiscian, University of Michigan, USA), Kris Gopalakrishnan (Chairman, Axilor Ventures, India) and Prof. Gagandeep Kang (Microbiologist, CMC Vellore, India). These events promise to offer a window into some of the most exciting, cutting-edge discoveries and socially relevant science of our times. A sneak peek into the exciting line-up of science talks:

Eminent virologist and a critical voice of reason and science during COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Shahid Jameel in his talk will track the evolution of viruses and what it means for future outbreaks. 

The inimitable bio-roboticist Prof. Barbara Webb will share fascinating insights on how nature inspires modern technology in her talk on ‘what insects can teach us about robots?’. Distinguished roboticist and AI expert Prof. Sethu Vijayakumar will give attendees a talk on the future of automated robots, and will also give a live demo of humanoid robots from his lab!

Noted neuroscientists Prof. Anil K Seth and Dr. Sumaiya Shaikh, and celebrated psychologist Prof. Richard Wiseman will talk about how they use science to unravel the many mysteries of the human brain. 

This year’s Festival is themed around “Continuum – where have we come from, where do we go?”

World renowned geoscientist and science communicator Prof. Iain Stewart will trace the history of one of the most pressing challenges of our times, climate change, in an attempt to improve our current understanding of this global crisis.  

In his talk, Prof. Vikram Patel – one of the most influential and important voices on mental health globally – will address how empowering communities will ensure mental health for all.

Find the full list of talks here: http://www.indiasciencefest.org/talks  

The Festival will also feature engaging discussions and panel sessions involving historians, artists, filmmakers, writers and other professionals working at the convergence of science, technology, media, history and art.  

Award-winning journalist, author and broadcaster Angela Saini has been instrumental in starting a global dialogue on discrimination and inequity in science through her well-researched and compelling writings. Catch her at the Festival as she speaks about all this and more. 

Renowned historians of science, Dr. Jahnavi Phalkey and Prof. Dhruv Raina get together with science journalist Hari Pullakat to discuss the history of science and its coming of age. 

Written out of History: Forgotten Indian Scientists, a series of short films showcasing the unsung heroes from the Indian scientific community, will be unveiled at the Festival by its makers, National Geographic Explorer and filmmaker Munmun Dhalaria and biomedical scientist Dr. Minhaj Sirajuddin.

As part of the ‘ISF Booktalks’, Prof. Dashun Wang, author of ‘Science of Science’, will talk about decoding big data to elucidate the patterns and workings of science with an aim to improve scientific productivity and impact. 

Encouraging us to appreciate science in our everyday life, techie and musician, Krish Ashok, author of a fascinating book ‘Masala Lab’ will walk us through the science behind Indian cooking. 

Founder of ISF and MIT trained scientist, Varun Agrawal and best-selling author, Nistha Tripathi, will come together to discuss their new book ‘Futurepreneurs’ that explores various deep technology and artificial intelligence-based startups in India and demystify these concepts for the unversed. 

ISF will run from 8th to 23rd January 2022.

A variety of innovative and immersive workshops have been designed for the Festival to ignite and nurture young people’s interest and participation in science. These include sessions on science comedy and improv, science policy for dummies, science fact-checking, careers in science, science communication, astronomy class, DIY science experiments for kids and more! The virtual PhD Program Booth, a three-part workshop covering science writing, networking and marketing research using social media at the Festival, will offer a unique opportunity to PhD scholars and young researchers to hone their skills. 

There will be a variety of competitions and contests for young students and science enthusiasts alike.  TalkYourThesis (for MS/PhD students), SpinYourScience (science fiction writing) with celebrated science fiction author Shiv Ramdas and filmmaker Arati Kadav, Science in Focus, a photography competition and exhibition with the National Science Centre, New Delhi, Meme-Making and InQuizitive India (flagship science quiz competition) hosted by the popular stand-up comedian and quizmaster Kumar Varun will ensure there’s something for everyone at the Festival! 

This year’s Festival, as in previous year’s, aims to celebrate and explore science in every way possible by bringing together a diverse array of professionals to engage and inspire a wide-ranging audience. Register on our website to receive live updates from the Festival. The program schedule of India Science Festival can be accessed here

Attendees can catch all the action on social media:

Facebook: @indiasciencefest

Instagram: @indiasciencefest

Twitter: @IndSciFest

LinkedIn: @indiasciencefest

YouTube: @tinyurl.com/2p82c7c2

About FAST-India

Founded by Varun Aggarwal and Ashish Dhawan, FAST-India is a non-profit institution of excellence dedicated to build capacity and advancing policy solutions that foster scientific enquiry and research, and facilitate the creation, and dissemination and translation of new scientific knowledge in India. 

The work at FAST-India is broadly divided into five verticals: Policy reforms, Government Engagement and Support, Capacity Building for Institutions, Engagement with the Corporate Sector and Science Communication, with India Science Festival (ISF) serving as the flagship event of the Foundation. 

About India Science Festival (ISF)

Since 2019, ISF has endeavored to serve as a platform for deeper engagement between scientists, researchers, professionals, entrepreneurs, young people and the public at large. We wish to have the public involved in the latest in science and get all actors in the ecosystem to discuss, collaborate and progress together.

Shruti Sundaresan, Program Coordinator, India Science Festival: shruti.sundaresan@indiasciencefest.org.

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