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Lab Hopping- A Journey To Find India's Women in Science

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Item Code: HAJ028
Publisher: Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd.
Author: Aashima Dogra And Nandita Jayaraj
Language: English
Edition: 2023
ISBN: 9780670090990
Pages: 304
Other Details 9.00 X 5.50 inch
Weight 450 gm
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Shipped to 153 countries
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Book Description
About the book

From Bhopal to Bhubaneswar, Bengaluru to Jammu, Aashima Dogra and Nandita Jayaraj engage in thought-provoking conversations with renowned scientists, such as Gagandeep Kang, Rohini Godbole, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and Prajval Shastri, as well as researchers at carlier stages of their scientific careers. These dialogues about the triumphs and challenges faced by women offer fresh perspectives on the gender gap that continues to haunt Indian science today.

Our labs are brimming with inspiring stories of women persisting in science despite facing apathy, stereotypes, sexism and other systemic challenges. These stories reveal both a broken system and the attempts by extraordinary women working to fix it. By questioning whether India is doing enough to support its women in science and if Western models of science and feminism can truly be applied in India, the authors not only offer a comprehensive examination of the state of women in science but also a road map for the way forward.

About the Author’s

AASHIMA DOGRA is a freelance science writer and editor. Her time in a Pune lab pushed her to embrace her love for science stories and pursue a master's degree in science communication in 2009. Since then, she has enjoyed researching and creating engaging science media that has been published on various platforms for Indian as well as international audiences. She was an editor at a children's science magazine, where she met Nandita. Aashima has people she calls home in Austria and India.

NANDITA JAYARAJ completed her master's in bioinformatics and a diploma in journalism.in 2012. She has since been writing, editing and creating various kinds of science media. Her work has appeared in publications such as The Hindu, Scroll.in, TheWire.in and Mongabay-India. She is also an author of several children's books, such as Anna's Extraordinary Adventures with Weather and 31 Fantastic Adventures in Science, which she co-authored with Aashima Dogra. Nandita loves to travel and spends most of her time with friends and family in Kerala and Karnataka.

In 2016, Nandita and Aashima embarked upon a cross-country tour across Indian science laboratories, an exercise they dubbed 'Lab Hopping! This evolved into one of India's most well-known (and one of the only science-centric) feminist media projects, thelifeofscience.com. The duo have worked on several projects and this is their second book together.


I was once introduced by a senior biologist at a lecture I was I giving, with the comment that I was an unusual woman. Unusual because I happened to be good at mathematics.

It was a moment that left me momentarily bewildered, vacillating between gratitude and offence. In the end, the audience answered on my behalf, gently admonishing the old gentleman with a ripple of mocking laughter. I can still remember the look of confusion on his face. To his mind, he was just paying me a compliment. He didn't realize that, in so doing, he was insulting all women.

It was a minor error on his part, but it pointed to a widespread problem. There remain lingering doubts in the hearts of many people that women can really do science, or at least do it as well as men. Thankfully, it is a fallacy that's undermined with every passing year as more women reach the peaks of their departments, join scientific academies and win Nobel Prizes-slowly undoing long legacies of deliberate exclusion. When, years ago, I had the pleasure of being on a panel on sexism in science with Biocon's Kiran Mazumdar Shaw (who was also interviewed for this book), she struck me as the most self-assured person I had ever met. She took no nonsense. Time is proving the sexist dinosaurs wrong. Eventually, all they will be left with is the sound of mocking laughter ringing in their ears.

But there's a long way to go until that day, and the wait is made longer by our failures to fix the deep-rooted problems that keep women from progressing in academia as quickly as men. The public might expect science these days to be a bastion of meritocracy and collegiate fairness-a world in which everyone is equal-but of course, as anyone who has actually worked in a lab will know, nothing could be further from the truth. Ego, status, money, honour, politics and prejudice-they all affect the work of researchers everywhere in the world. Scientists are human, after all. They're not gods (as much as some of them would like us to believe they are).

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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