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Media Cell

The Science and Technology Media Cell under IRCC is a student body responsible for collating and disseminating content and implications of significant research and development output from IIT Bombay to the general public through various media outlets.

The Need

The research and developmental activities of IIT Bombay currently do not have periodic and professionally written releases to the general public. With faculty and research scholars engaged in deep research and its communication to journals or conferences in narrow areas (albeit of high impact in that area), only a very few find the time and patience to write an article intelligible to a general audience. On the other hand many are more willing to talk about their research, in general seminars or when interviewed.  A related problem is in Science Writing itself.  Premier higher education institutions in India do not have a regular course in Science Writing, which is also an important profession for advancing and widening Science and the scientific spirit among the community.  The Media Cell is an initiative to actively seek and create popular science content from IIT Bombay and in the process, to also to engage and train IITB students with an interest in a career in Science Writing.  By keeping the cell predominantly run by students, it is hoped that a culture for active participation and creative expressions would set in.

Benefits of the Cell

  1. Public dissemination of IITB's S&T output  (How well public funded programs benefit the society).
  2. High visiblity of the research group and the work in the main website of IIT Bombay and in popular social media (attracting better talent for higher studies).
  3. Link to the original article (journal/conference) will be provided (may contribute to improved page ranks and hence better discovery and citations).
  4. Maintaining a culture of Science Communication of high standards
  5. Training of students in a profession of Science Writing.

How to Submit Articles

  1. About 10 Research Highlight articles will be published every month (amounting to about 10% of all the publications).
  2. Faculty and Students have to notify recent and high impact research or developmental work to .  A brief note of why it is considered high impact is essential as this will benefit the Media Cell in understanding the significance and to prioritise interviews.
  3. AURAAs (Academic Unit Representatives of the Student Body) will also be on the look out for such work from their department and alert the Media Cell.
  4. Media Cell will conduct an interview and create a draft article and appropriate graphic, which will be reviewed by the research group for factual accuracy.
  5. The article will be finally reviewed for style and presentation by a professional journalist/editor, before publishing it publicly.

Constitution of the Cell

The Media Cell consists of Editors, Graphic Designers and Science Writers.  This is the current distribution of the cell.

PositionRoleNumber of Students
Chief EditorManages the entire workflow from receiving requests to formation of teams and finally publishing articles on the web and elsewhere.2
Copy EditorEditing Language and Style4
Graphic DesignerProviding an appropriate attractive graphic, where it is not available2
Senior Science WriterConducts interviews with the research group (students and faculty) and collates and collaboratively edits the article written by junior science writers.4
Junior Science WriterPart of the interview team along with a Senior Science Writer.  Prepares popular science articles and participates in collaboratively editing the article.12

In the initial learning phase of the cell, all the articles will also be reviewed by a professional journalist/editor acting as a Consulting Editor, who will advise the students on the art of writing well to better connect with the audience. Apart from this there are two faculty advisors to provide broad guidelines and to liason with Dean R&D and PRO.  The PRO will also help in disseminating the articles through traditional and social media outlets.