Vanya is a PhD student in the program, Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology, at the School for Future of Innovation in Society (SFIS) at Arizona State University.
B.Tech in Engineering Physics, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
Governance of Natural Resources
The Future of Natural Resource Management
Communication Accross Different Disciplines - How Do We Handle Disagreements
The Merits and Demerits of Science as a Method of Enquiry
At present, I am trying to understand the system of governance of forest resources in India. My central questions are: how and why are different parties (scientists, bureaucrats, social scientists, environmental activists, etc.) disagreeing among one another and what strategies can be undertaken to reduce these disagreements in order to facilitate collective action on what I see as the urgent problem of conserving the forest resources of the country?
I come from a physics background, and having undergone some scientific training myself, I am also interested in questions like: what is the role of 'science' (as a method of enquiry) in the current era of post-normal science? How can we make the best use of science and how can it be combined with other methods of enquiry to make decisions regarding urgent problems of this age? An example of this is, at present, forest scientists in India believe that 'incremental felling' of trees for timber is a good practice as it helps in reducing climate change as when the tree grows, it absorbs more CO2 from atmosphere, whereas the environmentalists believe that all kind of felling must be opposed and a tree must be left in its natural state, as a result, felling is banned in certain parts of the country. Now we can never know for certain whether incremental felling in a tree is good or bad for the environment (and under what conditions), but decisions still need to be made. My question is, how do we make such decisions?
Knowledge Impact Mobilization Award by ASU Graduate College for the year 2017-18
BOSS Award by IIT Delhi for best bachelors project in hard-core experimental physics (2013-14)