Monday, July 12, 2004

Towards a Muslim Scientific Community

Tehran Times runs Brain Drain story

According to statistics compiled in the United States, 105,000 Iranians immigrate to the U.S. annually, putting the country in the third place after India with 228,000 immigrants and China with 165,000 immigrants.

The extremely qualified and well trained muslim scientists from Iran, Turkey, and Egypt, and a sprinkling from Indo-Pak migrating to the United States are a huge intellectual asset. The problem, however remains that excellent universities like Sharif University of Technology, Bogazici, Koc, Cairo University, and Gazi do not have the same brand value or research output commensurate with the intellectual talent of their students. Abysmal funding, lack of official patronage, and importance attached to research are some reasons. Similar universities elsewhere like Tsinghua University, HUJI, Technion, or KAIST on the other hand are much more well known and respected, both for the contributions of its alumni and the research output of its groups.

Another sad fact is that there is lack of a community and camaraderie that exist among similar communities like the Jewish, Chinese, Korean, and Indian scientists, tech entrepreneurs, and researchers. While this is good for the openness that exits in Muslim led groups compared to Jewish and Oriental groups which tend to be highly biased in their ethnic composition, it leaves a vacuum for brand value and a sense of belonging. Ah well, on second thoughts may be being more open and fair that comes with this is better.


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