View this email in the browser 25 Jun 2024
IndiaBioscience Educators' Newsletter – June 2024

Dear educator,

Some important announcements first: We are holding a science-art competition, called "Create-it!", to stimulate creativity and interdisciplinary thinking in life sciences students. We also bring you the 5th IndiaBioscience Outreach Grants to promote the practice of science outreach among the early-career life scientists' community in India. The deadlines for both are approaching fast. Apply soon!

At a time when many of us seek artificial intelligence (AI) for help with professional and personal assignments, can we use it creatively to enhance the teaching and learning of biology? Ishita Das, the speaker of our latest Education webinar, which took place last week, shares how this may be possible. Watch the recording of the webinar here. While there, don't forget to check out our other webinars from recent times.

What is more fundamental to living beings? Cells? Or cellular processes (like metabolism and replication)? To explore this question and the underlying philosophies, read the two-part article Life (sciences) in context- I: On living 'beings' and II: On living 'becomings' published this month.

In the last two months, we also published articles on other aspects of life science education, including instilling research ethics in students through well-designed courses and empowering educators through networking opportunities.

If you are looking for networking opportunities or to connect with like-minded educators online, our #EducatorsMonday posts on our social media handles are a great place to find them. On the last Monday of every month, we pose a question to educators to stimulate conversations on interesting topics in biology education. Our latest post is out on X (formerly Twitter), LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram! Join the threads today!

Did you enjoy an article, a webinar, or a post we published? Do you have an interesting idea about biology education or an experience you would like to share with your peers through our Education column? Do you wish to collaborate with us for an online/offline event for educators? Then reach us at education[at]indiabioscience[dot]org. We love to hear from you!

Do you know a colleague who might find our work interesting? Then invite them to subscribe to this newsletter by filling out this form. You can also stay updated by following us on X/formerly Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.

Please scroll down to learn more about our recent updates and activities.

Farewell to Vijeta Raghuram

In the last four-and-half years, the Education vertical at IndiaBioscience has been led by Programme Manager Vijeta Raghuram. Vijeta will be moving on from IndiaBioscience this month, and we remember some of her key contributions to this vertical and other programmes at IndiaBioscience.

During her tenure, Vijeta edited articles for the Education column and other segments and started a series of webinars and social media campaigns for biology educators. If you have enjoyed receiving and reading this newsletter in the last 4 years, it is thanks to her editorial work. She was also an instructor for some of the science communication workshops by IndiaBioscience and assisted in several team initiatives.

Vijeta has consistently brought high quality, passion, and commitment to her work over the years. She loved interacting with educators and new authors alike and looked forward to engaging with them at every opportunity. We wish Vijeta all the very best in her future endeavours!

In the next phase of her professional journey, Vijeta will continue being the Associate Editor of i wonder…, a magazine for school science teachers, by Azim Premji University. She can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with her on X (@VijetaRaghuram) and LinkedIn.

To the life science educator community: IndiaBioscience looks forward to continuing to engage with you via our many platforms, including our specially curated programmes for educators!

Competitions by IndiaBioscience
Create-it! A science-art competition by IndiaBioscience

This science-art competition 2024 is an exciting initiative by IndiaBioscience poised to merge science and art, challenge the boundaries of imagination, and foster interdisciplinary thinking in life sciences students — from Bachelor’s to PhD. The competition will accept entries till 30 June 2024. For guidelines and application form, click here.

5th IndiaBioscience Outreach Grants

IndiaBioscience strives to promote the practice of science outreach among the Young Investigator community in India via the IndiaBioscience Outreach Grants (IOG). We are now accepting applications for the 5th IOG!

These include the First-time Grants (for first-time applicants) and Extension Grants (for IOG awardees from the 4th IOG). The last date to apply is 15 July 2024 (11:59 PM IST). To know more, click here.

Life (sciences) in context – I : On living ‘beings’
Vasudev Menon

What is the living world made up of? In a series of two articles, Vasudev Menon, an Assistant Professor of Biology and Performing Arts (Theatre) at the Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, Pune, contrasts the way two philosophical views answer this question. He opines that understanding these views would help students place what they study in the ‘life sciences’ in context. This article is the first part of the two-part series.

Life (sciences) in context – II: On living ​‘becomings’
Vasudev Menon

Are we living ‘beings’? Or are we living ‘becomings’—constantly changing due to life processes occurring across levels of time and space? In the second (and final) part of this article series, Vasudev Menon, an Assistant Professor of Biology and Performing Arts (Theatre) at the Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, explains the worldview held by a school of philosophers that is central to understand the diversity and dynamicity of our biosphere.

How a pedagogy workshop led to an empowered network of educators
Anupma Harshal

Networking among educators can strengthen the entire education community. In this article, educator Anupma Harshal shares how a pedagogy workshop gave her and many other educators from across the country the opportunity to network and how the entire education community benefitted from it.

Shining a spotlight on academic integrity: A conversation with Sabuj Bhattacharyya
Bharti Dharapuram

Sabuj Bhattacharyya is the Research Ethics and Integrity Officer at the Biotechnology Research and Innovation Council-Institute for Stem Cell Science and Regenerative Medicine (BRIC-inStem), Bengaluru. In this interview, he speaks to Bharti Dharapuram, an ecologist and science writer, about the multiple facets of research ethics, the joys and challenges of teaching it, and building a more mindful research culture.

More articles on education
Reflections from the forge: Nurturing passion and craft in science journalism
Mahima Samraik

The 11th Annual Science Journalism Workshop (2024), led by Anil Ananthaswamy, at the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), was held from 19 to 30 March 2024. Mahima Samraik, a science communicator and a podcast host, and one of the participants, attests profoundly to how this workshop fostered collaboration, significantly enhancing the science writing skills of the 2024 workshop cohort.

Is ecological restoration “melodious” enough?
Mohit Nikalje

A recent study from Project Dhvani -- a collaborative research group which uses sounds to study biodiversity -- has found how the removal of invasive Lantana from forest patches can affect red-vented bulbul songs. The study provides insights into how the removal of these trees and plants could change the way sounds propagate in forests.

More news
IndiaBiostreams: Webinars by IndiaBioscience
Navigating AI in creative teaching and learning of biology
Speaker: Ishita Das

What is generative AI? What does ChatGPT do when you give it a ​‘prompt’? What are the benefits and limitations of generative AI tools in teaching and learning? How can educators use these tools creatively in their classrooms, while ensuring that their students do not become over-dependent on them? This webinar aimed to address these questions, and more, for biology educators and students from colleges and universities across India.

You can watch the recording of the webinar here.

The i3c-BRIC-RCB PhD programme
Virtual Town Hall: Episode 2

This was an informative and interactive session for prospective PhD applicants for the i3c BRIC-RCB Ph.D. Programme in Biosciences. You can watch the recording of the webinar here.

More webinars
Educators' Monday

On the last Monday of every month, we post a question for educators on all of our social media handles. We invite you to post your answers, see responses by others, and enjoy the threads of conversation.

Q: Which topic do you enjoy teaching the most to undergraduate biology students and why?
June 2024

You can post your response on X (formerly Twitter), LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.

Q: What comes to your mind when you think of networking?
May 2024

You can post your response on X (formerly Twitter), LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.

Curated Resources for Educators
Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology
Daniel J. Nicholson (ed.), John Dupré (ed.)

This book is a collection of essays presenting a view of living things, not as a collection of materials (like cells/organs/organ systems, etc.), but of processes (like replication, metabolism, etc.). It argues that living entities can be better understood when viewed as a composition of such processes.

This book is published by Oxford University Press under the license Creative Commons – Attribution – Non-Commercial – No Derivatives 4.0 (CC-BY-NC-ND).

More resources


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