Published on March 8, 2014
Way too often, media coverage on science and technology tends to concentrate on topics of current fashion or what some people call as “high-fi” themes — be it the God particle, stem cell biology, or yet another nanomaterial. Articles that appear in “high impact” journals are covered more often while discoveries and analysis of everyday problems and suggestions to handle them, usually published in more modest journals are given the go-by. Two such reports concerned with pressing problems of everyday importance to India appear in the latest issue of Current Science (Volume 106, 10 February 2014, pages 343-345), which need to be highlighted. One of them has to do with the overload of phosphorus in the soils of Kerala and how it affects the health of the land and the waters of the region and what may be done about it. And the other is a report about the discovery of a few bacteria in the coast of Gujarat which can degrade plastic materials such as polythene. And it is a pity that main line media, right here in India, have not found them worthy of coverage and publicity.