Mr. Anil Ananthaswamy

Awarded: 2014

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Science Writer, Consultant @ New Scientist Magazine
1985 - BTech - Electrical Engineering

Shri. Anil Ananthaswamy obtained his B.Tech. in Electrical Engineering from IIT Madras in 1985, and went on to complete his M.S. in Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington, Seattle in 1987.

Shri. Ananthaswamy is a journalist, writer and author. His foray into writing began during his initial stint in the software industry, when he wrote a book on data communications and object-oriented programming. He found his passion and boldly ventured into a career in "Science Journalism". He obtained a Science Writing Graduate Certificate in 2000 at the University of California, Santa Cruz. In 2005, he came up with the radical idea of combining science journalism and travel writing. This led him to different corners of the world, specifically to remote and inhospitable locations. In this grand adventure, he covered six continents, exploring a variety of exotic locations, ranging from the Atacama deserts in the Chilean Andes to the frozen recesses of Siberia. His experiences over a period of 3.5 years in extreme conditions resulted in a book called "The Edge of Physics" which combined the two genres of popular science and travel-writing and was published in 2010. "The Edge of Physics" was widely reviewed to critical acclaim by newspapers and magazines around the world, and has been variously described as "brilliant", "the ultimate physics-adventure travelogue", and "a wonder-steeped page-turner".

Shri. Ananthaswamy won the inaugural Physics Journalism Prize instituted by the UK's Institute of Physics for his feature for New Scientist on the "Square Kilometer Array" (the world's biggest radio telescope) in 2012. In 2013, he won the best investigative journalism award for his long-form feature for MATTER magazine on "Body Integrity Identity Disorder", a neurological condition in which people feel that their limbs do not belong to them and go to great lengths to self-amputate.

Anil continues to write for New Scientist magazine and other outlets. He has specialized in writing about physics, neuroscience and climate change. Currently, he is working on his next book titled "Maladies of the Self", which explores the neuroscience of the sense of the self.

In recognition of Shri. Ananthaswamy's vast expertise, varied experiences, and his success in the less-trodden path of Science Journalism, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer him this award.

© 2017 Indian Institute of Technology Madras.