Aspiring Scientists Seek Space to Explore

Karachi:23 July:A group of students in the city have been trying to establish a space where aspiring scientists have creative freedom to experiment and debate the existing concepts and its applications.
With the education system in Pakistan focused on results obtained in exams and not its effectiveness in professional application, Furqan Muhammad Khan, a student of final year in the Computer Information and Systems department of the NED University, decided to set up a space where he could disseminate scientific concepts and discuss them with others who were interested.
Though he currently works as a software developer in a private firm, Khan is adamant in trying to set up the “Scientific Society” with the help of his friends to encourage experimentation.
The Riaz-ul-Uloom Trust has donated us space to use for our meetings but we lack the resources and scientific apparatus,” he said. “We have five computers and are about to get a projector. But we need resources to buy other apparatus such as a telescope, microscope, models of solar systems and others which are needed to understand and explain concepts in a better way.”

He said like the Royal Society of England produced great names like Robert Hooke, Edmond Halley, and Isaac Newton, the Scientific Society could help nurture aspiring students in Pakistan.

“The students today should have access to telescopes, prisms, Rubik’s cubes, and games such as chess and scrabble rather than Xbox, toy guns and cell phones,” said Khan. “When we are taught mathematics and science in schools, we think of them as useless subjects because our teachers don't inspire us. We need to know how the discoveries we study have transformed our lives and everything around us. Our education system aims at producing results in exams but not teaching anything useful to students. The day we manage to reverse this process, we will start to produce real scientists in Pakistan.”

Another member of the society is Muhammad Raza Ayub, an IBA graduate who works at a multinational bank.

He said like Sabeen Mahmud’s T2F provided a space for free expression, the Scientific Society was meant to be a place for free discussion and debate on the related disciplines.

“The USA has progressed because the society learnt to discuss ideas and tolerate healthy criticism,” he said. “We must give our people a proper platform to share their views over technical and social sciences.”

Ayub, with his friends, has taught many students English and computer for free and he now looks forward to make the Scientific Society a hub of learning.

“We cannot rely on the government for everything. Our society should open and help such forums where we can communicate the glorious past of the Muslim scientists and philosophers like Ibn Al-Haytham, Ibne Khaldun and Imam Ghazali,” he said. “It is unfortunate to see the nation decline in scientific and rationale approaches and adopt only emotional and baseless theories.”

A professor of the NED University, speaking on the condition of anonymity, remarked that opening up one or two such places would not be enough to transform the society.

“A fresh engineer or a science graduate hardly earns any money,” he said. “There is a grave dearth of opportunities and the investment is shrinking in the industry which is not letting us progress in science and technology.”
He said the local industries were dying and every mechanical item, from heavy machinery to minute devices, was imported. According to him, the lack of producing hardware systems was the main reason behind the brain drain in Pakistan.
We still import small devices like transistors instead of producing them at our own,” he said. “Our graduates work abroad and sell ideas to other nations, because our own government is not interested to use them to help build our own market.The news.