Jayashree Mazumder, is a PhD student at IISER Mohali. Jayashree participated in ISF’s flagship competition, Talk Your Thesis, and bagged the 2nd position.

Keep reading to know more about her experience!

India Science Fest is the biggest science festival in India, bringing together minds from different sectors and streams. When I came to know about ISF, I was very excited and wanted to be a part too and see where I stood in my presentation skills. The ISF Talk Your Thesis competition was a great platform that would give me the opportunity to present my work to everyone and helped me gain knowledge about the work conducted by others. We all could compete at the TYT platform without the fear of thinking if one stream is of greater importance over another. My experience at ISF has been great; however, I agree that the situation and experience might have been a lot more different and elaborate had there not been the pandemic.

Nevertheless, the ISF team did excellent work to conduct such an extravagant list of events through an online portal, thereby reducing the chances of virus transmission. When I first submitted my work to ISF, I just hoped it to make at least one round. In November, when I received the email that I made to the second round, I was super excited. Finally, making it to the final round was just like a dream come true. I am a person who dreams a lot, and every little dream gives me immense happiness. To make to the final round of ISF-TYT 2021 was one of the biggest dreams I ever had. I knew one thing for sure, providing students like me to present their work which is from remote regions and on topics that are seldom thought about due to various issues (funding, gender bias, regional problems, language, etc.) would make some impact on the upcoming generation of researchers. Sometimes, just one push is enough to get things going, and I wanted people to think about anthropology and primate mindset, also how we might have evolved.

With so many latest technologies coming up in this world, we tend to ignore some basics of evolution and life. I am so grateful to ISF for giving me that opportunity to make my contribution to science.

After making it to the final round, I was provided a mentor, Bryn Reinstadler (from MIT). Her feedback was the most valuable information that helped me refine my work and public speaking skills. Since she was from a different subject stream than me, I could understand the loopholes and jargon used initially. Thereby I could tone it better and make it readily understandable to people outside my field. My overall experience has been nothing less than remarkable. The amazing workshops I attended and being a part of the ISF and as a first runner-up for the TYT 2021 have been an incredible journey so far.

I will love to be a part of this fest every time. I am so glad that we as a scientific community, are growing so well. I wish every child in the world gets to witness the same.