India’s Health by the Numbers

Global Health Seminar Series 2022-2023

Tuesday, January 24, 2023 / 10:00 am – 11:00 am

For two decades, Rukmini S. has been one of India’s pioneering data journalists, combining on-the-ground reporting with data and research to challenge preconceptions and shape the public conversation on health and social issues in the world’s largest democracy. Drawing from her best-selling book Whole Numbers and Half Truths, Rukmini will reflect on what data can and cannot tell us about public health in India. In line with the 2022-2023 TUSM Global Health Seminar theme on Addressing social injustice in health through advocacy and solidarity, Rukmini will also consider the role of journalists and the media in contributing to social change on public health issues and discuss how academics can be better at communicating their research to contribute to public dialogue.

Rukmini S is an independent data journalist based in Chennai. She was Data Editor of The Hindu and HuffPost India, and now writes independently for a range of publications, including Mint, IndiaSpend, and The Guardian. Her pandemic podcast, The Moving Curve, won an Emergent Ventures India Covid-19 Prize in 2020. She won the 2022 Sigma Awards for Data Journalism for her work on estimating Covid-19 mortality. Her first book, ‘Whole Numbers and Half Truths: What Data Can and Cannot Tell Us About Modern India’ (Westland, 2021), won the Tata Literature Live First Book Award for Non-Fiction. Born in Pune, she studied in Mumbai and London and has a Post-Graduate Diploma in Social Communications Media and an MSc in Development Studies.