February 12, 2015

Panos South Asia holds a symposium on Science, Environment and Media in association with IIT-Delhi and Centre for Studies in Science Policy

Panos South Asia, IIT Delhi, and Centre for Studies in Science Policy, Jawaharlal Nehru University  together organised a two-day symposium on Science, Environment and Media: Discussing Experiences in South Asia at IIT Delhi on November 15-16, 2009.  In recent years, the challenge of development and its impact on the environment has been deeply implicated in debates about the practice of science and technology (S&T). The idea of development, some argue, is increasingly unable to draw upon the legitimacy of S&T.  In part, as contended, because the very claims of S&T are beginning to be questioned for their neutrality. Not surprisingly, therefore, issues of genetically modified foods (GMOs), large dams, nuclear energy, biotechnology, nanotechnology and even renewable energy are beginning to be recognized as contested terrains. Both the idea of development and the practice of S&T, in fact, cannot be understood independent of political and social contexts. While academia has tended to focus on exploring links between S&T claims and development outcomes, the media has concentrated on reporting the nature of the complexity of experiences on the ground. This symposium, brought together academics, journalists, lawyers, activists and policymakers to explore the many-layered tensions between research and reportage.

Two-Day Symposium on Science,  Environment and Media: Discussing Experiences in South Asia
Organised by Panos South Asia, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, and Centre for Studies in Science Policy, Jawahar Lal Nehru University

Venue: IRD Conference Room, 7th Floor, Main Building, IIT Delhi
Dates: November 15-16, 2009

November  15, 2009, SUNDAY

10:00-10:15  Introduction

10:15-11:15  – Translating science for the laity in a postmodern world: A crisis of belief or a triumph of dogma?

Speaker – Sundar Sarukkai, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore
Discussants – Nalaka Gunawardene, Science journalist, Sri Lanka.
Shobhit Mahajan, Dept of Physics, Delhi University

11:15- 11:45                         TEA-BREAK
11:45-12:45 – Science, power and democracy: Reimagining the dialogue on knowledge

Speaker – Shiv Visvanathan, Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and  Communication Technology, Ahmedabad Discussant – Rohan D’Souza, Centre for Studies in Science Policy, JNU
12:45-2:00       LUNCH-BREAK

2:00-2:30 –    Faustian Deals: The ambiguous role of science in resolving environmental controversies

Speaker  – Prof A H Nayyar, Sustainable Development Policy Institue, Pakistan (Lead speaker)
Moderator -Ambuj Sagar, Professor, climate policy, IIT Delhi
2:30-3:15    Climate change

Speaker  – Ajay  Mathur,  ex-TERI and now member of Indian negotiating team on climate change
Discussant –  Krishna Rao, climate scientist, IIT Delhi
3:15-4:00   Nuclear energy

Speaker  – Prabir Purkayastha, Delhi Science Forum
Discussant – A S Panneerselvan, Panos South Asia
4:00-4:30      TEA-BREAK

4:30-5:15  Toxics

Speaker – Nityanand Jayaraman, Corporate Accountability Desk, Chennai
Discussant –  Alok Dhawan, Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, Lucknow


5:15-6:00  GM foods

Speaker –  P M Bhargava, former director, Centre of Cellular and Molecular Biology,  Hyderabad
Discussant –  Suman Sahai, Gene Campaign, Delhi

November  16,2009, MONDAY

10:00-10:30 –  Ecology and economy: can the twain ever meet?

Moderator  – Amita Baviskar, Delhi School of Economics

10:30-11:30  Courtroom conundrums

Speaker – Leo Saldanha, Environment Support Group, Bangalore

Discussant – Usha Ramanathan, law researcher, Delhi


11:30-12:00   TEA-BREAK
12:00-12:45  Policy predicaments

Speaker – Dipak Gyawali,  Water expert and former minister, Nepal
Discussant – Shafqat Kakakhel (Pakistan), former deputy director, UNEP

12:45-2:00  LUNCH-BREAK
2:00-2:30  The complex craft of covering the environment

Moderator – Nalaka Gunawardene

2:30-4:30   Reporters’ Notebooks

Speakers – Rajesh Mahapatra (Hindustan Times), Nalaka Gunawardene (Science journalist, Sri Lanka), Latha Jishnu (Business Standard),  Nitin Sethi (Times of India)


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