The Truth About Dr Abdus Salam – A Documentary by Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy

Mohammad Abdus Salam[4][5][6] NI, SPk, KBE (/sæˈlæm/; Punjabi, Urdu: عبد السلام‎, pronounced [əbd̪ʊs səlaːm]; 29 January 1926 – 21 November 1996),[7] was a Pakistani theoretical physicist. He shared the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics with Sheldon Glashow and Steven Weinberg for his contribution to the electroweak unification theory.[8] He was the first Pakistani to receive a Nobel Prize in science and the second from an Islamic country to receive any Nobel Prize (after Anwar Sadat of Egypt).[9]

Salam was science advisor to the Ministry of Science and Technology in Pakistan from 1960 to 1974, a position from which he was supposed to play a major and influential role in the development of the country’s science infrastructure.[9][10] Salam contributed to developments in theoretical and particle physics.[10] He was the founding director of the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), and responsible for the establishment of the Theoretical Physics Group (TPG) in the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC).[11] As Science Advisor, Salam played a role in Pakistan’s development of the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and may have contributed as well to development of atomic bomb project of Pakistan in 1972;[12] for this, he is viewed as the “scientific father”[5][13] of this programme.[14][15][16] In 1974, Abdus Salam departed from his country, in protest, after the Parliament of Pakistan passed unanimously a parliamentary bill declaring members of the Ahmadiyya movement to which Salam belonged non-Muslims. In 1998, following the country’s nuclear tests, the Government of Pakistan issued a commemorative stamp, as a part of “Scientists of Pakistan”, to honour the services of Salam.[17]

Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy (Urdu: پرویز ہودبھائی‬; born 11 July 1950) is a Pakistani nuclear physicist and activist who serves as Zohra and ZZ Ahmed Foundation distinguished professor at the Forman Christian College and previously taught physics at the Quaid-e-Azam University.[3][4] Hoodbhoy is also a prominent activist in particular concerned with promotion of freedom of speech, secularism and education in Pakistan.[5][6]

Born and raised in Karachi, Hoodbhoy studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for nine years, where he received degrees in electrical engineering, mathematics and solid-state physics, eventually leading to a PhD in nuclear physics. In 1981, Hoodbhoy went on to conduct post-doctoral research at the University of Washington, before leaving to serve as a visiting professor at the Carnegie Mellon University in 1985. While still a professor at the Quaid-e-Azam University, Hoodbhoy worked as a guest scientist at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics between 1986 until 1994. He remained with the Quaid-e-Azam University until 2010, throughout which he held visiting professorships at MIT, University of Maryland and Stanford Linear Collider.[7]

In 2011, Hoodbhoy joined LUMS while simultaneously working as a researcher with the Princeton University and a columnist with the Express Tribune. His contract with LUMS was terminated in 2013 which resulted in a controversy.[8] He is a sponsor of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and a member of the monitoring panel on terrorism of the World Federation of Scientists.[9] Hoodbhoy has won several awards including the Abdus Salam Prize for Mathematics (1984);[10] the Kalinga Prize for the popularization of science (2003);[11] the Burton Award (2010)[12] from the American Physical Society. In 2011, he was included in the list of 100 most influential global thinkers by Foreign Policy.[13] In 2013, he was made a member of the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament.[14]

Hoodbhoy remains one of Pakistan’s most prominent academics.[15] He is the author of Islam and Science: Religious Orthodoxy and the Battle for Rationality[16] He is the head of Mashal Books in Lahore, which claims to make “a major translation effort to produce books in Urdu that promote modern thought, human rights, and emancipation of women”. Hoodbhoy has written for Project Syndicate, DAWN,[17] The New York Times and The Express Tribune.[18][19] Hoodbhoy is generally considered one of the most vocal, progressive and liberal member of the Pakistani intelligentsia.[20]

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