It is very important for scientists to be proficient in using their laboratory equipment as when young scientists go abroad, they are not provided assistants or helpers and have to operate their equipment themselves.
Nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan said this while addressing the concluding ceremony of a workshop on safety and precautions at laboratories, organised by the Dr AQ Khan Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (KIBGE) at the University of Karachi (KU).
Dr Khan was of the view that once scientists learnt how to use each and every piece of laboratory equipment, their careers were likely to progress. He advised young scientists not to depend on assistants and laboratory staff to operate equipment.
He said that safety should be the highest priority of those who worked in laboratories. Safety precautions taken in the laboratory could actually save lives, he said, adding that they could pave the way for a safer society.
When safety procedures are not followed in laboratories, people can get hurt, Dr Khan said, adding that lab equipment and chemicals could even result in deaths if they were not handled properly. Chemical spills, toxic fumes, needle pricks, and fire can harm lab workers, he explained.
KU also arranged a surprise birthday celebration for the scientist. Dr Khan cut a birthday cake along with KU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Ajmal and KIBGE Director-General (DG) Prof Dr Abid Azhar.
“I am thankful to Dr Ajmal and Dr Abid Azhar for arranging this surprise for me,” Dr Khan said. He congratulated the KIBGE for holding a successful workshop, praising Dr Azhar for his leadership.
Dr Ajmal congratulated the nuclear scientist on his birthday, terming him the greatest asset of Pakistan. “We are blessed to have Dr AQ Khan. The whole nation is proud of him”.
Dr Azhar also congratulated Dr Khan on his birthday. “Dr AQ Khan is a great asset to Pakistan. We all pray for his healthy and long life,” he said.
The KIBGE DG called for raising awareness about safe operations of biological and chemical facilities in academic, research and medical institutions to respond to challenging biological and chemical risks in laboratories.
“Scientific development is the key for progress and prosperity of the country. We are proud that our students, due to their academic and research credentials, succeed everywhere they go. We organise such workshops to make our students proficient in each and every aspect,” Dr Azhar maintained.