About five years ago, at Gubbi Labs, we started Research Media Services to bridge the gap between the science that’s within the shackles of research institutes in the country, and the general public who pay for these scientific activities and are beneficiaries of the same. The larger goal of this initiative was to raise the bar of scientific literacy across the country. For a start, we started working with a few research institutions, helping them disseminate their published research as accessible news stories. We also set up the Science Media Center at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) that ran for about four years.
Fast forward to 2017, we launched Research Matters in November to cover important and newsworthy research from leading institutions across India. Soon, we expanded to cover current affairs in Indian science, interviews of pioneering, award-winning scientists, a series of podcasts called 'Research Bytes', snippets of scientific concepts named SciQs and cartoon-based communication of science under Sci-toons. In 2018, we launched our ambitious initiative of disseminating science in Indian regional languages, starting with Kannada. Today, we are proud to be perhaps the only science communication portal that has its content in five regional languages, including Assamese, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, and Tamil. In summary, we reach about 60% of India’s native language speakers, apart from English.
Throughout this journey, we have ensured that our articles are not only engaging but also accurate. We do this through our stringent vetting process where the concerned researchers or experts verify most of our stories for factual correctness before publishing the same.
Going forward, we plan to diversify our offerings furthermore. For 2019, we have already begun with Friday Features, a science fiction column called Fiction Friday, a series called 'News and Views' discussing topical opinions in science, and Op-Eds, reflecting opinions on topical issues related to science. We now want to take a leap into talking about the joy of doing science and how scientific studies should be interpreted by the public for better understanding. And of course, we want to expand our foray in more regional languages and roll out our podcasts in at least two more languages for the year!
We are very proud of our team at Research Matters that comprises of award-winning science reporters, who have a sound background in science. Unlike most other initiatives, all our team of editors and writers are trained scientists with an education level of post-graduation and PhDs, which helps us build accurate science content that is not misleading or is exaggerated. They are also trained to be science writers and journalists, having won accolades for their work, nationally and internationally.
Most science communication initiatives and news outlets are now moving to subscription-based models to fund their work but we want science and knowledge to be freely accessible to the masses, which is why we will not charge people to access our content. However, it is very difficult to keep it free as we have to pay a team of writers, editors and others to run Research Matters. Most of the work we produce doesn't have a return on investment. Besides, we don't have ads on our website as we want to provide uninterrupted free content to our readers. Going forward, support from patrons is extremely important for us to continue creating free content daily.
In our mission to raise the bar of scientific literacy across the country, we solicit your support in any of the following ways:
- Support Joy of Science series
- Support our Podcasts
- Support Science stories in Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, Hindi and Assamese.