BENGALURU: It was the year 2012 when she started listening to the podcast channel called RadioLab where they ask deep questions and use investigative journalism to seek answers. Fast-forward to 2021, she started her own podcast called Imagined Tomorrow where she features a variety of experts who use their backgrounds in science and technology to speculate India’s future.
Meet Shreya Dasgupta, an independent science journalist, who has been selected as one of the ten winners in the Spotify Sound Up programme. She’s one of the two from India and the only Bengalurean to be selected.
Speaking to CE, she says, “I love the medium that the audio world created. When I quit my desk job in 2020 and the pandemic hit, I finally created my own podcast challenge. I wanted it to be science-focused.”
She learnt to produce a podcast through YouTube and other online resources. After which, she set up a home studio and started out her first season in 2021 with five episodes and two bonus ones.
“Imagine Tomorrow explores hypothetical scenarios in India that it may or may not be seen in the future. The idea was to make a podcast that is entertaining and not to predict but to dive deep with fun scenarios,” she says.
In her pilot episode, she imagined what if Indian cities decide to expand in the underground. “The cities are already expanding to the outskirts but there’s a limit to how much more you can go. So why not look at a scenario where you go downward instead of upward,” adds Dasgupta. She brought on urban planners, scientists, lawyers and psychologists to share their thoughts on the topic.
When she learnt that Spotify was looking for women creators to showcase their ideas, she signed up for it. “The first phase was in October where we had mentors (and popular women podcasters) Mae Mariyam Thomas and Riya Mukherjee to guide us on how the episodes should be produced,” she explains, adding that the participants had to work on a trailer and pitch deck to become a finalist.
“Now, we move on to the next phase which is most likely a six-week training programme, with a good studio, to improve the quality of episodes. I have my preparation ready with interviews, research and scripting,” says Dasgupta.
Having come to Bengaluru 10 years ago as a wildlife researcher and pivoted into science journalism, later on, Dasgupta is thrilled to explore this new love of hers.
“I’ll always be a journalist at heart. My podcast too is journalistic in principle. Its a skill to interview people, get a good story and understand its challenges and limitations. I hope to put out my next season soon and we have more scenarios imagined to explore,” she signs off.