When we think science in the Arab world, we automatically think scientists of the Golden Age era.
But, these modern day Arab scientists not only prove that science is alive and well, its also present.
1. Huda Zoghbi – Won an ‘Oscar of Science’
Lebanese-born Huda Zoghbi is a professor of pediatrics, molecular and human genetics and neurology and neuroscience at Baylor University in Texas. She is also director of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children's Hospital.
She was recently awarded a $3 million prize by the Breakthrough Foundation, co-founded by Mark Zuckerberg, also known as the "Oscars of Science."
2. Omar M. Yaghi – One of the world’s top chemists
Born in 1965, Omar Yaghi is a Jordanian-American chemist known as the inventor of reticular chemistry, a branch of chemistry that deals with the linking of molecular building blocks into extended crystalline structures.
He has also designed and produced several new classes of materials, primarily for use in clean energy applications. Yaghi was ranked No. 2 among the world's top 100 chemists of the past decade by Thomson Reuters.
3. Rana Dajani – One of the most influential scientists in the Islamic World
Rana Dajani is a molecular biologist. Her research focuses on genome-wide association studies concerning diabetes and cancer in ethnic Jordanian populations. She is also a consultant to the Higher Council for Science and Technology in Jordan, and has written in Science and Nature about science and women in the Arab world.
To top all that, she is on the UN Women Civil Society Advisory Group in Jordan, and has established a network for women mentors and mentees. In 2014, she was chosen as one of the 20 more influential scientists in the Islamic World and 13th on the list of the 100 most powerful women in the Arab World.
4. Farouk El-Baz – 'The King’ of the Space Program
Farouk el-Baz is an Egyptian American space scientist. He was born in the Nile Delta town of Zagazig in 1932 and graduated from Ain Shams University in 1958. He continued his studies in the United States, and eventually worked with NASA between 1967 and 1972 as the Secretary of the Landing Site Selection Committee for the Apollo missions.
His work in the planning of scientific exploration of the Moon, including the selection of landing sites for the Apollo missions and the training of astronauts in lunar observations and photography, led many astronauts to nickname him the “king”.
5. Pierre Zalloua – The National Genographer
Pierre Zalloua is a Lebanese geneticist and Dean of Graduate Studies and Research at Lebanese American University. He has made great contributions to biological research, particularly in diseases and genetics. He is widely known for taking part in the National Geographic Society’s Genographic Project.
His most recent genetic study revealed that the modern day population of the Levant migrated from Europe around 12,000 years ago, and not - as originally thought - from Africa with the rest of the Homo Sapiens.
6. Mostafa A. El-Sayed – He has a rule named after him
Born in 1933, Mostafa el-Sayed is an Egyptian-American chemical physicist, and a leading nanoscience researcher. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences and is a US National Medal of Science laureate.
El-Sayed and his research group has contributed widely to several areas of research, especially spectroscopy, which now has a rule named after him: the El-Sayed rule.