Indian science is experiencing a boom right now, with the establishment of new institutes and funding like never before. However, science forms only 6-8% of news in Indian media, with articles reproduced from international news agencies, or not articulated very well.
For the layperson, accessible science can make all the difference between a good decision and a bad one. At another level, well-presented science has a “wow” factor, which appeals to the innate curiosity in human nature. Most science is funded by public money, and we feel that the research community has an obligation to tell the public how their money is being used. We cannot expect scientists to have the time and energy to do this, so we propose to step in – we will endeavour to make science as appealing to the layman as his daily dose of cricket.
In recognition and as a response to this, Gubbi Labs is facilitating this endeavour with a Research Media Services.
This was envisioned by Dr. Sandhya Sekar, Dr. HS Sudhira and Dr. Madhurima Das as part of the research collective Gubbi Labs in 2013-14. The first flag-ship project was the establishment of the Science Media Centre @ IISc — a media centre for the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), one of India’s premier research institutes. RMS has now spread operations to other institutions, and started working closely with the media; a team has started regular podcasts too. We have named this science communication endeavor Research Matters, and we post something new almost every day. A virtual team spread all over India (and quite a few overseas) has been writing popular science pieces, ranging from press releases to long-form pieces for media outlets.
We have established a process where all stories published by us go through a dual vetting process, first by the concerned researcher and then by the institution, to ensure that the stories / releases are factually correct. We also bring out a weekly digest every Thursday based on science/research based stories through Research Matters. In the digest, we also curate research based stories that are published in other media. To subscribe, please sign up here. Also the issues for the past weeks can be accessed here.
As of 15th October 2017, we have sent published 800+ stories/releases (of which 580+ stories/releases are from IISc alone). Among these, about 350 have been picked up by different print and internet media, resulting in more than 1000 plus unique appearances in a span of 38 months. Some of the wider coverage is also made possible through a strategic partnership that Research Media Services has with several press and media houses. We have also established connections with editors of local/regional and national dailies, which have been carrying stories based on our stories. We are also now establishing new partnerships for wider dissemination in digital media platforms.
Sandhya Sekar, one of the co-founders of Research Matters was also the Chief Editor until October 2017. She has now moved on to become Managing Editor at Mongabay-India. Madhurima Das, another co-founder was the Chief Evangelist until June 2016 and has now moved on.
This website will have detailed, accurate and accessible information on the latest science from India, with periodic updates. The content on this website are made available for free to individuals under a Creative Commons license for personal, commercial or non-commercial purposes while for media houses and for-profit organisations for reusing content they are governed by the Terms of Service.