Scientific progress: Everyone has a role to play


Al-Riyadh Newspaper

Some Saudis tend to celebrate and talk a lot about the achievements of young Saudi men and women abroad. Some believe that we should celebrate if a Saudi man or woman has been offered a prestigious position in NASA, has found a solution to a medical problem, or has invented some sort of machine. We should, however, remind ourselves that if a non-Saudi had the same opportunity, he would equally excel. We are all human beings. We differ from one another in terms of how we use our brains.

Lebanese, Egyptian and Moroccan people have made great achievements in the West. However, these achievements are not representative of their own countries. Moreover, it is not necessary that their home countries should have contributed to them making these achievements. Scientific progress is not achieved by a single person but through the efforts of all of society. Every member of society has a role to play.

Another thing to remember is that the achievements of Saudis, Lebanese and Egyptians abroad happened because Western scientific institutions provided them with the proper environment, not merely advanced laboratories. The issue is not one of advanced technology. After all, Morocco, the Kingdom and Lebanon all have state-of-the-art laboratories.

Some believe that scientific creativity and discovery do not exist in our country because local academic institutions have failed to foster an environment that is conducive to promoting the advancement of science. However, the reality on the ground tells us something else.

If you can tell the difference between Harvard University and Al-Eman University, which was founded by Dr. Abdulmajeed Al-Zandani in Sana’a, Yemen, you will understand what I mean by science. In other words, the researcher who works and lives in the West will not be influenced by anyone else’s thoughts. He will work in a free environment where people are able to unleash the power and creativity inside them and put that into practice.

Let us remember that every time we celebrate when a Saudi joins NASA, we are actually celebrating NASA and the greatness of the USA. The Saudi who joins NASA will work for NASA and dedicate his life and research to NASA or the USA. He has been trained according to American values.