The Festival of Science 2023

Food is the basic fuel for all living beings! However, food is more too! Food is culture, family and community! How we cook and eat is how we express ourselves and, more importantly, how we connect with each other. Our relationship with food is remarkably intertwined with science. In fact, science is the foundation to how we grow food, where we grow food, who grows food and how we consume food.

This year, we dug into this vast menu: The evolution of food, the growers, and the innovators dishing yumminess full of culture and change. Highlighting the relevance of natural resources and changing climate, we also addressed the economic, social and environmental impacts of buying, ordering and consuming and (wasting) food.

Over three days, children from 23 schools across the country explored the “future of food” by familiarising themselves with its ingredients, unlearning and learning new flavours, and most importantly, finding an appetite for science and technology behind this fascinating world of taste and its social and economic relevance. 

Extra Sambar, please!

And why not! The ingenious, floating pot of flavour, the humble Sambar is the heavy-duty vein connecting this year’s Festival of Science, themed FOOD. 

Besides the hackathon, and food mandi, we also took government school children on a field trip to our very own Oxygen as a pre-festival initiative. We honoured Dr Vandana Shiva – an Indian scholar, Environmental Activist, Food Sovereignty Advocate & Ecofeminist. Shiva was also the keynote speaker for the event. 


  • Dr Vandana Shiva

  • Professor Padmanabhan Balaram: Indian biochemist and a former director of the Indian Institute of Science 

  • Chef Thomas Zacharias: Founder of The Locavore

  • Chef Nayantara Bagla: Functional Nutrition Coach

  • Anand Babu Reddy: Farmer practicing wildlife-friendly agriculture 

  • Raja Subramaniam: VP, Country Director for Synopsys South Asia

  • MASHAV, Consulate General of Israel to South India

  • Ashok Sethurao: Quality Assurance Manager at Nestle India Ltd.

  • Panel discussion: “Whose biryani is it anyway”

  • Aslam Gafoor (Moderator): hospitality professional 

  • Jayanth Narayanan – Founder & Director, Mani’s Dum Biryani

  • Raunak Kundu – Founder, Bangalore Foodies Club

  • Shakir Haq – CEO, Empire

  • Vikash Prasad – Partner, Meghana Foods

We thank our long-term sponsor and supporter, Synopsys. Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research for sharing their campus for the event, and all the speakers.