Since 1901 to date, there are 935 Nobel Prize recipients, but only 52 are women. The proportion of Nobels awarded to women in the sciences (20/607 in Physics, Chemistry and Medicine; PCM) is more unequal than in other categories (32/328 in Economics, Peace, and Literature; EPL).
This October, like any other, the world celebrated the addition of 8 science Nobel laureates (including 2 women), the highly acclaimed distinction accorded to individuals for making breakthroughs in their fields. This year, there was a welcome change when a Nobel was awarded to Donna Strickland, the first woman to receive the Nobel in physics for the first time since 1963, and Frances Arnold, the first woman to receive the Nobel in chemistry since 2009.
By Vijendra Agarwal
The current issue of the IAS Medical Journal, Volume 26 Issue 3, 2018 is now available online through:
On Monday 8 October 2018, HRH Prince Hassan bin Talal, Founding Patron of the IAS, visited the IAS headquarters. HRH was received by Prof. Adnan Badran Treasurer FIAS, Prof. Mohammad Hamdan FIAS, Prof. Shaher Momani FIAS and Dr Moneef Zou’bi, Director General, IAS.
HRH was briefed by IAS Treasurer on the activities and programmes of the IAS and its plans to implement a number of programmes over the next two years.
HRH, after recalling many of the eminent scientific personalities he had interacted with over the years, proposed a number of ideas for how the IAS can move forward effectively in terms addressing a wide range of issues emanating from the Water, Energy, Health, Agriculture and Biodiversity (WEHAB) paradigm, and draw on the experience of a number of international agencies active in the broad domain of development.
HRH was accompanied by a sizeable delegation representing many local and regional institutions.
The two other winners are chairman of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, Dr Kathy MacKinnon, and director-general of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon, Assad Serhal.
The Midori prize is a prestigious biennial international awards event co-hosted by AEON Environmental Foundation (AEF) and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
It is aimed at raising public awareness on the importance of biodiversity and to contribute to the objectives of the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity 2011-2020.
Three scientists shared this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry for tapping the power of evolutionary biology to design molecules with a range of practical uses.
Those include new drugs, more efficient and less toxic reactions in the manufacture of chemicals and plant-derived fuels to replace oil, gas and coal extracted from the ground.
Half of the prize and the accompanying $1 million, announced on Wednesday in Stockholm, went to Frances H. Arnold, a professor of chemical engineering at the California Institute of Technology. She is only the fifth woman to win a chemistry Nobel and the first since 2009.
The other half of the prize is shared by George P. Smith, an emeritus professor of biological sciences at the University of Missouri, and Gregory P. Winter, a biochemist at the M.R.C. Laboratory of Molecular Biology in England.
The inventions being honoured this year have revolutionised laser physics. Extremely small objects and incredibly rapid processes are now being seen in a new light. Advanced precision instruments are opening up unexplored areas of research and a multitude of industrial and medical applications.
STOCKHOLM — The Nobel Prize in medicine was awarded Monday to two researchers from the United States and Japan for advances in discovering how the body’s immune system can fight off the scourge of cancer. The 9-million-kronor ($1.01 million) prize will be shared by James Allison of the University of Texas Austin and Tasuku Honjo of Kyoto University.
Their parallel work concerned proteins that act as brakes on the body’s immune system and it constitutes “a landmark in our fight against cancer,” said a statement from the Nobel Assembly of Sweden’s Karolinska Institute, which selects winners of the annual prestigious award.
Allison studied a known protein and developed the concept into a new treatment approach, whereas Honjo discovered a new protein that also operated as a brake on immune cells.
“I’m honored and humbled to receive this prestigious recognition,” Allison said in a statement released by the university’s MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where he is a professor.
“A driving motivation for scientists is simply to push the frontiers of knowledge. I didn’t set out to study cancer, but to understand the biology of T cells, these incredible cells that travel our bodies and work to protect us,” he said.
Last year’s prize went to three Americans for work in identifying genes and proteins that work in the body’s biological clock, which affects functions such as sleep patterns, blood pressure and eating habits.
HRH Princess Sumaya has accepted an invitation to become an Honorary Fellow of the Academy of Engineering and Technology of the Developing World (AETDEW), based in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia).
HRH expressed her admiration of the work of the AETDEW and its attempt to become the leading Engineering and Technology think tank in the Global South and its commitment to contributing to the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. HRH also stressed that the determination of AETDEW to achieve functioning academy status and commitment to fully embrace the UN SDG slogan of ‘Leave No One Behind’ are admirable.
Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan, President of the Royal Scientific Society (RSS) and Chair of the Princess Sumaya University for Technology (PSUT), is a leading advocate for science as a catalyst for change in the Arab World and the South. The Princess is committed to being a science enabler in a region where so many challenges urgently require solutions derived from science, research and technology.
IAS Vice President Dr N.M.Butt, was honoured as Notable Alumnus- Physics of the University of Birmingham, UK out of a total of 24 Alumni of Physics listed over a period of 118 years since the establishment of the University in 1900.
Dr. N. M. Butt was a Ph.D student in the Department of Physics of the University of Birmingham from 1961 to 1965. He passed his Ph.D (Physics) in 1965 and later passed the degree of D.Sc (Physics) in 1993. His Ph.D supervisor was the world famous Nuclear Physicist Professor P.B.Moon, F.R.S who had earlier worked in the Manhattan Project of Atom bomb of the USA during the world war-II. Dr.N.M.Butt had also the fortune of learning courses in nuclear physics and solid state physics of other two famous Physicists ,Professor W.E. Burcham F.R.S and Professor R.E. Peierls, CBE, F.R.S who was the head of Implosion device in the Manhattan Project.
Dr.Noor Mohammad Butt has recently been listed as Notable Alumnus in Physics from the University of Birmingham. There is a total list of 24 Notable Alumni of Physics ( almost all British Physicists) listed over a period of 118 years since the establishment of the university in 1900.The Birmingham university has been on the forefront of Nuclear Physics and is one of the leading British Universities of U.K and is particularly famous for experimental Nuclear Physics in the U.K. This list published in Wikipedia at the site: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_University_of_Birmingham_alumni” has been confirmed by the Alumni Office of the University of Birmingham(attachment No.1). Dr. Butt is the only Physicist from Asia and the only Fellow of IAS honoured as Notable Alumnus of this University.
Dr N.M.Butt was elected Fellow of the Islamic World Academy of Sciences in 1993 and is currently the Vice–President of the Academy.
Source: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), 2015-2016
The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a worldwide study by OECD in 70 nations of 15-year-old students’ scholastic performance on mathematics, science and reading.
Average Score of PISA Mathematics, Science and Reading:
|1.||United Arab Emirates||432.7|
PISA Mathematics Scores:
|1.||United Arab Emirates||427|
PISA Science Scores:
|1.||United Arab Emirates||437|
PISA Reading Scores:
|1.||United Arab Emirates||434|
IAS 2015 Conference Proceedings has recently been uploaded onto the IAS website www.iasworld.org under the section Recent Publications or directly http://www.iasworld.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Tehran-Contents.pdf
Proceedings of the 20th IAS Science Conference on
Science, Technology and Innovation:
Building Humanity’s Common future
26-27 December 2015
Under the Patronage of
Her Royal Highness :
Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan ,
Opening Ceremony of The International Fractional Differentiation Applications 2018
تحت رعاية صاحبة السموّ الملكي ، الأميرة سميّة بنت الحسن ، بدء فعاليات المؤتمر العالمي للتفاضل الكسري وتطبيقاته ٢٠١٨
IAS 2013 Conference Proceedings has recently been uploaded onto the IAS website www.iasworld.org under the section Recent Publications or directly www.iasworld.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Bangladesh-Contents-Final.pdf
Proceedings of the 19th IAS Science Conference on
Achieving Socioeconomic Development in the Islamic World
Through Science, Technology and Innovation
organised in Dhaka/ Bangladesh;
5-9 May 2013
Sir Peter Gluckman FRS FRSNZ was elected to the position of President-elect of the newly formed International Science Council at its inaugural meeting in Paris.
The International Science Council combines two longstanding organisations — the International Council for Science and the International Social Science Council, and is intended to provide global leadership on complex issues that can be addressed through application of transdisciplinary science.
Sir Peter will hold the role of President-elect of the Council until 2021 and will then serve as President for three years until 2024.
“It was clear what great esteem Sir Peter is held in across the widest diversity of science disciplines and regions of the globe.
“This is the first time a New Zealander has held such an important and significant role in global science. His election to this role is well-deserved. It is clear that the world appreciates his ongoing contributions, including his continuing leadership in the International Network of Government Science Advisers.”
“On behalf of the Society, I congratulate Sir Peter and we wish him well in this new and very significant role for New Zealand science.”
Sir Peter Gluckman is New Zealand’s science envoy and has served as New Zealand’s Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor for almost a decade until this week, when Professor Juliet Gerrard FRSNZ has taken over the role.
Sir Peter says the need for a stronger global voice for science has never been more apparent.
“Our world is becoming more fractured at the very time we need concerted efforts to address global and domestic issues. Technological and social changes create both challenges and opportunities for enhancing the environment, society and the economy.
“All knowledge disciplines and sciences ranging from basic/fundamental to stakeholder-engaged have critical roles to play: undertaking excellent research, building capacity and global collaboration, and communicating results and their implications to both society and policy makers.
“Yet our voice is not always clearly heard. Scientists in all parts of the world must have the freedoms to operate to achieve lasting impact, while recognising that trust is key in the evolving relationship between science, society and policy-making.
“As knowledge communities, we must look to ourselves, promoting inclusivity, diversity, equity, accessibility, ethical conduct, publication practices and outreach that strengthen trust and engagement with all sectors of society.
“The International Science Council can be the premier international science body — the persuasive, integrated voice for research-based knowledge while strengthening disciplines, national science communities, unions and associations to better contribute to a world that needs our knowledge.”
Turkey lost an important scientific symbol on the death of the famous Turkish historian Professor Fuad Szegin, who passed away on Saturday 30 June at the age of 94. Majd Jatin Qaya, chairman of the Board of Trustees and the Board of Trustees,“He told the Anatolia news agency that Szegen died last Saturday at a hospital in Istanbul. He praised Szegen’s status as one of the most prominent historians and scientists in Turkey and the world. “Leave Turkey a library and a museum that is invaluable.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan personally mourned the death of the thinker and historian Sezgin, and offered condolences to the Turkish people by twittering on his Twitter account. He explained that Professor Sezgin was a great scientist and was able to revive the Islamic civilization again, Through research and studies conducted in the field of the history of Islamic sciences.
The world and the Turkish historian «Fouad Sizgin», in the state of «Beatles» in the south-east of Turkey, on 24 October 1924, is one of the most involved in the Arab and Islamic heritage in the world, and is «Szegin», one The students of the famous oriental orientalist Helmut Ritter, who had convinced him to study Islamic history, began to learn Arabic since then and received his doctorate in 1954 through his research thesis “Sources of Bukhari.”
During the same year, he became a professor at the University of Istanbul. He published his doctoral dissertation entitled “Studies on Al-Bukhari Sources” in 1956, before his professor left Turkey for Germany after being prevented by the military coup government. Turkey in 1960, accompanied by 146 Turkish academics to continue working and study at the universities of the country, to continue his studies at the University of “Frankfurt” German.
Five years later, in 1965, the Galilean world presented a second dissertation on the Arab chemist, Jabir ibn Hayyan, after which he won the title of Professor after only one year of submission. He soon married the Orientalist Shortly before his death, Fouad Seizgen continued to write the 18th volume of the History of Arab Heritage, which was first published in 1967. This great research work is the most comprehensive book dealing with the history of human beings. the world.
The famous Turkish historian is known to have mastered about 27 different languages, including the Syriac, Hebrew, Latin, Arabic and German languages, and he mastered these languages very well. And Islamic technology in Istanbul.
During his scientific career, Fouad Sizgin won several international awards and accolades from various institutions, the most important being the Arabic Language Complex in Cairo, the Arabic Language Complex in the Syrian capital Damascus, the Arabic Language Complex, In the Iraqi capital Baghdad, in addition to the Academy of Sciences in Turkey, and was «Szegin» was crowned honorary doctorate by many universities, such as the University of «Ataturk» in the state of Erzurum Turkish, and «Solomon Demiral» in the state of Sparta and Istanbul University, Frankfurt am Main Goethe, and the Federal Service Medal of Honor The first prize in Germany, and the Grand Presidential Prize for Culture and Arts in Turkey.
3 July 2018
Mohamed H.A. Hassan FIAS, the President of the Sudanese National Academy of Sciences and former Executive Director of The World Academy of Sciences, has been appointed by Pope Francis to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
United Nations Technology Bank for the Least Developed Countries, was notified of this lifetime appointment by Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Academy. He will receive the insignia in an official induction ceremony, which will be celebrated during a solemn pontifical audience at a meeting of the Academy 12-14 November in Rome, Italy.Hassan, chairman of the Governing Council of the
The Pontifical Academy is one of the world’s oldest and most august scientific bodies, with roots dating to the early 17th century. Under Academy statutes, members receive lifetime appointments “on the basis of their eminent original scientific studies and of their acknowledged moral personality, without any ethnical or religious discrimination.”
“I am humbled and privileged to be appointed a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, one of the world’s most prestigious academies,” Hassan said. “I look forward to joining the Academy’s 80 international members and contributing to the fulfilment of its mission – the advance of knowledge in science and in related ethical and philosophical issues.”
Hassan served as TWAS’s first executive director, a position he held from 1983-2011. During that period, he guided the Academy through a period of great growth and expanding influence. In the global scientific community, he has a reputation as an ambassador for scientific excellence and international science cooperation.
Using his experience and diplomatic skills, Hassan has been an advocate of scientific advancement for the developing world, and a driving force in establishing South-South and South-North partnerships for sustainable development. He has also fostered the organization of science diplomacy events, bringing together scientists and policymakers to address the challenges of poverty, scientific development and gender equality.
With a PhD in mathematics from the University of Oxford (UK), Hassan’s scientific contributions range from theoretical plasma physics to the development of mathematical and physical models in environmental, geoscience and space science. He has also authored articles on science, technology and innovation in the developing world. In addition to his leadership at the Sudanese National Academy of Sciences[link: snas.org.sd], Hassan currently he is a professor of mathematics at Khartoum University and chairman of the Board of Trustees of Al Mashreq University, both in Sudan.
He formerly served as president of the African Academy of Sciences and is a current member of several merit-based international academies. In 2012 he received the Abdus Salam Medal, named after TWAS founder Abdus Salam, the Pakistani physicist and Nobel Prize winner.
Indeed, the election of Hassan to the Pontifical Academy has important symbolic significance. It was at a meeting of the Academy in 1981 that Salam and other scholars conceived of an academy of sciences for the developing world – and from that idea, TWAS was born in 1983. Salam was a member before his death in 1996.
The Pontifical Academy (Pontificia Academia Scientiarum in Latin) is an international and independent body with roots that date back to the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei (Academy of the Lynxes), an esteemed scientific body founded in Rome (1603).
Today the Academy’s goals are focused on promoting the progress of mathematical, physical and natural sciences, fostering interaction between faith and reason and offering authoritative advice on scientific and technological matters. Academy statutes limit membership to 80 elite academicians, all serving lifetime terms. They represent all the principal branches of science and all regions of the world.
The academicians are expected to attend Academy meetings, and to suggest topics for study. They help to select new members, and also to nominate exceptional early career scientists for the Pius XI Medal.
IAP Statement: “A Call for Action to Tackle the Growing Burden of Dementia”
Release Date: 5 July 2018; 00:01 CET
Contact: Peter McGrath
IAP Coordinator, Trieste, Italy
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Tel: +39 040 2240 571; +39 040 2240 681
Howard Chertkow, MD, FRCP, FCAHS
Professor of Neurology, McGill University;
Scientific Director, Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA), Jewish General Hospital, Lady Davis Research Institute
3755, chemin de la Côte-Ste-Catherine, Bureau F-408
Montréal (Québec) H3T 1E2
Tel: +1 514 340 8222
Trieste, Italy, 5 July 2018
The InterAcademy Partnership for Health (IAP for Health) today issues ‘A Call for Action to Tackle the Growing Burden of Dementia’. This IAP Statement is endorsed by more than 50 members of IAP for Health (i.e. academies of medicine and academies of science with strong medical sections from around the world).
In the Statement, IAP highlights the fact that, worldwide, the proportion of the population that is 65 years of age or greater has grown over the last decades, and this trend will continue. Also, because advancing age is the greatest known risk factor for dementia, the number of individuals living with dementia worldwide will nearly triple by 2050. Most of this increase – from 47.5 million people to some 135.5 million – will occur among people living in low- and middle-income countries.
A mixture of brain diseases often underlies dementia, with many people showing changes consistent with both Alzheimer’s disease (the most common form of dementia) and cerebrovascular disease. But while we are learning more about the risk factors commonly associated with dementia (e.g. smoking and diabetes that are linked with stroke and heart disease), dementia continues to be a slowly progressive illness where the diagnosis is made after the process has been present for years.In addition, while young onset (under 60 years) dementia is rare in many countries, this may not be the case where HIV/AIDS is prevalent, such as in sub-Saharan Africa and other low-income countries. Thus young people in such countries may bear a disproportionately greater burden of dementia in years to come.
Dementia also does not affect men and women equally. Women are at both greater risk of developing dementia and then living longer with the condition. Women also provide most of the informal (unpaid) care for people living with dementia.
The IAP for Health Statement, therefore, specifically calls on governments and other healthcare providers to implement a number of practices, including:
• Increasing awareness by educating the public about dementia, how to maintain brain health, and on accepting people with dementia as they are, accommodating to their remaining abilities;
• Supporting research to find and implement effective approaches (both pharmacological and non-pharmacological) to delay, prevent, slow-down, treat, ameliorate, and eventually cure the common causes of dementia;
• Investing in national healthcare systems, including both training a sufficient number and mix of providers as well as building the necessary infrastructure to ensure timely, competent person-centered care is available to those living with dementia and their caregivers through all stages of the illness.
“Our Call for Action is one which aims at developing an evidence-based and a public health orientated approach to this looming problem,” explains Howard Chertkow, chair of the IAP for Health working group that prepared the Statement. “Ultimately each country should make a clear assessment for each population of the potential for primary or upstream prevention of dementia. This should be followed by plans for secondary prevention, i.e. early detection followed by effective treatment, which is considered to be more effective at that stage than later. Such treatment would include both what is currently available and what should soon be developed through therapeutic trials. So-called tertiary prevention (mitigation of dementia and its ramifications through various therapies and end of life care for those with dementia) also needs to be ramped up.”
Depei Liu of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and co-chair of IAP for Health, says: “The growing issue of dementia is affecting all countries, whether they are developed or developing. By releasing this Statement, we hope that IAP for Health and its member academies, representing the global medical science community, will be able to raise awareness of what needs to be done to get ahead of the curve. We expect that our member academies will now present it directly to their national governments and disseminate it through their national scientific and medical networks so that our recommendations can begin to be implemented. I especially call on low- and middle-income countries to do all they can to respond to this burgeoning crisis.”
IAP for Health’s other co-chair, Detlev Ganten of the German National Academy of Sciences, Leopoldina, added: “Like all IAP Statements, this Statement on dementia has been thoroughly reviewed. It presents – based on the latest evidence from our member academies – the best impartial advice to policy-makers in national ministries of health and social welfare, to healthcare agencies and other relevant institutions, and to decision-makers at the international level. The burden of dementia is growing, especially in countries with an ageing society, and it is time to take action.”
The Statement is available at:
WEST CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. – King Abdullah II of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, who has done more to seek religious harmony within Islam and between Islam and other religions than any other living political leader, was announced today as the 2018 Templeton Prize Laureate.
Known for his grace and humility, the King’s long quest to promote peace-affirming Islam gained momentum in 2004 in the wake of the Iraq war when the fragile unity of Sunni and Shi’a Muslims in the region was at substantial risk. During that period, increasingly vocal rhetoric from marginal Islamic groups threatened to create deeper schisms within the Islamic community. In the face of these challenges, the King launched the breakthrough Amman Message that articulated a clear understanding of the central elements of Islam, and affirmed that terrorism and violence have no place in the religion.
The following year, he assembled 200 scholars from 50 countries representing all schools of jurisprudence in Islam who, under his guidance, issued a declaration now known as the “Three Points of the Amman Message.” The first point recognized the validity of all eight legal schools of Islam. The second forbade declarations of apostasy (known as takfir) between Muslims, while the third established conditions for issuing fatwas, Islamic legal rulings. The Three Points have come to represent an unprecedented and almost unanimous religious and political consensus by Muslims around the globe. Since then, more than 450 Islamic scholars and institutes from more than 50 countries have endorsed it.
In 2006, King Abdullah II supported and funded the initiative known as “A Common Word Between Us and You,” which led to a 2007 open letter from Islamic religious leaders to Christian religious leaders. A Common Word contains a call for peace and harmony between Muslims and Christians based on the twin commandments shared by both faiths, namely “love of God” and “love of the neighbor.” Originally signed by 138 Muslim leaders and scholars from 52 countries, it now has more than 400 signatories including nearly 300 endorsements from a wide range of Christian leaders, and is considered by many to be the most important Muslim theological initiative towards Christians.
In 2010, he proposed the annual UN World Interfaith Harmony Week with a General Assembly resolution expanding the twin “love” commandments by adding “love of God or love of the good” to “love of one’s neighbor,” thus including all people of goodwill, with or without faith. Adopted unanimously by the General Assembly, the resolution established the first week of February as UN World Interfaith Harmony Week to stress the moral imperative of promoting and understanding the values of peace inherent in all religions. It is generally acknowledged as the first and only time that the United Nations approved a resolution explicitly citing belief in God.
Through these groundbreaking initiatives and many others, King Abdullah II has led a reclamation of Islam’s moderate theological narrative from the distortions of radicalism. But these efforts have come with great personal cost including condemnation and death threats from radical terrorist groups. As a result of Jordan’s key geographical location, his efforts have required extraordinary courage to advance cooperation within Islam and between Islam and other religions.
The Templeton Prize, valued at 1.1 million British pounds, is one of the world’s largest annual individual awards and honors a person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works. The announcement was made online at www.templetonprize.org today by the John Templeton Foundation, based in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.
Established in 1972 by the late global investor and philanthropist Sir John Templeton, the Prize is a cornerstone of the Foundation’s international efforts to serve as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the deepest and most profound questions facing humankind. The Foundation supports research on subjects ranging from complexity, evolution, and emergence to creativity, forgiveness, and free will.
In a videotaped message on www.templetonprize.org, Heather Templeton Dill, president of the John Templeton Foundation and granddaughter of Sir John Templeton, said: “His Majesty King Abdullah’s work is indeed inspiring. He has underscored the importance of Islam’s diversity rather than seeking to invent or enforce uniformity where none exists. He has built upon the power of principled pluralism to extend religious harmony among the 1.8 billion followers of Islam, the world’s second largest religion, so that each can recognize one another as Muslims.”
She added: “Sir John Templeton often used the phrase ‘spiritual entrepreneur’ to describe Templeton Prize Laureates. King Abdullah offers the world the true definition of a spiritual entrepreneur, a person shaped by temporal and political responsibilities, yet who holds both the belief and free expression of religion as among humankind’s most important callings.”
Beyond his activities within Islam and between Islam and other faiths, the King has also tirelessly defended and supported refugees from across the Middle East, hosting and offering safe haven for millions fleeing conflict. Additionally, he has protected Jerusalem’s Islamic and Christian holy sites at considerable personal and monetary expense.
His Majesty King Abdullah II, in his videotaped acceptance of the Prize on www.templetonprize.org, said: “Our world needs to confront challenges to our shared humanity and values. They are the very ground of the coexistence and harmony our future depends on. And this is why I feel it is so urgent to promote tolerance and mutual respect, support inclusion and hope, speak out against Islamophobia and other wrongs, and make our values a real force in the daily life of the modern world.”
His Majesty continued: “The Templeton Prize has blazed a trail for all of us, by upholding the importance of spiritual discovery and spiritual values across religions. And I am pleased and humbled to share your path. It is my deep and sincere hope that this award will continue to promote love and harmony within and among religions, and that in doing so, will invite the blessings of God upon us all.”
In his letter endorsing King Abdullah II‘s nomination for the Prize, the Very Reverend Professor Iain R. Torrance, Pro-Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen, wrote: “The immensely important work of King Abdullah II lies in his decisive leadership and convening authority in world-wide Islam to call a principled halt to sectarianism and to mutual denunciation.” The King’s work, Torrance added, epitomizes progress “in the sense that through scholarship, example, encouragement, and publication, King Abdullah has offered the inherently flexible structures of Islam space to re-set and look again at matters of justice, inter-faith relations and neighbourliness.”
In her reference letter, Dr. Georgette F. Bennett, president and founder of the Tannenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, a New York-based organization dedicated to fighting religious prejudice, stressed the King’s efforts: “His leadership. His courage. His grace under fire. His unwavering commitment to expanding the boundaries of interreligious understanding.”
Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein, 56, was born in Amman in 1962, the eldest son of King Hussein bin Talal and Princess Muna Al Hussein. A member of the Hashemites, the royal family of Jordan, he is a 41st generation direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammad, peace and blessings be upon him. Jordan’s monarchy is the world’s second oldest royal house, after the Imperial House of Japan. Following education in Great Britain and the United States, and a military career in Great Britain and Jordan, he assumed the throne in February 1999 after the death of his father, who had reigned since 1952.
In awarding the Templeton Prize to King Abdullah II, the Foundation emphasized his unwavering commitment to protect religious sites in Jerusalem, which he maintains is crucial to the hope for peace in the Holy Land. The Hashemites have been Custodians of the sites since 1924, and in 2013 a formal treaty between President Mahmoud Abbas of the State of Palestine and King Abdullah II officially reaffirmed King Abdullah II as the Custodian of Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif, one of Islam’s three holiest sites, and of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the presumed site of the crucifixion and tomb of Jesus. In 2016 he provided personal funds to restore the tomb, completing a restoration which had been abandoned since 1947.
In recent years King Abdullah pushed for legislation to restore and develop Al-Maghtas, also known as Bethany beyond the Jordan, on the Jordan River’s east bank, which most Christians consider the site of Christ’s baptism. UNESCO unanimously approved it as a World Heritage Site in 2015. He has ensured that various denominations received blocks of land to build churches there, and a conference center opened in 2012. King Abdullah’s protection of holy sites stands in stark contrast to the destruction of countless historical treasures by ISIS (Daesh) in territories it previously controlled.
King Abdullah’s leadership also has guaranteed safe haven for Jordan’s ethnic and religious groups, including several denominations of Christians who are free to worship according to their own traditions. Moreover, Jordan has hosted waves of millions of refugees since its independence in 1946 – Palestinians, Iraqis, Libyans, Yeminis and, most recently, Syrians fleeing the Syrian Civil War – representing the embodiment of the Islamic requirement to care for strangers and affirm the dignity of life.
Other milestones of the King’s reign include cultivating interfaith harmony through new organizations and programs such as the World Islamic Sciences and Education University in Amman, a fellowship for the study of love in religion at Regent’s Park College, Oxford, and the establishment of critical centers of thought, such as the Royal Aal-al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought in Amman.
Through speeches, writings and other forms of commentary in the media and at key international forums, the King continues to draw attention to what unites humanity, and to call for collective global action to address crises around the world and build a bright, peaceful future for all.
His Majesty King Abdullah II joins a group of 47 Prize recipients including Mother Teresa, who received the inaugural award in 1973, the Dalai Lama (2012), and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (2013). The 2017 Laureate was the American philosopher Alvin Plantinga, whose half century of rigorous scholarship made theism – the belief in a divine reality or god – a serious option within academia. Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, the former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, was recognized for his work in 2016 after spending decades bringing spiritual insight to the public conversation. Canadian philosopher and theologian Jean Vanier, the founder of L’Arche, an international network of communities where people with and without intellectual disabilities live and work together as peers, received the Prize in 2015.
His Majesty King Abdullah II will be formally awarded the Templeton Prize in a public ceremony in Washington, D.C. on November 13.
During a storied medical career, Mahmoud was an influential leader in academia, biopharmaceutical research and development, and global health policy. His chief contributions to science and public health involve the study of neglected tropical diseases, especially parasitic infections.
Mahmoud began his Princeton career in 2007 as a senior policy analyst at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and transferred to the faculty in 2011 as a lecturer with the rank of professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and international affairs, Woodrow Wilson School. He also was an integral part of the Global Health Program.
“Adel was a beloved teacher, mentor and colleague,” said Bonnie Bassler, the Squibb Professor in Molecular Biology and chair of the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton. “Our students flocked to him because he made learning science entirely relevant to saving lives. He was devoted to helping budding scientists believe they could make a difference. As a colleague, he was a sought-after leading intellect who coupled deep thinking with a cheerful, can-do attitude, inspiring all of us to do more. We will miss him terribly.”
Mahmoud’s emergence as one of the most prominent and widely respected voices in global health was unlikely. Born in Cairo in 1941, Mahmoud’s first brush with infectious disease came at the age of 10 when he sprinted to a pharmacy to procure penicillin for his father, who was dying of pneumococcal pneumonia. He didn’t make it back in time.
Mahmoud received his M.D. from the University of Cairo in 1963. As a medical student, he became active in politics, serving as a leader in former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s youth movement. But as the political climate in Egypt evolved, Mahmoud recommitted himself to medicine and left Egypt in 1968 for the United Kingdom. In 1971, he obtained a Ph.D. from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
His early research focused on the role of eosinophils, a type of white blood cell, in the body’s defense against parasitic worms.
Rather than return to a hostile political climate in Egypt, Mahmoud immigrated to the United States in 1973 as a postdoctoral fellow at Case Western Reserve University. He subsequently rose through the ranks to lead the Division of Geographic Medicine and ultimately to chair the Department of Medicine from 1987 to 1998.
“Adel’s keen intelligence, wit and genius for problem-solving were legendary,” said Dr. Pamela Davis, dean of the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University. “The world is a little less bright without his light.”
Beloved for his sharp intellect and dynamic personality, Mahmoud had an impact on thousands of medical students, physicians and scientists, including many of today’s leaders in medicine and research.
“Not only was he my lifelong mentor, he was a true force of health for people everywhere,” said Dr. Julie Gerberding, Merck executive vice president and former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In 1998, Mahmoud was recruited to serve as president of Merck Vaccines, a position he held until 2006. During his tenure at Merck, Mahmoud played a pivotal role in the development and commercialization of new vaccines to help prevent severe gastroenteritis, human papillomavirus (HPV) and shingles, as well as the quadrivalent formulation of measles-mumps-rubella-varicella vaccine. As of 2017, more than 500 million doses of these four vaccines have been distributed globally, according to the company.
“Adel was as beloved as he was accomplished, said Ken Frazier, Merck’s chairman and CEO. “He leaves an enduring legacy of protecting the health of infants, adolescents and adults around the world. Few physician-scientists have had the global public health impact that Adel Mahmoud had.”
Mahmoud frequently provided scientific advice to the World Health Organization, the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, the National Academies, the Rockefeller Foundation, and universities and research institutions around the world. He served as president of the International Society of Infectious Diseases from 1990-92 and on boards of directors at GAVI, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, International Vaccine Institute and several companies in the private sector.
“Adel was always one of the very first people to whom we turned when we needed sage advice about difficult policy issues,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “His judgment was flawless.”
After retiring from Merck in 2006, Mahmoud returned to his academic roots. At Princeton, he engaged in public policy discussions and worked to imbue the next generation with the love of learning and commitment to public health that guided his life and career.
In the wake of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014, Mahmoud began advocating for the creation of a global vaccine-development fund. “We cannot let financial burdens stand in the way of solving deadly global health crises,” he said.
“Adel was not only a brilliant scientist and scholar; he fundamentally understood that research needs to be advanced through sound health policy in order to improve lives,” said Cecilia Rouse, dean of the Woodrow Wilson School and the Lawrence and Shirley Katzman and Lewis and Anna Ernst Professor in the Economics of Education. “We will miss his wisdom, insights, intellect and — perhaps most of all — his wonderful infectious laugh.”
“Adel was a key player in the development of Princeton’s Global Health Program,” said Janet Currie, the Henry Putnam Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, chair of the Department of Economics and director of the Center for Health and Wellbeing. “Students loved him. He had very high expectations, but he knew they could meet them and helped them to learn that too. His passion and good humor will be greatly missed.”
Mahmoud is survived by his wife of 25 years, Dr. Sally Hodder, and a son, Jay Thornton, as well his siblings, Dr. Olfat Abdelfattah and Dr. Mahmoud Abdelfattah.
A celebration of Mahmoud’s life will be held 6 p.m. Saturday, June 30, in the University Chapel.
The award acknowledges Professor Mâaza’s work in promoting education for societal development and sustainability, and recognises his international and humanistic approach to science education as well as his commitment to training and mentoring young scientists on the African continent. To this end, Professor Mâaza has worked tirelessly to raise funds worldwide in support of researchers from less affluent countries. He has helped scientists from war zones in Africa and the Middle East pursue their research and has organised periodic exchanges between renowned scientists of Israeli and Arabic origin, seeking to build bridges through science.
Professor Malik Mâaza is an African physicist and an accomplished researcher and educator, born in Algeria in 1963 and working in South Africa. His clear vision of how science can be used as a tool to empower individuals to address some of humanity’s most pressing challenges has been demonstrated through his commitment to training and mentoring young scientists.
He is greatly respected for his work as a pioneer of nanoscience and nanotechnology on the African continent and, most importantly, for his accomplishments as an outstanding educator and dedicated mentor. He has significantly contributed to the education of numerous PhD students and postdoctoral researchers.
He has also played a crucial part in keeping South Africa at the leading edge of international research. In this sense, he plays a key strategic planning role in developing South African research programmes and research grant proposals. His work has earned him international recognition from UNESCO, which appointed him to the first South-South Chair in Nanosciences & Nanotechnology: the UNESCO UNISA Africa Chair in Nanosciences and Nanotechnology, also known as U2ACN2.
Recognised by the global scientific community for the value of his published work through frequent invitations to speak at international events, he acts as an ambassador and voice for the African continent in the multidisciplinary field of nanotechnology.
Professor Mâaza’s contributions in the area of education are not confined to the classroom. He has created platforms for the introduction of emerging areas of education like materials science, space sciences and laser sciences. The many new facilities that he has set up underpin a range of scientific programmes, while he has established his own team and exploited his own expertise and ideas to build stronger relations with both academia and industry at national and international level.
His dedication to the cause of women in science is seen through his role as a member of the international as well as the Sub-Saharan juries of the L’Oréal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science. He is a major player in promoting the role of women in science, especially those living in low and medium income countries. He is also a peace activist, using science as a powerful path for fostering human relations between young researchers.
His work as UNESCO Chair has had a huge impact on building capacities among the future generation of African scientists.
World cultural Council, News
Announcement of 2018 Winners
June 4, 2018
Dr. Farouk El-Baz, a geologist who played a leading role during NASA’s Apollo space program in the 1960s, assured graduates that their degrees from Missouri S&T have prepared them for whatever they will encounter in their professional lives.
El-Baz, director of the Center for Remote Sensing and research professor at Boston University, spoke during commencement ceremonies at Missouri S&T on Saturday, May 12. El-Baz earned master of science and Ph.D. degrees in geology and geophysics from Missouri S&T.
“I am happy to say that every single course I took had an effect on my career,” El-Baz said. As an example, he cited a project in a graduate-level tectonics course in geology that required him to study a photo of the moon and write a report about its tectonics. He got an A on the paper but learned after joining NASA’s Apollo program that his interpretations were wrong.
“However, Professor (Paul) Proctor had taught me how to gain information from a single photograph,” El-Baz said. “That experience helped me to become secretary of the lunar landing site selection committee and trainer of all Apollo astronauts in visual observations and photography.
“The lesson here is that the education you received at S&T has prepared you for whatever you encounter in your future professional life,” El-Baz said. “I can assure you that, from my experiences, the S&T education is second to none.”
El-Baz compared his studies at S&T with time spent at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At MIT, he took a full course load, dated his future wife, was heavily involved in student organizations and hosted a weekly Arabic radio variety show – but still earned mostly A’s, something that El-Baz said rarely happened at S&T.
“Be conscious of the great education you received here,” he said. “You should realize that the degree you acquire today basically means only one thing, and that is: until today you required someone to take you by the hand and teach you. But from this day forward, you can begin to teach yourself.”
El-Baz, who also holds a bachelor’s degree from Ain Shams University, conducted graduate research at Asyut University in Egypt. He later taught at Germany’s Heidelberg University, then participated in oil exploration in the Gulf of Suez.
In 1967, El-Baz was appointed by NASA as secretary of lunar landing site selection and chairman of astronaut training in orbital observations and photography. His role was chronicled by Tom Hanks in the TV series From the Earth to the Moon, in a segment titled: “The Brain of Farouk El-Baz.” In addition, the name El-Baz was immortalized on a shuttlecraft in the TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation.
After the Apollo Program ended, he joined the Smithsonian Institution to establish and direct the Center for Earth and Planetary Studies, and to plan exhibits of the National Air and Space Museum. He then joined Itek Optical Systems as vice president for science and technology.
In 1986, he joined Boston University to establish and direct the Center for Remote Sensing. He developed methodologies for applying space-born data to scientific research efforts in geology, geography and archaeology. His work resulted in the location of groundwater resources in the Western Desert of Egypt, the Rajasthan of India, in Darfur of northwestern Sudan, the Sultanate of Oman, the Northern United Arab Emirates and Republic of Chad.
A member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), El-Baz serves on the editorial boards of several international professional journals. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Royal Astronomical Society in London and the Explorers Club in New York.
Hundreds of Malaysians lined the road leading to the palace, waving party flags and cheering. The Election Commission announced the result long before dawn and there was some consternation in the capital Kuala Lumpur over the time taken to swear in the new prime minister.
At a press conference after being sworn in, Mahathir reassured the financial community and said he would prioritize stabilizing the economy and return billions of dollars lost in a graft scandal at state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
“We believe that we can get most of the 1MDB money back … we have to increase the confidence of investors in the administration,” he told reporters.
Malaysian markets were closed and will reopen only on Monday, but overseas investors were nervous about the ouster of Prime Minister Najib Razak after a decade in office and the ringgit lost four percent in offshore trading.
An overseas Malaysian equity fund initially showed a 6 percent drop in share values but partly rebounded on Thursday.
“There should be no cause for any devaluation of the ringgit,” Mahathir said.
“As you know, we cannot revalue the ringgit too much, or else we will not be competitive, but we will try to make the ringgit as steady as possible,” he added.
He came out of retirement to take on his ex-protege Najib.
Mahathir’s alliance of four parties trounced Najib’s Barisan Nasional (BN), the first time it had ever lost an election.
Earlier on Thursday, Najib appeared to raise doubts that Mahathir would immediately take office because no single party had won a simple majority of seats in the 222-member parliament, and it would be up to the monarch to decide.
Official results showed that Mahathir’s coalition won 121 seats, comfortably more than the 112 required to rule. But it has not been formally registered as an alliance.
In a jubilant mood, Mahathir joked about his age and about being labeled a dictator at the news conference.
Mahathir has repeated a promise to repeal a deeply unpopular goods and services tax (GST) introduced by Najib and review foreign investments, including major infrastructure projects that are part of China’s Belt and Road initiative.
Some economists raised concern his populist election promises could undermine economic prospects at an increasingly challenging time for emerging markets, despite hopes elsewhere he might revive his bold approach to economic management.
“This upset ranks up there with Brexit and the Trump election,” said Aninda Mitra, a senior sovereign analyst at BNY Mellon Investment Management. “I believe the ringgit will come under pressure as policy continuity will come under a cloud.”
Mahathir said some of Malaysia’s debt are “too big” and need to be renegotiated.
Najib’s BN coalition won 79 seats, a collapse from the 133 taken in the 2013 election, which was itself the coalition’s worst performance at the polls ever at the time.
In a tweet, Najib congratulated Mahathir on his appointment as premier and said he would assist in a smooth transition of power.
Few had expected Mahathir to prevail against a coalition that has long relied on the support of the country’s ethnic-Malay majority.
However, he joined hands with jailed political leader Anwar Ibrahim, his one-time deputy with whom he famously fell out 20 years ago, and together their alliance exploited public disenchantment over the cost of living and the multi-billion-dollar 1MDB scandal that had dogged Najib since 2015.
Mahathir said that one of his first actions would be to seek a royal pardon for Anwar. Before the election he had promised to step aside once Anwar was free and let him become premier.
Anwar’s wife, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, was sitting next to Mahathir at his news conference. Under an agreement with Mahathir, she is to be deputy prime minister.
Anwar was imprisoned, first under Mahathir’s rule on charges of corruption and sodomy. He was released in 2004 but jailed again under Najib in 2015. Anwar denied all charges against him.
Mahathir and Najib were once allies but they clashed over a scandal around 1Malaysia Development Berhad, a state fund from which billions of dollars were allegedly siphoned off.
The 1MDB affair is being investigated by at least six countries, although Najib has denied any wrongdoing and has been cleared by Malaysia’s attorney-general.
Mahathir had vowed to investigate the scandal if elected and bring missing funds back to Malaysia. On Thursday, he said that if Najib had done anything wrong he would “face the consequences”.
Najib conceded the election in a news conference but has not been seen in public since. He did not attend the swearing-in ceremony at the palace.
Additional reporting by A.Ananthalakshmi, Joseph Sipalan, Emily Chow, Praveen Menon, and Fathin Ungku; Writing by Praveen Menon; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan and Mark Heinrich