Meera Subramanian (2016-17) sent around an email today inviting her KSJ classmates to a set of talks she’s giving in connection with her new book, “A River Runs Again: India’s Natural World in Crisis, from the Barren Cliffs of Rajasthan to the Farmlands of Karnataka.” We asked her to tell us more. Here’s her reply:
I entered life as a Knight Science Journalist recovering from my book. I’d spent years reporting on the ordinary people and micro-enterprises determined to guide India into a sustainable future and researching the science behind their efforts. I was, honestly, eager to take a break from all that and expand my horizons beyond the questions about sustainable development, clean energy, and species extinction that had consumed me.
And yet. In the fall I found myself seeking out researchers at MIT’s Tata Center, just a couple of floors down from the KSJ office. And squeezing in time for talks from visiting Indian entrepreneurs promoting renewable energy systems in India. And spending Friday nights at an Energy Fair in the MIT Museum. I took a class with Dan Schrag of the Harvard University Center for the Environment to grapple with the unforgiving kilowatts of renewable energy. Could they really offer the solution I proposed in my book?
As the spring semesters begin at MIT and Harvard, I continue to be drawn to going ever deeper into the driving question that spurred me to write the book in the first place: How do we humans, everywhere on earth, live rich and fulfilling lives, and spare finite planetary resources at the same time?
My answer continues to morph. Especially in the wake of Prime Minister Modi winning on a pro-development platform in 2012, not unlike President Trump’s ascension to the White House.
If you happen to be in the Cambridge area, you’ll have a chance to hear me thinking out loud about some of these inquiries a couple times this spring.
e4Dev student group of the MIT Energy Initiative (MITei)
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
MIT, Building E18, Room 304
50 Ames Street, Cambridge
Harvard STS Circle
Monday, March 27, 2017
12:15 – 2:00 p.m.
Harvard University, K262, Bowie-Vernon Room, CGIS
1737 Cambridge Street, Cambridge
(To get a free sandwich, be sure to RSVP by 5 p.m. Wednesday the week before!)
And as Boston gets busy with the AAAS conference, I’ll also be joining a panel hosted by Boston University’s Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Union of Concerned Scientists that will include Joe Romm, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress; Naomi Oreskes, co-author of “Merchants of Doubt” (and my spring semester agnotology professor); and AP science writer Seth Borenstein. All moderated by the John Rogers, senior energy analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Science & Environment: A Journalist’s Perspective
Thursday, February 16, 2017
4:00 – 5: 30 p.m.
Westin Copley Place Hotel
10 Huntington Avenue, Boston
Panel Discussion followed by cocktail reception and hors d’oeuvres.
This event is free and open to all.