‘Every child should be told about Abdus Salam’

Published: April 1, 2016
Nobel Laureate Abdus Salam. PHOTO: FILE

Nobel Laureate Abdus Salam. PHOTO: FILE


Every child in developing countries should be told the story of the life of Nobel Laureate Abdus Salam, speakers at a seminar held at the Government College University (GCU) on Wednesday said.

“It is a story of a boy from a village near Jhang who became a big name in physics,” they said.

The seminar was organised by the university’s Jones Physics Society, Salam Chair and the Pakistan Physical Society to pay tribute to the country’s only Nobel laureate in physics for his contribution to Unified Field Theory.

In his keynote address, GCU’s Professor Ghulam Murtaza said the story should be told to inspire young people and encourage them to pursue studies in natural sciences.

He said that the Nobel award was not Salam’s only achievement.

“At the age of 33, he became a fellow of the Royal Society London. He was the first Pakistani to achieve that distinction. At the age of 38, he was appointed director of the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, Italy. He set up the centre amidst great resistance. He encouraged scientists from developing countries and helped them conduct research in physics and mathematics. The centre represents his dedication.”

Murtaza said Salam had received the Atoms for Peace Medal and Award for his efforts for promotion of international collaboration between scientists.

“He was a member of more than 30 academic societies around the world and was awarded DSc Honoris Causa by more than 40 universities. There is a long list of his achievements, honours and awards,” Murtaza said.

Murtaza, a student of Salam’s at Imperial College London, also spoke about his humble ways and strong character.

GCU Vice Chancellor Hassan Amir Shah said, “It is remarkable how the Italians have honoured Salam. The International Centre for Theoretical Physics has preserved his papers, awards, souvenirs and his personal book collection. They even have his chair and hookah in a room called Salam Room at the library of the centre.”

He said it was a matter of pride for the GCU that Salam had studied and taught at the varsity. Faisal Akram from the Centre for High Energy Physics spoke on Salam’s work and its implications in contemporary studies.

“Salam believed that science was as important for the development of a country as an army for its defence.”

Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st, 2016.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (5)

  • Leo
    Apr 1, 2016 - 1:48PM

    It pains me to see how we have forgotten our heroes our legends. On a recent trip to CERN in swiss-franco border, I felt great pride when I saw Prof Salaam’s name at CERN as his theories were proved at the old Hadron collider at the same site. RespectRecommend

  • Irfan Muhammad
    Apr 2, 2016 - 1:02PM

    This is a wishful thinking to suggest that every child should be told about Dr. Abdus Salam. Our children’s textbooks are filled with heroes such as Ghazi Ilm din Shaheed. Our current hero whose funeral was a record is Mumtaz Qadri. Among such heroes who is Dr Abdul Salam ? I would be reluctant to call him a hero in public. because I would rather live 100 years like a jackal instead of a day by a lion. Recommend

  • lalai
    Apr 2, 2016 - 2:45PM

    It is difficult to remember legends like him as we are taught to hate from the beginning on one pretext or other. Recommend

  • optional
    Apr 3, 2016 - 9:46AM

    Why would they tell their children of ordinary people like Dr Salaam and Sir Zafrullah Khan when they have “far greater personalities” like Mumtaz Qadri and other murderers, dacoits and corrupt people to idealize?Recommend

  • Jaffar Akbari
    Apr 3, 2016 - 3:53PM

    He was the greatest Pakistani after Qaid e Azam. Unfortunately majority of Madrasa bred Pakistanis believe they both were non Muslims. We live in a land overtaken by the likes of Mumtaz Qadri. Recommend

More in Pakistan