Tag Archives: Science

Science and God

“Science” and “God”, the two words which are often seen as separate entities. These words seem conflicting to most of us and are often a topic of debate. Science seems to question the existence of God and believers of God often question why we are unable to explain the entire universe completely by science till date, a question on the success of science. We can often come across debates on televisions, radio, magazines, etc where people try to prove one as superior over the other. But, are they really two different things? Are they conflicting terms? Or are they same?

A deeper thought over it can clear our confusion. If we deep dig, we find that indeed both are connected. We really don’t need to choose between them. Science and God, are superior powers. The differences arise when we start associating God with some particular religion and Science with the only education. In reality, science is the process of thinking God’s thought after him. “An equation is really nothing unless it expresses a thought of God”, according to Ramanujan. They both actually merge at the spiritual level.

When we talk of science, it is the theories, the fundamental laws that very well explains the nature around us. It offers an explanation of all the natural phenomena in a very beautiful way and at a very basic level. It helped us understand how to converse in the language of nature, i.e in mathematics. It gives human power. The more we as humans understand science, the more powerful we become. Visit the days when humans started to understand science to get to know about the secrets of nature, the things they imagined then are now a reality. The gadgets they considered as their dreams are now in our hands. The technology we imagine today will also become a reality pretty soon. Science gave a power to humans to achieve the impossible.

God, on the other hand, is another superiority. There has been no proper evidence of someone seeing a God. We have not seen God, but we all believe in a “power” that is superior to all of us and many refer to this superior power as “God”. God gives humans the strength and power by making us understand the language of love and humanity. Spirituality is the heart of a human being and through God, we reach here. God helps us understand our potential and make us believe in our strengths. It changes our perception and makes the world a very beautiful and peaceful place for us. The world is incomplete without God.

We can thus conclude,  that both Science and God are a source of immense power to human beings and both are tied together. Both speak the same language. The more faith we develop in God, the more we get close to science, the more we understand science, our belief in the existence of God becomes stronger. Louis Pasteur rightly said that “a bit of science can distance us from God, but more of it nears one to him”, and that is for sure. Diving deep into them will give us immense power and peace.

Analysis Tools And software’s – Providing platform for Innovations

Humans have been working in science and technology for a number of decades and have brought advancement in the basic life’s so as to make it more comfortable and easier than it used to be. The advancement with industrial revolution and much more investment in new ideas and innovation helped us to make thoughts of the ideal things to turn into reality. Earlier humans used to pen down their ideas on paper and just gathered every part of the entity required to manufacture it. This really resulted in failure most of the time including, time, resource and money. Most of the people stopped working in this field of innovations as they cannot handle much of their losses.a

But soon came the softwares which made this job of innovation and ideas to be much easier through varied features in them. 

  1. Software of 3-d modelling and analysis not only helped most of the people to pen down their ideas, but also visualize them as complete models in those software with much less investment.
  2. These software helped scientists and researchers to modify any part of the object which they find doesn’t suit it or may create problems in the final operation.
  3.  Also these software helped humans to analyse various forces and stress acting on it while in motion. For example if we consider manufacturing a car or an aeroplane, to test it physically after creating would take time, loss of resources and money. This was a resource through proper analysis of 3-d models in software. 
  4. These Tools helped to analyze various forces ,stress and strain, at different highest and temperature and hence helped humans to understand the feasibility of their model and the required changes which must be done so as to assure proper working. Various other features of these 3-d softwares not only helped humans to build them, but also to test them, through various simulations. This truly transformed the ways in which things were made especially cars and airplanes and has saved much of resources and money. 

These days many other techniques have been discovered which not only makes these 3-d models in them but also print them out. 3-d printing provides us with the prototype of the actual model. It scales down the actual size if the object be it a car or any aeroplane  we could get a rough idea of how it would look like when it certainly lands as an actual one. These scientific tools and innovation in them have helped humans to create whatever they want, irrespective of their shape. The advantages of 3-d printing and these tools are that they can help us make complex shapes and of different sizes. These not only prove to be cost effective but also provide better efficiency in their work along with the best of accuracy. Accuracy is an important factor which we want especially while working on sensitive objects such as planes and small ignorance can lead to a big mishappening. Thus simulation and 3-d tools and analysis have transformed our life with better modes of production and manufacturing technologies. But the main issue with these software is that we do require skilled person to operate, and also takes time for new person to learn them. A single mistake can lead to mishappening, so companies do invest to get better use of the prison to operate these software and thus provide better and safe results. 

Humans have made a major shifted to 3-d printing and their analysis and almost all companies in today’s world working in the field of new idea and innovation, do use these software which not only save their time but also much of money and material. This we acknowledge  a future with much better ways to manufacture and produce and thus empower humanity with their dream to turn reality and ease their life. 

The harsh move of nature – tsunamis and earthquake

Do you know that the 2004 Tsunami had killed over 225 thousand people in 14 different countries? It’s so sad to hear, but that’s the reality when such a natural calamity appears in, and there’s no way to stop it unless if predicted in advance. The tsunami on the day of Christmas 2004 had a significant impact on the people, and the news media coverage correspondents were in shock. It did happen all of a sudden, with a maximum rise of water up to 100 feet.

On the other hand, the most massive scale on record for earthquakes recorded in Chile with a magnitude of 9.5. If there is any similar incident with a higher range of 11.0 ever happens, the Earth may split into two halves. Now the 2004 event was complemented with an earthquake of 9.1 magnitudes on the western coast in Sumatra, Indonesia. These bring tears to eyes when we hear the survival stories; how they manage to get out in such a situation is a courageous task.

Human abundance has increased so much, they’re building infrastructure everywhere.

Why do these incidents happen, and how does it originate? In short, the water present in the ocean is ultimately linked to the bottom of the Earth, to be precise, the mantle where the plate boundaries are also present. When there is a vigorous movement of water, this leads to magma production, continental crust formation, several mineral resources but also an earthquake.

Most of the researches was on the Ring of Fire mentioned in my earlier post. This area is in the Pacific Ocean. But, findings by the University of Bristol keep concerns on the Atlantic plate and the eastern sides of the Caribbean Sea. These will help us to know how it works and how it leads to an earthquake. Scientists gathered data from two marine cruise ships, which recorded the seismic activities on the temporary station with the necessary information of the rock samples etc.

To know the role of the water in a subduction zone (an area where tectonic plates intermixes with one plate and sinks), they did a study on the composition of Boron element and found that serpentine, a mineral rock supplies water to the central regions in the Caribbean Sea as mentioned earlier.

The aftermath of an earthquake. Who will recover the losses?

If such an incident takes place soon, are we prepared for the same? I hope it doesn’t happen, but an estimate says that almost everyone in this world has no proper disaster management plan. The problem is that people immediately panic and take wrong steps leading to their death. For example, you should know the fire exits of the premises in which you currently live. Around 50 earthquakes are happening around the world, all of them are not noticeable, but the major ones create loss to human lives and destruction of several infrastructures, historical monuments, etc.

It would be best if you always kept a list of emergency contacts in a diary or somewhere saved on your smartphones. Now the devices are much smarter; even most of the device manufacturers do include the SOS panic button so that you get help immediately. Be prepared for the worst, and stay safe.

The creation of the swiftest fifth-matter

We know the usual three-phase or the state of matter exist around us, namely solid, liquid, and gas. What exactly is it? We can define it as something which exists in this universe, which has some weight of its own and consists of several atoms. When we move to the molecular level, we can see that they bind to each other; hence they’re the building blocks for every material. Let’s discuss them in detail.

Solids in which the particles are close to each other with almost no movement. This structure is visible through a powerful microscope. You know that a solid with its shape doesn’t change unless we apply some external force. Due to its high density, it attains stability. The liquid, which we commonly drink like water have slightly less force of attraction, so it can change its shape when we alter it. Gas is all around us. The atmosphere itself consists of 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen, and other major constituents.

Ripples in the water

Let me introduce to the two unfamiliar matters we rarely know. Plasma found in televisions, and I guess you may already make this guess earlier. This matter is also present in neon signboards, computer chips, and even the inner lining of your favorite chips packet, the shiny metallic layer. Most importantly, it is the most natural state ever found in the entire universe; after all, the stars are also plasma at very high temperatures.

So, now moving on to the fifth matter, the BEC. Originated back in 1924, one of the great scientists, Albert Einstein, along with the Indian physicists, Satyendra Nath Bose in his papers, described the condensate and named after them. This matter was created in 1995 at the University of Colorado using lasers and magnets. They cooled a sample of a metal known as Rubidium, atomic number 35 to almost zero degrees at an instant. Due to the sudden change of temperature, the atoms internally couldn’t move much. Later the kinetic energy lost, and a giant molecule got created.

A shiny beam of light.

In the year 2020, the researchers were able to recreate it with less than a blink of an eye, which is still very slow and maybe much less than you could ever imagine. It just got created in 100 femtoseconds, i.e., only in 10-13 seconds. Even the advanced cameras couldn’t work so fast. The researchers of Finland described the process where they pumped in energy in 50 femtoseconds was visible, but with 300 femtoseconds, it wasn’t noticeable. The condensate generates a very sharp striking band of light, very bright, which may have more uses in the future. Now with further advancement, the matter was even created in the space on the largest space station, ISS, where there is zero-gravity. The research in areas got carried out using Cold Atom Lab, a 70-million-dollar lab with only 0.4 cubic meter space with all necessary items to create the BEC. The lab process of creation was also patented, and they are eager to work more in the field.

Astronomers discover a remarkable Newborn Star

Newborn Neutron Star Swift J1818.0-1607.

NASA’s Neil Gehrels Swift observatory spotted a young object when it released a massive burst of X-rays.

This object is a baby neutron star known as Swift J1818.0-1607.

A new study in the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters estimates that it is only about 240 years old – a veritable newborn by cosmic standards.

When a massive star becomes supernova then it explodes and then a neutron star is born. After Blackhole, Neutron star is the second densest object in the universe. Neutron stars are so dense that a teaspoon of it would weigh 4 billion tons on Earth.

The mass of this newly discovered baby neutron names as Swift J1818.0-1607 is twice the mass of our sun and volume one trillion times smaller.

Swift J1818.0-1607 belongs to a special class of objects called magnetars because it exists with a magnetic field up to 1,000 times stronger than a typical neutron star and about 100 million times stronger than the most powerful magnets made by humans.

Saturn’s Moon Titan is drifting away hundred times faster than previously thought-NASA

“This object is showing us an earlier time in a magnetar’s life than we’ve ever seen before, very shortly after its formation,” said Nanda Rea, a researcher at the Institute of Space Sciences in Barcelona and principal investigator on the observation campaigns by XMM Newton and NuSTAR (short for Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array).

Swift J1818.0-1607 is only about 16,000 light-years away from us located in the constellation Sagittarius.

As light takes time to travel these cosmic distances, we are seeing the light that the neutron star emitted about 16,000 years ago, when it was about 240 years old.

Among 3000 known neutron stars, scientists have identified just 31 confirmed magnetars – including this newest entry. Because their physical properties can’t be re-created on Earth, neutron stars (including magnetars) are natural laboratories for testing our understanding of the physical world.

“Maybe if we understand the formation story of these objects, we’ll understand why there is such a huge difference between the number of magnetars we’ve found and the total number of known neutron stars,” Rea said.

Many scientific models suggest that the physical properties and behaviors of magnetars change as they age and that magnetars may be most active when they are younger. So finding a younger sample close by like this will help refine those models.

Though neutron stars are only about 10 to 20 miles (15 to 30 kilometers) wide, they can emit huge bursts of light on par with those of much larger objects.

Magnetars in particular have been linked to powerful eruptions bright enough to be seen clear across the universe. Considering the extreme physical characteristics of magnetars, scientists think there are multiple ways that they can generate such huge amounts of energy.

Swift J1818.0-1607 was spotted when it began outbursting, its X-ray emission becomes 10 times brighter than normal.

Despite X-rays, magnetars also emit the highest-energy form of light Gamma rays to the lowest energy form radio waves.

“What’s amazing about [magnetars] is they’re quite diverse as a population,” said Victoria Kaspi, director of the McGill Space Institute at McGill University in Montreal and a former member of the NuSTAR team, who was not involved with the study. “Each time you find one it’s telling you a different story. They’re very strange and very rare, and I don’t think we’ve seen the full range of possibilities.”
The new study was led by Paolo Esposito with the School for Advanced Studies (IUSS) in Pavia, Italy.

For more details about Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory visit-

https://swift.gsfc.nasa.gov/

“Satellites And Their Outweighing Assistance”.

The era which we see around is a total definition of how technology and science have made our life’s more comfortable and entertaining. We use technology in everything we admire to work on, be it our smartphones, vehicles ,cooking and many more. Our life is incomplete without these applications and thus are an important part of our day today activities. But these technologies are not only limited to this planet only. We have been able to accomplish the goal to reach the space with all the research work and various new ideas to develop the required technologies for them. The journey to space started with the launch of a satellite to it and till date it’s no looking back. We have sent a number of satellites to space irrespective of their size, rockets and even human beings. These surely have helped human in many way out. Satellites have been a part of our life for more than 5-6 decades and helped humans depending up on their needs. 

So the first question which comes to the mind of any individual is “What really is a satellite and how is it able to perform different activities”. We have been using satellites in anything we use today. Be it for watching television, weather reports, calling, GPS,Defence and many more. We are surrounded by technologies which do work with the help of these satellites and make our life more and more simple. So these satellites are objects which orbit our earth by remaining in its orbit. These are usually artificial satellites as these are man made, while the moon being our only natural satellite which do orbit our earth. The size of these orbits depends on the type of function they are meant for. These could be as small as mobile in your hand and could be as big as any vehicle or more. 

So “How these satellites work and get power from”. It’s difficult for us to charge these satellites regularly by bringing them back and also very costly. So these use the solar energy as power source for their functioning. Solar panels are usually attached on  the sides of these satellites, which trap the solar radiation and thus generate power. These usually consist of a transmitter in between which transmits the signal which they receive. These can also be controlled by the motors which are used either to change its orientation , if it gets deflected from its orbit or sometimes to power them so as to get away from any space debris coming in the same orbit which could surely harm the satellite. These satellites usually are divided on the basis of the phases or zones they work in. These could be named as:

 

  1. LEO or Low Earth orbit. – These satellites orbit our earth at a height ranging from 160-1600 km
  2. MEO or Medium earth orbit– These orbit earth at an height of 10000km to 20000 km and thus are placed at distant places from earth. These are widely used for navigation and locating places. 
  3. HEO or High earth orbit- These stay in orbit of earth to the farthest of points which is 36000 km and are also called geostationary satellites and rotate with the speed of earth and widely used for communication. 

 

“These satellites and technologies related to have more often helped us in many ways,and would be befitting in future also. But the only thing these add up to is the space debris.These are more often remained in space when there time period gets completed and are left to lose out in deep space. But all of this adds up as junk in space and might be harmful in our future trips to space. But usage of these satellites are more than their disadvantages , and thus have made life on earth More comfortable, knowledgeable and also given birth to a lot more complexities with it”. 

“Safe blood Saves LIVES”: world blood donor day 2020

Be a blood donor, be a Hero – A real one.

14 JUNE: WORLD BLOOD DONOR DAY is celebrated every year on this day to raise awareness about safe blood donations and to thank those who donate blood voluntary and save the lives of others.

On June 14, Nobel prize winner and scientist Karl Landsteiner was born. He has got the credit for finding the ABO blood group system. World Blood Donor Day is celebrated on the birthday of Karl Landsteiner,who discovered various blood groups.Before Carl detected blood groups, blood transfusions used to happen without knowing the various blood groups. This discovery made Karl Landsteiner win the Nobel Prize in the year 1930.

The theme for this year’s World Blood Donor Day is “Safe blood saves lives”with the slogan “Give blood and make the world a healthier place”. Every year, a host country is chosen to celebrate the National Blood Donation Day. Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the WHO will conduct a global virtual campaign this year. The idea is to focus on the contribution an individual giver can make to improve health for others in the community.

Blood donation is voluntary, a noble deed and a great service which we can do for our fellow human beings. One donation of blood can save up to 5 lives. Blood transfusion helps patients in recovery and surgery, those who have platelet requirement, who have Hemophilia and ones undergoing organ transplantation or chemotherapy.

Benefits of donating blood:

  • Helps in controlling weight.
  • It keeps your liver healthy.
  • Keeps cancer away.
  • Helps in smooth blood circulation.
  • Helps in burning calories.

Blood donation has been compounded severely by the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown.In early April, the Indian Red Cross Society had raised an alarm that voluntary donation had fallen by almost 100%.This isn’t surprising, given that the number of Covid cases is rising, making infected people and those who come into contact with them ineligible to donate.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has now issued guidelines for safe donation of blood during the ongoing pandemic. Go through the guidelines on this website to know safe blood donation during covid pandemic-https://www.mohfw.gov.in › …PDF
Web results
Advisory for Voluntary Blood Donation during COVID – MoHFW

The objectives of this year’s campaign are to:

  • celebrate and thank individuals who donate blood and encourage more people to start donating.
  • raise wider awareness of the urgent need to increase the availability of safe blood for use wherever and whenever it is needed to save life.
  • demonstrate the need for universal access to safe blood transfusion.
  • mobilize support at national, regional and global levels among governments and development partners to invest in.

For information on blood donation,visit-nbtc.naco.gov.in › faq
FAQs on Blood Donation – National Blood Transfusion Council (NBTC) – MoHFW …

The event serves to thank voluntary, unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gift of blood and also to raise awareness of the need for regular blood donations to ensure that all individuals and communities have access to affordable and timely supplies of safe and quality-assured blood and blood products, as an integral part of universal health coverage and a key component of effective health systems,” the WHO states.

All blood types can donate blood and they can do it whenever required.“Spare only 15 minutes and save one life”.

science behind Hindu rituals and traditions

Hindus have been following many traditions and rituals for centuries.
These rituals and traditions were considered as superstitious, but there is a science behind each ritual that we follow from morning to evening and on some special occasions.

Here, are some of the rituals and traditions and logic behind them-

Namaste

“Namaste” i.e. joining your hands together. It involves pressing the tips of the fingers of both the hands together. These are linked to pressure points in the eyes, ears, and mind, which activate the mind when we press them together so that we could remember the person for a long time.

secondly, by greeting in this manner we don’t come in contact with the person as we do in shaking hands, so it prevents the transfer of germs.

Sleeping direction-

It is said that while sleeping one’s head should not point in the direction of north. The science behind this said that our earth is a giant magnet it has its own magnet field like the human body.

when we point our head towards north direction then it becomes asymmetrical with the direction of the earth’s magnet field, in order to overcome this our body needs to work harder which can cause problems related to blood pressure.

Fasting

Fasting has many advantages like it regulates our body’s metabolic activity, boosts brain function, enhances heart health, hormonal balance, etc.

Bhagwat Gita path(chanting)-

Bhagwat Gita is a source of solutions to any of our life’s problem.

It gives the direction in the time of difficulty to a human being. “Karma is the ultimate truth.” Lord Krishna, gives direction for the welfare of the whole world in Bhagwat Gita.

In the battle of Mahabharat as a charioteer, He was a source of direction in the life of Arjuna.

Charan Sparsh (Touching feet)-

When we touch the feet of our elder ones or god. They are pious for us, we are free from ego, then their hearts emit positive energy, which reaches us through their toes or hands in the form of Ashirwad.

our brains nerves end at our hands when we touch the feet of our elder a circuit is completed and the positive energy reaches our mind.

Ear piercing-

Indian physicians and philosophers believe that piercing the ears helps in the development of intellect, power of thinking, and decision making faculties.

It also helps in speech restraint and ear channels also become free from disorders.

Eating food sitting on the ground-

When we sit on the ground while eating we sit in the “Sukh Asan” position in YOGA. It improves the digestion system.

Applying mehndi on hands and feet-

Mehndi is a medicinal herb, it is cold in nature. It keeps the body cool and releases stress.

Worshipping the “Peepal” tree-

“Peepal” is the only tree that gives oxygen in the night too. In order to save this tree Hindu worship Peepal tree.

Bells in the Hindu temple

When the bell rings it produces a sound which generates an echo lasts for at least 7 seconds, it unites the left and right portions of our brain, and activates all the seven healing centers in our body.

Bells of the Temple

Tilak on the forehead-

The point on the forehead, between the eyebrows, is the point of concentration and retains all the energy in the body.

From the ancient time, it is believed that the red kumkum in the form of tilak prevents the loss of energy from the body.

women wear toe ring

Toe rings are generally worn on the second toe. The nerve from the second toe connects with the uterus. Wearing it on the second toe strengthens uterus and keeps it healthy by maintaining blood pressure.

Worshipping “Tulsi” plant-

Tulsi is a natural herb it prevents the human body from many diseases. It prevents insects and mosquitoes to enter into the house.

Vedic sages called it sanjeevani and Goddess to take care of it.

Applying sindoor by married women-

Sindoor is prepared by mixing turmeric, lime, and the metal mercury. Due to its intrinsic properties, mercury controls blood pressure and activates sexual drive. Thus, sindoor should be applied right up to the pituitary gland, known as the master gland where all our feelings are centered.

Idol worshipping

Researchers believe that it was initiated for the purpose of increasing the concentration during the prayers and to gain positive energy.

Idol of Lord Radha Krishna

Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Collaboration in OIC Countries

 

Ang Kean Hua1

1. Department of Science and Technology Studies, Faculty of Science,

University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Abstract

There is a grave need nowadays to increase institutional and international STI collaboration. Countries are now seeking opportunities to work together not only to cut down the cost but most importantly to learn from each other. This paper attempts to analyses current stance of STI collaboration among OIC member states. First section will present a brief introduction, followed by the importance of STI collaboration in the second section. The roles of several influential actors in shaping the direction of STI cooperation in the Islamic world will be discussed in section 3. The next section talked about recurring issues that hinder the progress of STI co-operation and broad recommendations to reinvigorate scientific and technological collaboration among OIC will be proposed in the fifth section.

Keywords: Science, Technology, Innovation, Collaboration, OIC

1. Introduction

Science, technology, and innovation (STI) collaboration is in fact not an uncommon or a new activity within scientific world. During the epoch of Golden Islamic Civilization, scholars and scientists travelled to and fro various countries and institutions to exchange views, study under well-learned teachers, and to make joint observations or researches. The European Renaissance was accompanied by similar trend where international collaborations were frequently established through numerous scientific communities or projects. During those periods, STI collaboration is regarded as highly significant in advancing science and technology understanding.

With the establishment of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), interest in joint STI activities in the Islamic world is rekindled in accordance to the organisation’s aim to promote collectiveness and cohesion among Ummah. However, OIC is not alone in recognising the importance of global engagement in STI. For instance, in 2000, a review of Canada’s role in international science and technology was published and among its recommendations include the establishment of a special fund for international cooperative research (PMSEIC, 2006). The same strategy was echoed as well by United Kingdom who is aspired to become the ‘partner of choice’ for scientific collaboration in the future (GSIF, 2006).

1.1 The Need for STI Collaboration

Growing interest in international STI collaboration may be driven by various reasons. For example, STI collaboration is inevitable for Muslim countries if they wish to catch-up within this competitive knowledge-based economy. Gaining comparative advantage against other countries relies on how well researchers perform STI activities both individually and collaboratively. In addition, collective effort in the area of STI is imperative among OIC countries either to solve their inherent problems or to achieve common goals. Poverty, diseases, and other social wellbeing issues within OIC cannot be accomplished merely by a single country’s effort. The need for STI collaboration among OIC states is also very much driven by the deficiency of resources. Hiring sufficient qualified STI personnel or financing scientific projects may be beyond the capacity of a least developed country and thus cooperation from other OIC countries or organizations especially those with capital and human resources are required.

1.2 Existing STI Organizations and Collaborative Efforts in OIC

Royal Society in their 2010 report entitled ‘A new golden age? The Prospects for Science and Innovation in the Islamic World’ asserted that greater international outreach and collaboration is essential in order for the OIC members to enjoy the advancement of STI. For this purpose, various efforts have been conceived both at institutional and individual levels and some of the major progressions are discussed in the following.

COMSTECH

OIC through Standing Committee on Science and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH) has acted as the umbrella body in promoting intra-OIC STI cooperation. COMSTECH is established during the Third Summit Islamic of OIC held in Saudi Arabia in January 1981 with the aim to strengthen the individual and collective capacity of OIC member states in science and technology through mutual cooperation, collaboration, and networking of resources (COMSTECH, 2012). Table 1 highlighted some of the programmers that have been implemented by COMSTECH to fulfill its main objective.

Table 1: Programmed under COMSTECH

Programmed

Details

Inter Islamic Network (IIN)

IINs act as the focal institutions that aim to bring together scientists from all OIC countries to work on selected STI niche. To date, there are 13 IINs across OIC – 9 of them are active in status while the remaining 4 are currently suspended by the Executive Committee.

Visiting Scientists Program

Launched in 1998 to provide financial assistance to researchers desirous of visiting Centres of Excellence in OIC member states to conduct joint research or to deliver lectures in the selected fields of STI.

COMSTECH-TWAS Program for Young Scientists

COMSTECH and the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS) is established in response to the needs of promising young researchers in OIC countries, particularly those attached to institutions that are lacking appropriate research facilities.

COMSTECH-IFS Program

COMSTECH collaborates with the International Foundation for Science (IFS) to support research project of importance to meeting the development needs of the OIC member states.

Source: COMSTECH

COMSTECH is also responsible in governing another OIC organisation named Science, Technology and Innovation Organization (STIO). STIO, following its approval during the 34th Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers in May 2007, is envisaged to be the implementation organ of the COMSTECH with Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Syria are considered as the founding members. After six years of establishment, 20 OIC countries have declared their membership to STIO (Osama, 2013). STIO is mandated, among others, to promote regional and international cooperation, coordination, and to encourage activities in the fields of STI between member states, with the view to elevate the level of STI and human capital in the OIC (COMSTECH, n.d).

ISESCO

Islamic Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) was formally established in 3rd May 1982 after its approval during the Third Islamic Summit Conference held in Makkah Al-Mukarramah on 25-28 January 1981. To enhance collaboration in STI, ISESCO and its subsidiary organs particularly ISESCO Centre for Promotion of Scientific Research (ICPSR) has implemented various programmes – all of which aimed to coordinate individual scientists, research institutions, and centres of excellence in the member states so that they can establish effective scientific liaison among them. ‘Resource Sharing’, ‘Capacity Building (Scientist Training)’, and ‘Reducing Brain Drain’ are amongst the top priorities of ISESCO and ICPSR (ISESCO, n.d.).

In addition, the importance of collaboration is also addressed in ISESCO’s Three-Year Action Plan and Budget for the Years 2013-2015. In the plan, ISESCO is aspired to espouse a new perspective where the Islamic countries cooperation and its executive mechanisms will be translated into integrated programmes and projects that address fundamental issues and propose radical and effective solutions (ISESCO, n.d.).

ISTIC

The trend is reinforced with the establishment of the International Science, Technology, and Innovation Centre for South-South Cooperation (ISTIC) in 2008. The creation of ISTIC under the aegis of UNESCO is a follow up of the Doha Plan of Action which has been adopted by the Head of States and Government of the Group of 77 and China, during the meeting in Doha, Qatar in June 2005 on the occasion of the Second South Summit of the Group of 77 (ISTIC, 2010). With the aims to be an international platform for countries of the G77 and the OIC to collaborate in STI, ISTIC focuses on STI policy for development, capacity building, and collaborative initiatives that leverage existing networks (Day and Amran, 2011).

University-University or University-Research Institutions Nexus

Efforts to bolster STI co-operations are not solely restricted to international governing bodies nowadays. Bilateral agreement between higher educations and public research institutions across OIC countries often served as a mechanism for promoting co-operation in STI as well. In recent development for instance, Malaysia and Mozambique agreed in August 2012 to promote cooperation in joint research, development, and design projects that will include exchange of research findings, scientists and specialists, conferences, courses, and exhibitions (MOSTI, 2012). MOSTI further affirmed that under the agreement, a joint committee on STI cooperation will be established to determine priority areas, plan, coordinate, and monitor their collaboration in STI, and consider proposals for further cooperation. It is also reported that among the projects Mozambique is strongly interested in the establishment of an Industrial Scientific Research Council and a Lim Kok Wing University in Mozambique.

Collaboration in International Scientific Publications

Co-authorship of scientific publications has always been used as one of the most common indicators to evaluate the pattern of global STI collaboration. Plume (2011) in his article, for example, dealt with the issue of collaborative pattern among OIC countries based on their jointly authored scientific papers from 2004 to 2008 and eventually a collaboration map amongst OIC members is developed as part of his findings. Relationship between two countries is represented by their proximity with each other and the lines that connecting them (see figure 1). Countries that enjoy collaborative efforts are grouped together while those that do not are placed further apart. Meanwhile, the lines that run clockwise out of a country reflect the total output that is produced in partnership with the targeted countries – the thicker the lines, the stronger their collaborative ties and vice versa. For example, Malaysia shared a strong collaborative effort with Indonesia as indicated by their proximity on the map. However, the thick line running clockwise from Indonesia to Malaysia denotes that the nexus is stronger for Indonesia than for Malaysia (note that the line running clockwise from Malaysia to Indonesia is thinner).

Figure 1: Collaboration Map between selected OIC Countries from 2004-2008

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Source: Plume (2001)

In addition, Plume (2011) also highlighting one critical point in his article that is scientific collaboration is frequently driven by the efforts and personalities of individual researchers, and not by governmental or international scientific organizations. This deduction was drawn upon the case of Pakistan and Cameroon where 34 out of 45 jointly authored papers among the two nations were written by Professor Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary from the University of Karachi and other co-authors from the University of Yaounde I.

2. Recurring Issues in the Islamic World

Despite many concerted efforts to encourage it, there is a unanimous acknowledgement that STI coordination is functioning rather poorly among OIC members (Hashmi, 1983; Mehmet and Moneef, 2006; Osama, 2010). STI collaboration is not a constant endeavour and this has widened the scientific and technological gap, not only between the developed countries, but also among Muslim countries themselves. As a result, there are only nine out of 57 OIC members that can be categorised as Scientifically Developing Countries (SDCs), followed by 14 Scientifically Aspiring Countries (SACs) and 34 Scientifically Lagging Countries (SLCs) which include 20 OIC’s least developed countries (Naim, 2010).

Figure 2: Percentage Collaboration with OIC and Non-OIC

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Source: Naim and Atta-Ur-Rahman (2009)

Lack of collaboration among researchers in OIC countries is also highlighted in a study by Naim and Atta-ur-Rahman (2009). They pointed out two visible trends of research collaboration; scientist in OIC countries on average publish 80-90 per cent of all papers in collaboration with scientists in developed countries while only about 10-20 per cent of research papers are published in collaboration with scientists in other OIC countries. For example, in South East region, a total of 17,921 research papers were collectively contributed by the three OIC countries, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, and Indonesia during 1998 – 2007 where Malaysia leads with 70 per cent of the total number followed by Indonesia (28 per cent) and an insignificant contribution by Brunei Darussalam (Naim and Atta-ur-Rahman, 2009). The pattern of research collaboration in the region is similar to that observed in other regions with majority of the inter-institutional collaborative papers were published with scientists in developed countries. Only 1.3 to 5.4 per cent of the total papers were published in collaboration with scientists in OIC countries.

There are numbers of reasons associated with the meagre level of cooperation and coordination among the Islamic countries in the area of STI. Some of them, as argued by Osama (2010), are caused by insufficient research fund and lack of political power. Some of the issues impinging the development of STI collaboration in OIC countries are discussed further in this section.

Among the most acute impediment that is faced by OIC countries is the scarcity of qualified STI personnel. Figure 3 indicates that OIC member countries, on average, fall well behind the world average in terms of researchers per million people; 457 vs. 1,549, respectively (SESRIC, 2012). The gap is much larger when compared to the European Union that has an average of 4,651 researchers per million. Large disparity among OIC member states is also observed – Tunisia has 3,240 researchers per million inhabitants while Niger has merely 10 (SESRIC, 2012). Insufficient numbers of STI personnel in OIC countries affect science and technological activities such as research and this condition will eventually limit the prospect of STI collaborations in OIC.

Figure 3: Researcher per Million People

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Source: SESRIC (2012)

The lack of capacity to train adequate STI workforces is further worsened with the continuous outflow of skills to other nations. Countries such as Malaysia have been struggling over the past few years to retain and to attract back their talents. The World Bank (2011) estimated about one million Malaysians diaspora are currently working and/or residing in all over the world. The numbers of émigrés’ is reported to have quadrupled over the last three decades and Singapore alone absorbs 57 percent of the entire diaspora, with most of the remainder residing in Australia, Brunei, United Kingdom and United States (World Bank, 2011). Some of the factors which influence their decisions to migrate include better economic prospects, greater opportunities for learning and research (better research infrastructures, research grants, research students etc.), and a progressive cultural environment for innovation, business start-up, and self-employment in the country of destination (OECD, 2002; Millard, 2005, quoted by Naim, 2010).

Another major hurdle facing OIC scientific smart-partnership is the availability of funding as mentioned earlier in this section. Financial support for scientific activities is relatively limited if not completely lacking in some South-South countries (Osama, 2008) including those in OIC and this impedes the feasibility of any collaborations. Current report pertaining to global R&D expenditures shows that the OIC countries account for only 2.1% of the world total Gross Expenditures on R&D (GERD) (see Figure 4). Without ample funds, multi- or trans-national collaboration in STI is hardly viable especially for the least developed economies.

Figure 4: GERD percentage of the World

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Source: SESRIC (2012)

Lack of political power and commitment among OIC member states present another counter-productive attitude which will subsequently compromise any cooperative endeavours. During its chairmanship of the OIC between 2003 and 2007, Malaysia has proposed Vision 1441H, a strategic policy recommendations to revitalise Islamic countries. Among designated action plan to meet its vision is by fostering S&T collaboration among OIC nations. Every members is inspired not only to pursuit research partnership in the emerging technologies such as nanotechnology but also to share their own expertise – for example, petroleum engineering for Malaysia or water desalination for Middle East countries – through joint projects among interested parties (Vision 1441H, 2003). However, the plan is transpired to be in vain and Malaysia has expressed disappointment about the lack of commitment among OIC states (Day and Amran, 2011).

Finally, COMSTECH and STIO are also seen by the experts as being merely rhetoric in addressing the issues of STI development in Islamic countries. Professor Atta-ur-Rahman, COMSTECH’s former Coordinator-General, deemed COMSTECH to be a failure in boosting cooperation among OIC members (Sawahel, 2013). He asserted that resolutions agreed by members are not followed up by any real action. Other central figures also blame both COMSTECH and STIO for the status quo in OIC’s STI collaboration. Dr. Mohammed Ali Mahesar, incumbent Assistant Coordinator-General of COMSTECH proclaimed that the present problematic situation in OIC’s science and technological progress deserves urgent action and not hollow slogans by both parties (Sawahel, 2013).

3. The Way Forward

Ensuring OIC’s STI collaboration prospers is one of the most profound organisational and political challenges facing the scientific community in OIC. Below are some broad recommendations that are highly relevant to OIC’s condition.

1. Creating the political will and financial support for STI collaboration is a high priority. Political force is a powerful tool to determine a country’s strategic policies and action plans.

2. Joint ventures among universities, research institutes, or companies within OIC member countries in research intensive sectors should be encouraged towards more effective and cost efficient R&D investments. OIC countries may also take advantage of R&D spill-overs by rapidly learning about new technologies developed in other countries and improving them, or by importing technological goods and services from their trade partners.

3. It is imperative to learn from other’s success. In this connection, intra-OIC networking opportunities could be facilitated through projects, similar to the Framework Programmes of the European Union, to support research and technological development in the Islamic world and to promote joint research initiatives among the member countries (SESRIC, 2012). One of the main objectives of the Framework Programme is to make Europe the leading world forum for science and technology by supporting co-operation between industries, research centres, and public authorities both across the EU and with the rest of the world (Europa, 2010).

4. Encouraging and facilitating scientists’ mobility across regions is crucial in the process of internationalisation of scientific community. By engaging one another, OIC’s scholars and scientists will be able to benchmark themselves by learning best practices and consequently improve the quality of STI personnel.

4. Conclusion

In developing and harnessing STI collaborations, it is vital for the Islamic world to adapt to new situations in a rapidly changing world and to react positively in response to the advancement of STI. Problems within OIC’s collaboration must be handled wisely to prevent negative interferences. Development plans, programmes and policies in the OIC member countries should also be geared to improve the effectiveness of existing collaborative programmes. At the same time, OIC should start building new smart-partnership and networks both intra-OIC and outside OIC blocks. On the whole, collaboration between countries in the Islamic world is important if OIC is to benefit from STI. The needs and strengths of STI key actors i.e. governments, academia, industries, and societies should be integrated and taken into considerations in order to optimise the outcome of any collaborative efforts.

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POPPER AND THE WORKING SCIENTIST ON LOGIC AND METHOD OF SCIENCE

BY

IFECHUKWU J. NDINEFOO, PhD, SENIOR LECTURER,

DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY, NNAMDI AZIKIWE UNIVERSITY, AWKA, NIGERIA.

Abstract

The maturity of science in the physics of Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton brought with it philosophical, logical and methodological questions of its development. Such questions crystallized in robust, fecund and, sometimes acerbic, debates on the philosophy, logic and method of science amongst scientists and philosophers. This is to be expected because every mature discipline lays its rational foundation and defines its boundary by its philosophy, logic and method and these questions hardly go without debates. Karl Popper’s philosophical and methodological writings were mainly dedicated to articulating the rational foundation and logical-cum-methodological boundaries of science striving, in so doing, to demarcate science between non-science. Popper’s tool in the effort to demarcate science and non-science is his methodological criterion of falsficationism propounded in his magnum opus, Logic of Scientific Discovery 1968. The thesis of falsificationism is that a scientist should strive to falsify his theory and not to confirm it. This is contrary to the traditional inductivist or verificationist methodology of searching for confirming instances. Popper conceives the falsificationist methodology as a bulwark against dogmatism in science and authoritarianism in politics. But the scientist in his daily work employs induction and its attendant assumptions and questions the claim that a scientist should work to falsify his theory, among other heuristic components of falsificationism. Thus, a fortuitous debate ensued between Popper and his supporters on one hand, and the working scientist and his supporters, on the other hand. The result is a rich corpus on the logic and method of science. This essay x-rays such debate between Popper and the working scientist and, in so doing, contributes to the corpus.

KEYWORDS: WORKING SCIENTIST, LOGIC, METHOD, FALSIFICATIONISM, SCIENCE.