Economy, Sci & Tech

OIC States Lacking in R&D

US-based Jordanian scientist Omar Yaghi bemoans poor ranking of science in Islamic nations. US-based Jordanian scientist Omar Yaghi bemoans poor ranking of science in Islamic nations.

During the first meeting of Science and Technology Exchange Program of Islamic Countries (STEP) in the Malaysian capital, a Jordanian scientist claimed that there is an unequal distribution of research among countries.

The five-day event was organized jointly by the Mustafa Science and Technology Foundation (MSTF) and the Kuala Lumpur’s University of Putra Malaysia (UPM), IRNA writes.

Professor Omar Yaghi, a chemist from Jordan in a keynote speech said “very few articles are published by 57 member countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.”

According to available data, 41 out of the 57 OIC member states account for less than 5% of the world’s total scientific output.

“We are here to solve our problems, not to complain about them,” Yaghi said on Thursday while addressing the delegates of the forum in a workshop dubbed Issues Related to Publishing High-Impact Papers.

He teaches at the University of California, Berkeley, and was one of the laureates of the $500,000 Mustafa Prize in 2015.

The news agency said 150 researchers and scholars along with 30 scientists from Egypt, Morocco, Oman, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Singapore and Turkey participated in the event.

During a meeting between academics from several countries, it was also decided that the session  soon become a revolving annual meeting in the member states.

According to the MSTF media center, the body seeks to honor Muslim scientists by awarding the Mustafa Prize.

One of the activities of the MSTF is to recognize and promote the achievements of scientists from Muslim nations by awarding them the Mustafa Prize. Professor Yaghi, was invited to the STEP forum by the MSTF as he was a winner of the prize in 2015.

The STEP forum began on December 19 and ended on December 22. On the fifth and the last day the delegates took a scientific tour around Kuala Lumpur.

One of the key objectives of STEP is to help provide a platform for Muslim scientists to interact with each other, and provide assistance in creating world-class research centers.


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