Bengaluru: City of Water
Harini Nagendra, ecologist

Ecologist Harini Nagendra’s talk takes the audience on a journey through the history of water systems in Bengaluru - starting from the 6th century CE to the present day. She explains how lakes were built and how they became an important source of water for the city. Today they are used solely for recreation, environmental support and ornamental views. She argues that urbanization and water conservation can go together and that we need to look at our history to manage our future.

The Unquiet River: Brahmaputra
Arupjyoti Saikia, historian

From landscapes to livelihoods, the river Brahmaputra has shaped the history of Assam. Historian Arupjyoti Saikia’s Confluence lecture brings together history, geology and hydrology to present a comprehensive understanding of this mighty river. He speaks about how the river was formed, what makes it unique, and why it is important to think about its future. His lecture is based on his book by the same name.

Without water: between life and death
Shashi Thutupalli , biologist

Biologist Shashi Thutupalli questions our understanding of life and death in his Confluence lecture. His lecture is based on his exhibit FrankenShrimp where dehydrated brine shrimp remain dormant until they are placed in water. Once in water, they begin their life processes. He speaks about how cells in living beings need to be in a liquid state to be active, highlighting the importance of water in life sustaining processes.

New Frontiers in Water Science
Veena Srinivasan, water researcher

In her Confluence lecture, water researcher Veena Srinivasan calls for a new approach to science that is problem driven, interdisciplinary and grounded in real-world questions. She presents three examples to illustrate why we must consider anthropologic changes in this new approach. She addressed the case of disappearing surface water in the Upper Arkavathy watershed near Bengaluru, the impact of droughts on Chennai and questions whether tree planting is good or bad for streams.