View this email in the browser 31 Mar 2021
IndiaBioscience Educators' Newsletter

Dear Educator,

We hope that you enjoyed the 2nd lecture of the IUBS centenary webinar series, The Serengeti Rules: The Regulation and Restoration of Biodiversity, hosted by IndiaBioscience earlier this month. The speaker was Sean B. Carroll, an eminent developmental and evolutionary biologist and an award-winning science communicator.

We are now gearing up to launch the next lecture of the series – Gombe and Beyond – featuring the famous ethologist Jane Goodall, who is not only a champion for chimpanzees but also an environmentalist, author and a UN Messenger of Peace. She is the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute. Register here to join her LIVE.

In our latest article on undergraduate biology education, we put the spotlight on the award-winning educator N. Latha and her views on the role of educators in the 21st century. We continue our efforts to help educators identify and tackle their students' Common Misconceptions in Biology with an article by educator Maya Murdeshwar describing how she addresses the knowledge gaps of her students on the different pathways of energy metabolism.

As the second wave of COVID-19 surges in several parts of the country, India is all set to roll out the next phase of its vaccination drive from 1 April. Get answers to some of the frequently asked questions around the vaccines against COVID-19 in this article. Also check out i wonder…’s special issue on the pandemic, now available in Hindi and Kannada.

We love to hear from you! You can share your thoughts at our discussion forums or write to us at And do connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram.

Learn | Lead | Educate

Talk with Teachers: developing academic depth beyond the curriculum
Vijeta Raghuram

N. Latha is a scientist and an award-winning educator in the area of bioinformatics & computational biology at Sri Venkateswara College, University of Delhi. The bioinformatics training facility that she has set up and been coordinating in her college has benefitted not only students but also several school and college teachers. Her work has won her many laurels, including the Excellence Award for Teacher in Service by the University of Delhi in 2019 and, more recently, the INSA Teachers Award 2020. In this interview, she shares with IndiaBioscience her reflections on education in the 21st century and the importance of conducting undergraduate research.

Queer-trans people in STEM talk about their mental health
Sayantan Datta

While there has recently been a movement towards recognizing and countering the mental health crisis in academia, such conversations often fail to take into account the nuances of aspects like caste, gender/sexual identities, economic factors, and intersectionality. In this article, Sayantan examines the way the experiences of members of LGBTQIA+ communities affect their mental health and suggests ways in which the situation can be improved moving forward.

Common Misconceptions in Biology – What Fuels the Body?
Maya Murdeshwar

Undergraduate students of biochemistry may know the sequence of reactions in different pathways of energy metabolism. But how well do they understand the interconnections between these pathways? Maya Murdeshwar, an educator from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, uses a quiz featuring cheetahs, triathlons and monozygotic twins to test her students and uncover their misconceptions around these pathways. She explains her approach in this article.

COVID-19 Vaccines in India: Frequently Asked Questions
Indian Scientists' Response to COVID-19 (ISRC)

Widespread vaccination against COVID-19 began in India on 16 Jan 2021. However, it can be difficult to keep track of all the information related to the same, with several different vaccines being offered by different manufacturers, as well as the rise of new virus variants.

Recently, Indian Scientists’ Response to COVID-19 (ISRC) collated publicly available information related to the vaccines globally in use in an easy-to-access format. We present an abridged version of some frequently asked questions answered in this document, reproduced here with permission.

How can we teach how to read a research paper to undergraduate students?
Anuttama Kulkarni

A lot of emphasis is given on introducing research in undergraduate curricula. On the other hand, there is little to no discussion about how to introduce the students to reading primary literature critically, or how to assess their understanding of it. Can there be a structured way of getting a regular undergraduate, who may or may not be interested in a research career, enthused about reading a research paper? How to test whether they have understood what they have read? These were the questions dealt by the educators of the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE), Mumbai while developing a three-day module for reading research papers. In this article, one of the facilitators of the module walks us through their process.

More articles on education

Discussion Topics
Educators in collaborative projects

Have you ever engaged in a collaborative project with your colleagues and peers, or with someone from a completely different background, like an artist or a performer? Please share your stories with us – what was the project and how did the collaboration help you and your students?

Write for IndiaBioscience

If you teach undergraduate courses in biology, we invite you to write for us. Email your ideas in 100- 200 words to with the Subject: “Pitch: Education”.
Here are some of the topics you can write about.

  1. A unique style of teaching that you use in your classroom.
  2. An event or an interesting development that has occurred in your institution, and how it affects you or your students.
  3. A misconception or misunderstanding that your students tend to have in your subject, and how do you address them.
  4. Pedagogical research conducted by you (explained in a simple language).
  5. An educational project carried out by you in collaboration with other teachers or other professionals.
  6. Digital/ online education.
  7. Current challenges in the area of education.
  8. Any other topic related to undergraduate biology education in India.

Want us to cover other topics? Please share your suggestions in the forum.

More discussion topics

Crafting your Career - Podcasts and Webinars
IndiaBiostreams: Directions, Transitions, and Challenges

In this session, we discuss the importance of professionalism and work ethics for effective career development. We also speak about the importance of good role models and mentors in facilitating one’s career journey.

Crafting Your Career (CYC) | 19 Informational Interview with Zeba Khatri — Scientific Editing

This is the twelfth​“informational interview” in the season on Crafting your Career in science. Here IndiaBioscience chats with Zeba Khatri, a Managing Editor at Cactus Communications. In this conversation, she discusses her journey as a scientific editor and insights into the field- a professional space where she has donned multiple hats.

More podcasts and webinars for students and educators

The role of a toxin-antitoxin system in tuberculosis
Shalini Roy Choudhury

The tuberculosis bacterium is notorious for its ability to stay dormant for years within the human body, evading the immune system and always one step away from causing aggressive infection. Now, a study from researchers at Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI), Faridabad, and Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTech), Chandigarh, has investigated a novel molecular pathway that helps the bacteria avoid being noticed by the immune system.

More news

SNU invites applications from individuals seeking nominations for Ramalingaswami/​Ramanujan/DBT-Wellcome Trust India Alliance Fellowships.
Shiv Nadar University
Deadline: 20 April 2021

National Brain Research Centre
Deadline: 07 May 2021

Executive Director
India Science Fest
Open deadline

Project Assistant
Science Gallery Bengaluru
Open deadline
More jobs

Computational Gastronomy: A Data Science Approach to Food
01 April 2021

Perspectives in Computational Biology
01 April - 03 April 2021

IUBS Centenary Webinar Series: Lecture 3 — Gombe and Beyond
27 April 2021
More Events


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