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Two scholars named Radcliffe fellows

The fellowship is awarded to individuals proposing innovative work that confronts pressing social and policy issues

Radcliffe fellows Priya Sen and Sathyabhama Das Biju

Two Indians were selected for the Radcliffe fellowship (2023-2024), the Harvard Radcliffe Institute announced. The fellowship is awarded to scholars, artists, and practitioners proposing innovative work that confronts pressing social and policy issues and seeking to engage audiences beyond academia.

Delhi University professor Sathyabhama Das Biju popularly known as the frogman of India was awarded the fellowship. As a fellow, he will expedite efforts to outpace nameless extinctions in India’s amphibian hot spots through the discovery and documentation of species and identification of key biodiversity areas for conservation prioritization.

Biju has discovered more than 100 amphibian species and his work at Radcliffe will aim to accelerate these scientific efforts through on-site collaboration with Harvard faculty members, postdocs, and graduate students, and through the use of the rich specimen collections of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, said a release by the institute.

The biologist attracted global attention to amphibians in South Asia when his three decades of work discovered over a hundred new species, creating an upsurge in scientific knowledge, the release mentioned.

Filmmaker and artist, Priya Sen, who was also awarded the fellowship will be working on an absurdist, satirical video essay on the implausibility of further artistic or other representations of the India-Pakistan border, through an immersive engagement with Indian partition histories and resources at the Harvard Library and collections.

“I look forward to welcoming the new class of fellows and to fostering a community that transcends individual disciplines and is fueled by collective intellectual energy and creativity,” said Claudia Rizzini, executive director of the fellowship program.