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IAS Founding Patron visits IAS HQ

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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.

IAS Fellow, and Former Science Adviser to PM Dr Zakri Abdul Hamid wins Biodiversity Prize

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Former science adviser to the Malaysian prime minister Dr Zakri Abdul Hamid was today announced as one of the three winners of the Midori Prize for Biodiversity 2018.

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.

Use of Evolution to Design Molecules Nets Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 3 Scientists

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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.

“I always wanted to be a protein engineer,” Dr. Arnold said in an interview. “Proteins are marvelous molecular machines, tremendously complex but responsible for all the functions of life. I wanted to be an engineer of the biological world.”


The Nobel Prize in Physics 2018 – Tools made of light

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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.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Physics 2018 “for groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics” with one half to Arthur Ashkin, Bell Laboratories, Holmdel, USA “for the optical tweezers and their application to biological systems” and the other half jointly to Gérard Mourou, École Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France and University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA and Donna Strickland, University of Waterloo, Canada “for their method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses”.

Arthur Ashkin invented optical tweezers that grab particles, atoms, viruses and other living cells with their laser beam fingers. This new tool allowed Ashkin to realise an old dream of science fiction – using the radiation pressure of light to move physical objects. He succ

eeded in getting laser light to push small particles towards the centre of the beam and to hold them there. Optical tweezers had been invented.

A major breakthrough came in 1987, when Ashkin used the tweezers to capture living bacteria without harming them. He immediately began studying biological systems and optical tweezers are now widely used to investigate the machinery of life.

Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland paved the way towards the shortest and most intense laser pulses ever created by mankind. Their revolutionary article was published in 1985 and was the foundation of Strickland’s doctoral thesis.

Using an ingenious approach, they succeeded in creating ultrashort high-intensity laser pulses without destroying the amplifying material. First they stretched the laser pulses in time to reduce their peak power, then amplified them, and finally compressed them. If a pulse is compressed in time and becomes shorter, then more light is packed together in the same tiny space – the intensity of the pulse increases


Strickland and Mourou’s newly invented technique, called chirped pulse amplification, CPA, soon became standard for subsequent high-intensity lasers. Its uses include the millions of corrective eye surgeries that are conducted every year using the sharpest of laser beams.

The innumerable areas of application have not yet been completely explored. However, even now these celebrated inventions allow us to rummage around in the microworld in the best spirit of Alfred Nobel – for the greatest benefit to humankind.

The Laureates:

Arthur Ashkin, born 1922 in New York, USA. Ph.D. 1952 from Cornell University, Ithaca, USA.

Gérard Mourou, born 1944 in Albertville, France. Ph.D. 1973.

Donna Strickland, born 1959

in Guelph, Canada. Ph.D. 1989 from University of Rochester, USA.

Prize amount: 9 million Swedish krona, with one half to Arthur Ashkin and the other half to be shared between Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland.

More information:


2018 Nobel Prize for Medicine goes to James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo

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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 bint El Hassan joins the AETDEW as an Honorary Fellow

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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 honoured

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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: “” 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.


PISA Worldwide Ranking – average score of math, science and reading for some OIC Countries

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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
2.         Turkey 424.3
3.         Albania 415.0
4.         Qatar 407.3
5.         Jordan 399.0
6.         Indonesia 395.3
7.         Lebanon 376.3
8.         Tunisia 371.3
9.         Algeria 362.0

PISA Mathematics Scores:

1.         United Arab Emirates 427
2.         Turkey 420
3.         Albania 413
4.         Qatar 402
5.         Lebanon 396
6.         Indonesia 386
7.         Jordan 380
8.         Tunisia 367
9.         Algeria 360

PISA Science Scores:

1.         United Arab Emirates 437
2.         Albania 427
3.         Turkey 425
4.         Qatar 418
5.         Jordan 409
6.         Indonesia 403
7.         Lebanon 386
8.         Tunisia 386
9.         Algeria 376

PISA Reading Scores:

1.         United Arab Emirates 434
2.         Turkey 428
3.         Jordan 408
4.         Albania 405
5.         Qatar 402
6.         Indonesia 397
7.         Tunisia 361
8.         Algeria 350
9.         Lebanon 347

PISA Worldwide Ranking – average score of math, science and reading

Opening Ceremony of The International Fractional Differentiation Applications 2018

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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

The ICFDA’18 is a specialized conference on fractional-order calculus and its applications. It is a generalization of the integer-order ones. The fractional-order differentiation of arbitrary orders takes into account the memory effect of most systems. The order of the derivatives may also be variable, distributed or complex. Recently, fractional-order calculus became a more accurate tool to describe systems in various fields in mathematics, biology, chemistry, medicine, mechanics, electricity, control theory, economics, and signal and image processing.
Topics of interest include, but not limited to:
• Automatic Control
• Biology
• Electrical Engineering
•​ Electronics
• Electromagnetism
• Electrochemistry
• Finance and Economics
• Fractional Dynamics
• Fractional Earth Science
• Fractional Filters
• Fractional Order Modeling and Control in Biomedical Engineering
• Fractional Phase-Locked Loops
• Fractional Variational Principles
• Fractional Transforms and Their Applications
• Fractional Wavelet Applications to the Composite Drug Signals
• History of Fractional Calculus
• Image Processing
• Mathematical methods
• Mechanics
• Physics
• Robotics
• Signal Processing
• Singularities Analysis and Integral Representations for Fractional Differential Systems
• Special Functions Related to Fractional Calculus
• Thermal Engineering
• Viscoelasticity