اینها جواب های من به مصاحبه هایی بود که پارسال به خاطر جایزه آی-سی-تی-پی شده بود:
(سئوالات یکی اش مصاحبه ها را که با خبرنامه خود آی-سی-تی-پی بود ندارم. اما از جواب مشخصه که سئوال چی بود. )
-Of course, I became happy. I then felt a sense of duty to work harder to keep up with the high standards of the previous prestigious winners of this prize. This is a very strong motivation.
-When I was a PhD student at SISSA, Trieste, some of the leading neutrino physicists including my supervisor, Prof Alexei Smirnov of ICTP were around. Moreover exciting news were coming from experiments such as SNO and KamLAND. It was a natural environment to become interested in neutrino physics, especially that since high school when I was preparing for the physics olympiad, I had made up my mind to become a phenomenologist.
-Oh! The role of ICTP was and still is just vital. As I mentioned before, my supervisor at PhD was Prof. Alexei Smirnov. After returning to Iran, we had depended on the support of ICTP in various ways. I was a junior associate of ICTP which provided me the opportunity to come to ICTP a few months a year. As Prof Salam himself put it, the associate scheme helps scientists from developing countries to ``recharge their batteries." Moreover, ICTP helps us to organize international meetings back home. This viewpoint on the impact of ICTP is shared by many scientists across the developing countries in various fields.
SISSA together have made Trieste one of the leading centers in the world as they have a very strong scientific resident culture. In this field, Trieste is very special for scientists from developing as well as developed countries alike.Although at first glance discrimination against women in scientific careers have been considerably relaxed compared to the time of Marie Curie or Emmy Noether, there is still a glass ceiling up there, perhaps more so in developing countries. A woman who tries to form her own research group will face lots of resistance that their male counterparts
- cannot even imagine. The more a female scientist is successful, the more pressure she may face. As a woman chances of your scientific plans to be sabotaged is far more and one should have several substitute plans. My own experience is that this can lead to more innovative solution with a wider impact.
The good news is that status of women in scientific community, especially in my country, is changing for better very rapidly, in my country . Among the students there are more girls who are interested in scientific research and aspire to become serious scientists.
Moreover, as far as I see, boys in the new generation are increasingly more receptive and supportive of these changes in favor of the status of women .
In the end, I would like to quote Gandhi: `` First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."
I have tried it. Believe me: It works case by case!
این هم یک مصاحبه دیگه به مناسبت پنجاهمین سالگرد تاسیس آی-سی-تی-پی:
1. Please tell me briefly about yourself - your exact title, what kind of research you do, and what you got the prize for?
My name is Yasaman Farzan. I was born in Tabriz-Iran. I got my PhD in particle physics in 2004 from SISSA in Italy which back then was located next to ICTP building. I am currently an associate professor of physics at IPM, Tehran. My research topics include neutrino physics, dark matter and supersymmtery. I am a phenomenologist which, in this context, means my research is a bridge between experimental and theoretical work. It is the job of a phenomenologist to determine what effects are expected within certain model of particle physics in various experiments. I have received the prize for a series of projects that I had done on neutrino physics and dark matter model building.
2. What do you think about ICTP? Is it useful? Important? Why?
ICTP is extremely useful for the scientific community in general and the scientific community in developing countries in particular. ICTP brings about the environment in which scientists from different countries can communicate and exchange ideas. Such interactions is crucial to keep updated. In discussions, new ideas are born. The schools and meetings of ICTP have a special place in the scientific calendar of scientists from around the world. In our field, ICTP meetings are considered as a model of success for organizing international meetings both in developed and in developing countries.
3. How has it helped you? Your institute? Your country?
My PhD supervisor was Prof Smirnov of ICTP who is a leading neutrino physicists in the world. I therefore owe ICTP beyond description. Moreover, being a phenomenologist, I need to be in contact with both theorists and experimentalists. Regular visits to ICTP helps me to establish contacts and stay updated and motivated. As Prof Salam himself phrased it, these visits help scientists from developing countries to ``charge their batteries.” ICTP also helps us to organize meetings in our country and form networks across developing countries. Unfortunately the sanctions against Iran makes money transfer difficult. As you know, the kind of research we do is purely fundamental with no relation to the issue of sanctions whatsoever. I wish ICTP, being associated with UNESCO, to become exempt from sanctions as these activities apart from boosting the scientific research, are in line with the mission of united nation organization which is creating a dialogue among people of different nations and establishing a culture of peace.
4. What is ICTP's the biggest achievement, in your opinion?
At world level, setting standards for organizing international scientific meetings.
5. What, would you say, are ICTP's challenges ahead?
In some of developing countries institutes and universities give handsome amount of money for each paper in ISI journals. For some epoch this might have been a positive policy as it had encouraged the scientists from these organization to become active. In recent years, this has however become a curse for the international scientific community because so many content-free papers are submitted to the journals that makes it hard to pinpoint high quality ones. It has dramatically increased the workload of editors and referees. The situation is similar to case when cheap low quality goods capture the market and makes life difficult for high quality producers. ICTP cannot stop or reverse this trend but can play a role to reduce it by establishing itself as a prestigious organization capable of evaluating scientific merits. In my opinion, ICTP should become more conscious of this role when inviting speakers, choosing associates and of course giving advice to policy makers from developing countries who are keen on having contacts with ICTP. This is not just for the sake of developing countries. It is more important for maintaining the integrity of international scientific community as a whole. I believe a policy that reduces scientists from certain countries to mere “producers and sellers” of paper is a threat to scientific merit and I expect ICTP to play its special and unique role to safeguard this merit.
In my opinion the greatest challenge is to keep balance in setting goals for the institute. This applies to any institute but is more subtle for ICTP because ICTP is associated with UNESCO with its special causes. Let us be realistic. Facilities, financial means, expertise and experiences of ICTP are limited. ICTP cannot solve all the problems facing the world. If ICTP grows out of proportion to solve a wide range of problems it will soon be derailed from its principal goals. If the goals are set far beyond the means of ICTP, regardless of how noble, humanitarian and great the goals are, they will lead to degeneration of ICTP. The most obvious threat is that ICTP will need more funding and will naturally look for developing oil-rich or other rich countries as the potential resource of funding. The authorities of these countries may be happy to donate money to ICTP to gain reputation. ICTP will of course be happy to receive the money to spend on its ``noble” goals but all this comes with a price. This means ICTP should turn a blind eye on their wrong corrupting scientific policies such as the one I mentioned above to get the funding! It is not really worth it! By these methods, problems of underdeveloped world can never be solved! The real problem in these countries is not lack of resources but corruption and mismanagement. ICTP should stay away from it and set an example of infallibility. “Small is beautiful.” I hope ICTP stays small but focused on its carefully set goals within its capacity.
6. Have you studied at ICTP? How has it helped you?
As I said my PhD advisor was based in ICTP. I was an associate of ICTP after I returned to Iran and have since kept contact.
7. How is working at ICTP different from any other institution?
Constant flow of visitors from around the world makes working at ICTP special and really exciting.
8. How did it feel for you to receive this award?
Of course I became very happy. It gives me motivation to work harder.
9. Is your award an important one for your country?
I guess this question should be addressed by others.
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