thReport of the 59 Meeting of Nobel Laureates in Lindau
With the aim of „Mission Education‟ to educate, to inspire and to connect young talented researchers from all around the world, the Council for the Lindau Nobel Laureates Meetings and the Foundation Lindau Nobelprizewinners at Lake Constance organized the ththrd59 Meeting of Nobel Laureates from 28 June to 3 July, 2009. The meeting was
devoted to the subject of Chemistry with the objective that it can play a key role in finding sustainable solution for easing the effects of climate changes, converting to renewable energies and developing environmentally friendly methods for the production of goods. To discuss these issues of vital importance, 24 Nobel Prize Winners and 580 young scholars were invited from 66 countries. Formal lectures, informal discussions and question/answer sessions were held for four days under one roof of Inselhalle; the congress hall of Lindau. Six chemistry graduates selected from all over Pakistan also participated in that unique gathering.
Selection of Candidates
The process for the selection of participants from Pakistan started in October 2008. thThe announcement of the 59 Meeting in Lindau appeared in the widely circulated thnewspapers on Sunday the 19 of October 2008 (Annex-II). It was also advertised on
websites as well as in HEC Newsletters (Annexure-III). Moreover the letters were written to all the universities and research institutes in all the provinces of Pakistan where higher studies in Chemistry were being carried out. In that letter (Annex-IV) the universities/institutes were asked for the nominations of their best students with distinctions. As a result, 87 applications of candidates with throughout First Class academic career were received from all over the country. Then according to a pre-set criterion (Annex-V), top 20 persons were short listed on the basis of their academic achievements (Annex-VI). An Interview Board comprising of eminent scientists/subject specialists (Annex-VII) interviewed these candidates. Finally, ten persons (6 girls and 4 boys) were nominated on merit (Annex-VIII). Due to heavy load of applications, the Lindau Council finally selected six candidates from Pakistan (Annex-IX). The CV‟s of
the successful candidate are given in Annex-X. It was informed that out of about 20,000 (twenty thousand) applications from the world over, the Lindau Council could select only about 580 participants.
Before leaving for Germany, a two days Orientation Camp was organized on 24-25 June, 2009 in Islamabad for informal guidance of the selected candidates. In that camp, eminent scientists/professors like Dr. Ishfaq Ahmad, Former Chairman PAEC, Dr. Ansar Parvez, Chairman PAEC, Dr. Shoaib Ahmad, Member (Physical Sciences) PAEC, Dr. S. Sohail H. Naqvi, Executive Director HEC, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmad, Member Operations and Planning HEC, Dr. Shaukat Hameed Khan, Member Planning Commission, Dr. M. Aslam, Rector PIEAS, Prof. G.A. Miana, Dean Sciences, Ripha International University, Prof. S. Shah, Chairman Chemistry Department, Quaid-e-Azam University, Prof. Mahmud-ul-Hassan Butt, Vice Chancellor, Allama Iqbal Open University, Ms. Katrina Lac, Head Cultural Section, German Embassy, Islamabad, Dr. N. M. Butt, Country Representative of Lindau Council and Mr. Waqar A. Butt, Project Coordinator addressed
the candidates. The Faculty of the Orientation Camp in giben in Annex-XI and the programme of the Orientation Camp is given in Annex-XII. A few participants of previous Lindau Meetings were also invited for sharing their experience. Mr. Ina Lepel, Deputy Head of Mission, German Embassy hosted a reception for the Selection Committee as well as Selected Students at her residence in Islamabad.
Departure for Germany
The selected candidates along with the Country Representative, Dr. M. N. Butt th June, 2009. After a and Project Coordinator, Waqar Ahmad Butt left for Germany on 26
few hours of stopover at Dubai Airport, the Group reached Frankfurt in the evening and ththreached Lindau on 27 June. The opening ceremony was held on 28 June at Inselhalle;
the Congress Hall in the Island of Lindau. Countess Bettina Bernadotte, the President of the Council opened the Meeting and bade welcome to 24 Nobel Laureates as well as 580 young researchers from 67 countries including 93 from USA, 27 from China and 43 from India. The profile of visiting Lauraetes as well as the abstracts of their lectures in gven in thAnnex-XIII. The technical programme started on the morning of 29 June. Formal
lectures of Laureates were held in the morning session followed by a panel discussion among five laureates. The afternoon was devoted to question/answer session and face-to-face discussions among the Laureates and young scholars. The complete programme is given at Annex-XIV.
The students discussed about scientific collaboration with Nobel Laureates as well as young researchers. We also invited a few Laureates to visit Pakistan to benefit our grooming scientists for motivation and inspiration towards high tech research as it was done in Islamabad during 2006 and 2007. Sir Harold Kroto, Prof. Craig Mello, Prof. Timothy Hunt and Prof. Brian Josephson have already agreed and Prof. Martin Chalfie also committed to come to Pakistan whenever the time matches and internal situation in the country improves. Prof. Walter Kohn gifted a scientific documentary to our students “The Power of the Sun” about the solar energy and its applications for showing in scientific institutions. The reports of visit by our participants are given at Annex-XV
Honor for Pakistan
Our students participated very actively in all the scientific programme and personal discussion with Nobel Prize Winners about their scientific endeavors. They sought guidance from the Laureates about their research projects as well as opportunities for higher studies in advance laboratories. One of our participants (Faroha Liaqat) was selected by “The Nature” group along with two Americans and one German student out of 580 fellow participants for a detailed documentary movie. This documentary will be shown at their TV channel continuously for six weeks in August-September 2009. Her selection was based on interviews with the panel of eminent scientists and scientific administrators of The Nature which is a unique honor for Pakistan.
Visit to Research Centres thAfter the meeting in Lindau, the group moved to Mainz on 5 July and visited
two research centres; the prestigious Max Planks Institute of Chemistry and the University of Mainz. Prof. Wolfgang Tremel from inorganic chemistry offered to show the university part starting with a comprehensive presentation about the various activities being carried out at the university. This university has more than 3500 students in
different disciplines. In the afternoon, the participants attended four seminars at the Institute of Science and Technology. These seminars were delivered by Ph.D as well as Post-Doc students of Prof. Hans Jurgen Butt; a very senior Physicist who arranged this visit. Another Chemist, Dr. Michael Kappl coordinated the visit to various laboratories in the institute. There were about 50 glove boxes/ fume-hoods in one group and each box was dedicated to one Ph.D/Post-Doc student. The research was mainly oriented towards polymer science and nano-biotechnology. Our students were asked to submit research proposals to relevant professor. It was indicated that lot of funds are available as research grants and any one from any country can avail these opportunities. One of the group members, Zahid Shafiq was offered Post-Doc at the Max Planks Institute after an interview with a professor there. All the expenditures on air travel and boarding/lodging will be provided by the host institute. th July, the group visited University of Darmstadt. This visit was arranged by On 7
Prof. Dr. Fuess, a renowned Physicist and Dean of Sciences. Four professors gave overview of R&D work being carried out in their respective domains. The labs were very well equipped with up-to-date equipment and lot of research activity was going on. The doors were opened to students from other countries subject to acceptance of their research proposals. It is intended to persuade relevant researcher in various institution to prepare good proposals and submit to respective institutes as lot of funds are available with the universities/research institutes.
On the whole, the visit was very successful. The active participation of our young researchers in various scientific activities enhanced the image of Pakistan at such a high level of international forum. Especially the selection of Miss Faroha Liaqat out of large number of young scholars from all over the world by The Nature Group is a pride for the nation. She also enthusiastically took part in a panel discussion of senior scientists. On the basis of that she has received an invitation from the Director General, TERI, New Delhi to spend a couple of weeks with full board and lodge as well as funds for travel to interact with the researcher at their institute. Dr. Zahid Shafiq has been awarded Post-Doc at Max Plank Institute of Chemistry. Mr. M. Imran and Ms. Humaira Seema also talked to a few professors for their Ph.D studies/fellowships and received positive response. All the young researchers will now introduce these schemes among their
colleagues/researchers of financial assistance from German Institutions. Moreover, the links established with the follow participants will go a long way for scientific collaborations.