Professor Pervez Hoodbhoy is one of Pakistan's most respected scientists, a theoretical physicist who has a global reputation. He is a recipient of UNESCO's Kalinga Prize and the American Physical Society's Joseph A. Burton Award. He has made important contributions to our understanding of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) and the theory of quarks and gluons. More recently he has been interested in problems in condensed matter physics.
He is also known as a great educator, anti-nuclear activist, environmental campaigner and someone who will not be cowed by right-wing or religious bigots.
After three decades at Qaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad, last year he started working at Lahore University of Management Sciences. However, LUMS has just announced that it will not renew his contract - the reasons are not entirely clear but several sources are reporting it is because he has insisted on teaching a course on science and religion. Presumably he does not accept some of the more 'unusual' scientific theories taught by extreme Islamists.
Students at LUMS - once regarded as a liberal institution, but increasingly dominated by religious and political extremists - have started a petition urging the university to renew Professor Hoodbhoy's contract. You can sign a copy of it here.
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