My Journey of 68th Nobel Laureate Meetings
By Mehwish Akram
School Of Biological Sciences, PU Lahore.
In collaboration with Lindau Germany, HEC and PIEAS, Pakistan announced participation in 68th Nobel Laureate Meetings dedicated to Physiology and Medicine. After strenuous scrutiny and interviews of the candidates who applied from all over Pakistan, 10 applicants were short listed by HEC and further only five were selected by the Lindau Council.
A pre-departure camp was arranged for the finalists to meet heads of different institutes and organizations. We had the privilege to meet Chairman Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission Muhammad Naeem, a gem of a person. Later we also met Dr. Masood-ul-Hassan, former director of the Pak-Lindau program. He briefed us about the travel and shared his insightful experience regarding the previous Lindau meetings. They wished us a safe travel and insisted to make a positive impression of Pakistan among the international community.
Our next day was scheduled to be spent in PIEAS. There we were introduced to Rector PIEAS; Dr. Nasir Majid Mirza, Pro-Rector; Mansoor Hameed Inayat and Director Academics; Dr. Masroor Ikram. We were introduced to the academic programs offered in PIEAS. We had a long discussion on the current health and diagnostic applications of photodynamic therapy.
22nd June was aimed to be spent in PINSAT, where we were welcomed by Dr. N. M. Butt, who was actually the founder of Nobel Laureate meetings in Pakistan. He gave a brief history of the meetings and about the participation of Pakistani delegates. Afterwards we left to meet HEC chairman Dr. Tariq Banuri. The man has an aura to himself. Commenting on the current situation of education in Pakistan, he said; “Forget your past. Look towards your future”. He wished us good luck for our travel to be fruitful.
Finally we left for Lindau from Islamabad. 23rd June was spent in travelling. Though the flight was delayed a bit but we didn’t face any serious discomfort. Reaching Lindau, was a refreshing experience. It was a small town by the lake Constance. The accommodation as arranged by the Lindau council was more than lavish. Everything was very well managed. The town reminded me of the old town Gamlstan in Stockholm, Sweden. The next week was going to be full of information and activities with the Nobel laureates.
The week-long conference was an amalgam of scientific lectures, Agora talks, Open exchanges, morning workouts, breakfast, lunches, evening walks and dinners with one to one interaction with the Nobel laureates. Orchestra performances, cultural night dedicated to Bavaria and the final boat trip and picnic at Mainau Island was the perfect ending to the conference. I felt privileged and honoured to be part of such a global science community.
The 68th Nobel Laureate Meeting ended but not our trip. For the next week, we visited various research facilities in Germany including, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Department of Phytomedicine, Institute of Microbiology and Biotechnology, LIMES; University of Bonn and GSI (Institute for Heavy ion Research) Darmstadt. These visits were funded by HEC Pakistan and PIEAS.
The wonderful two weeks trip came to an end. Youth and dedicated officials in Pakistan are striving to the best of their abilities to strengthen higher education and human resource development in the country. As Dr. Tariq Banuri said during his meeting with the young scholars “Forget your past and look towards your future”. Our past was glorious because of the hard work of our ancestors, our future will be celebrated depending on how much hard work today’s youth is put in.
Here is look at my journey through pictures