Ten Years Since Dr. Salam’s Death: Isn’t It Time for Pakistan to Recognize Him?

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I was heartened to read these two editorials in leading Pakistani newspapers this past week: The Daily Times’ “The tragedy of our treatment of Dr. Abdus Salam” and DAWN’s “Lest we foget.” The Daily Times piece opens with these words:

Dr Abdus Salam (1926-1996) died ten years ago. He was the first Pakistani to get a Nobel Prize in 1979. But he might be the last if we continue to allow our state to evolve in a way that frightens the rest of the world. Our collective psyche runs more to accepted ‘wisdom’ than to scientific inquiry; and even if we were to display an uncharacteristic outcropping of individual genius the world may be so frightened of it that it might not give us our deserts.

It doesn’t seem like Pakistan will act on the message of these editorials, but it’s encouraging to see them nonetheless.

November 28, 2006
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  1. December 1, 2006, 3:01 pm Samia

    With or without Pakistan’s recognition of Dr. Salam, he remains a great role model to South Asian youth to engage in scientific research and progress. And he has been given the recognition that he deserves throughout the world and mention in textbooks right after mention of Einstein’s Unified field theory. Dr. Salam’s research has contributed to the realization of Einstein’s dream of unifying all forces. Dr. Salam’s devout religious and spiritual beliefs and his desire to mesh them with scientific thought also provide inspiration to many who have been force-fed the (highly Western) notion that science and religion are two separate entities and that they cannot co-exist. How refreshing it was to see a scientist who strongly and sincerely disagreed.