Anshu Kumari, a 32-year-old solar physicist, faced challenges when she moved from the University of Helsinki in Finland to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center for her post-doctoral studies. She felt the absence of a support group within the scientific community when she needed help with software, which led her to establish the Indian Network for Dynamical and Unified Solar (INDUS) Physicists.
INDUS is a voluntary initiative led by Indian researchers in the field of solar and heliospheric studies. The organization offers a platform for young researchers to discuss their scientific requirements, seek guidance, and request mentorship from senior fellows. It aims to create a supportive network for Indian solar physicists from around the world.
The forum also provides mentorship to budding solar physicists and organizes monthly seminars to help researchers gain experience in public speaking and presenting their work. Additionally, INDUS fosters collaborations between its members and engages in science outreach activities at local schools and educational centers.
One of the notable achievements of INDUS is the growing participation of women in the field of solar physics. Anshu Kumari, the brain behind INDUS, expressed her pride in seeing nearly 60% of its members being women solar physicists. The forum also aims to bust myths and fake scientific developments related to astronomy and the Sun, providing scientific facts to counter misinformation.
Looking ahead, INDUS plans to expand its initiatives by starting podcasts and involving young faculties to guide students in research endeavors. The organization’s goal is to remain active and supportive, just like the Sun.