Friday, July 20, 2007

Bangladeshi students meet Nobel Laureate scientists

A. Fattah, from Vienna

Six Bangladeshi talents; Minhaz Ahmed, Jakia Amin, Sutapa Barua, Khademul Islam, Touhidul Islam and Ayshea Sania led by Prof Zafar Iqbal; joined the Lindau Nobel Laureate meeting for the first time in history of Bangladesh. They were among 560 young scientists from 63 countries to join 18 Nobel Laureates in the 57th meeting dedicated to "Physiology or Medicine" taking place from 1 - 6 July on the shore of Lake Constance in Lindau, Germany. They belong to country's leading lights of science selected by a multi-stage selection process. It is expected that young Bangladeshi talents through personal contact with the Nobel Laureates and young scientists will play a key role in establishing world-class research facilities in Bangladesh.Lindau has become the seat of close encounters between the Nobel Laureates and the young scientists of tomorrow and thus became a place for nurturing nascent scientific talent from all over the world. It is not surprising that the young strugglers found it a lifetime opportunity in being selected for these meetings with the great scientists and the Nobel Laureates too found these meetings 'most refreshing and stimulating'.To take into account the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of the sciences six Nobel Laureates of Chemistry joined fourteen from Physiology and Medicine this globally unique dialogue. This year's meeting featured 14 specialised lectures by the Nobel Laureates, two panel discussions "Basic science in molecular medicine" and "Medical sciences and society" and there were group scientific discussions for the Laureates and young scientists. In addition a new element "Scientific Bazar" had been added where 18 Nobel Laureates were answering questions from the international scientific elite of tomorrow, discussing current research issues, and giving valuable tips for a career. To mark the German "year of Humanities 2007" a discussion on "Humanities and Sciences" had also been added. The Meeting ended with the traditional journey by ship to the Isle of Mainau. All lectures and discussions were broadcasted via Internet stream live enabling viewers from all around the world with an interest in science to "attend" the Lindau dialogue. It uploaded on the Website after the live streaming and, together with contributions from previous Meetings, now it is a part of a globally unique database of scientific excellence.Participation of Bangladeshi students this year was not without pains due to lack of funds. Being initiated by personal initiative and effort of several people response for funds from prospective sponsors was difficult to gather for this novel venture, particularly for those attendants living outside Bangladesh. It is hoped that the difficulty will disappear in future.The next 58th meeting of the Nobel Laureates dedicated to Physics will be held 29 June to 4 July 2008. Bangladeshi students are encouraged to apply via a specially created website by 16 December 2007 giving ample time for evaluation / interview to keep deadline for reaching all nominations to Lindau Council by end February 2008. Final selection made by the Lindau council will be announced by end April 2008. Participants (usually less than 30 years old) will be selected from among undergraduate students, master and doctoral students and young postdoctoral scientists in the field of Physics or closely related to Physics with high emphasis on gender balance.

Dhaka, Friday 20 July 2007 / 5 Shraban 1414 / 4 Rajab 1428

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