The Scientific Activist
Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharaff offered him the Sitara-i-Imtiaz, the third highest honour in the State of Pakistan, but Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy, 61refused it. A Pakistani scientist, essayist, and political-defence analyst, Hoodbhoy is a professor of nuclear physics and heads the physics department at Quaid-e-Azam University. A strong and avid supporter of nuclear disarmament, non-nuclear proliferation and the peaceful use of nuclear technology in Pakistan, Hoodboy has been a vocal critic of the nuclear programs of US, Israel, India and Pakistan. He is also an environmental and social activist, and chairman of Mashal, a non-profit organization which publishes Urdu books on women’s rights, education, environment, science and philosophy. In 1990, he received the Faiz Ahmed Faiz Award for contributions towards education in Pakistan. He graduated with a PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and continues to search particle physics. Hoodbhoy has also produced a 13-part documentary series in Urdu for Pakistan Television on critical issues in education, and two other major television series aimed at popularising science, for which he was awarded UNESCO’s Kalinga prize. His film, The Bell Tolls for Planet Earth won honorable mention at the Paris Film Festival. He is also the author of Islam and Science: Religious Orthodoxy and the Battle for Rationality, now available in 5 languages.