Although it’s recognised that women are a part of every possible field, there are still many women whose work in some sectors goes largely unrecognised. The book 31 Fantastic Adventures, written by Bengaluru duo Nandita Jayraj and Aashima Dogra, is dedicated to those women scientists who work relentlessly but are never in the public eye. Set to release on September 5, is the perfect retort to those who think women are not cut out for science or inventions.
Nandita Jayraj and Aashima Dogra are co-founders of the feminist science media website, Life of Science, the first of its kind focusing on women scientists and their dynamic work. Nandita asserts, “While we always read about science and its inventions in text books, journals, newspaper and other platforms, it’s always been about men. We thought of making this deliberate attempt, which showcases the work of women in science and bring their contribution to the notice of the people and the nation.”
With the Bengaluru-based duo’s four years of experience in scientific research across platforms, they chose to write about the impeccable work by women because Indian society does not recognise all that they do. There is a need to educate people that women can be good at science too, they believe. They say, “There is no equality in the entire nation yet. Though it is may not be too far to reach this point of equality, the more people that show more sensitivity towards these issues the more the hope for women scientists to be given their due.”
While the assumptions and misconceptions that women cannot work in the fields of science, research, discovery and invention are baseless, somehow the difference in numbers also displays the divide. 31 Fantastic Adventures: Women Scientists in India dispels such notions by divulging the hidden facts and unsung names of women and discussing their worthy contribution. When asked what motivated them to write this book, Aashima says, “Nandita and I work for a student magazine Brainwave, where we write stories and create illustrations about the subject and various field of science. We have noticed that the majority of work and pictures highlighted were of male scientists. Female scientists are barely given any importance. So, we started becoming conscious of the relatively small number of women in scientific history and thought about how we could change this narrative.”
According to them, the role of women in the shift in technology is an important topic to discuss and demonstrate too. Aashima says, “Somehow, our lives today are completely immersed in technology. But this tremendous development has not just come about through the inventions of men, but a number of women have been involved and their discoveries have gone down in history and are prevalent now as well. We want to shatter the influence of patriarchal output as dominant narrative. The work of Life of Science is to kind of challenge that and say a big ‘NO!’. Women are also doing great work.”...