Sciencing up participation, and participationing science

That health, education and various other public services are distributed unfairly is not new for human societies; the level of unfairness however appears to be on the increase. This is indeed counter-intuitive, given the last few decades’ strides in economic progress and even improved average lifespan and improving access to health globally. Despite widespread feeling that inequalities in health or healthcare distribution is explained by chance or by other proximate explanations such as distance or wealth, the “causes of the causes” are invariably lying within social factors (see my recent TedX talk on health as a matter of chance, or of choice). Continue reading

The puddle in the mind

A lotus bloomed over a puddle

Glistening in the morning sun.

A cheer to the shepard

and to the maiden alike,

While the fisherman pondered on.
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Niti Aayog Report Healthy states, progressive India: A rapid Karnataka-centred assessment

The Healthy states, progressive India report (HSPI report) seeks to assess various Indian states in terms of their performance in health over time. I have noted below a few quick points from a Karnataka-centred perspective. The note is written mainly for the purposes of generating discussion and debate on strengthening Karnataka’s health. This assessment is by no means a comprehensive summary of the report. The full report is available on the Niti Aayog website here: Continue reading

Healthy by chance, or by choice

I was recently invited to speak at a TEDx event organised by a school in Hyderabad. Given my research interests on health equity, I chose to build my talk around a foundational element of public health itself: what makes one healthy, is it a matter of chance (for eg. through genes), or by choice (through specific “healthy” behavioural choices, one “chooses”).

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Quizzing in the days of eBird

Nothing like a good quiz to get a bunch of bird-geeks up and about. That was the experience of helping with putting together a quiz on birds. In the days of eBird of course, it becomes easier to come up with bird trivia from a given location (first photographic record on eBird of the Jerdon’s Courser, for example, or the Bugun Liocichla).  Continue reading