Thursday, October 29, 2020

Interview: Palaeontologist Prof. Ashok Sahni

This is a rich conversation between paleontologist Prof. Ashok Sahni and Dr. Devapriya Chattopadhaya of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune.

Email subscribers who can't see the embedded video can watch it at this link: Interview- Prof. Ashok Sahni.

It was so refreshing to hear Prof. Sahni talk candidly about the state of paleontology research in India,  preserving fossil sites, motivating students, the need for Indian scientists to proactively engage with the public about their work, and the importance of building bridges between research and societal needs.

Prof. Sahni comes from an illustrious line of scientists. His uncle was the paleobotanist Dr. Birbal Sahni after whom the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences, Lucknow is named. And his father was also a palaeontologist. His mother was not keen on him taking up geology, admonishing him that there were already too many rocks in the house. However, he persisted. 

Definitely worth your time.


  1. I was under the impression that Birbal Sahni's field was paleobotany

    1. Yes it was. And I made a mistake. Birbal Sahni was Prof. Ashok Sahni's uncle. I have corrected the post and added that Ashok Sahni's father too was a paleontologist :)