Sunday, February 10, 2008

Absurd science

"El-Baz, the director of the US-based Boston University's Center for Remote Sensing, has been advising the Gulf states on science for over three decades, participating in nearly every science and research initiative in the region.

So far, those initiatives have largely failed to bear fruit. "The state of science in this region remains terrible," says El-Baz.

After several unsuccessful attempts in the 1970s to bring scientists into the kingdom, Saudi Arabia is experimenting with an unorthodox model.

The country is looking at supporting foreign researchers at their home institutions worldwide through the new King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), a graduate-level university — and Saudi Arabia's first co-educational institution — due to open on the shores of the Red Sea in 2009. The catch is that the grants will only go, at least initially, to research areas of interest to Saudi Arabia."

And what a great catch it is...for the subcontracted universities in the North! This is the new face of Arab-Islamic Science: pay someone else to do it somewhere else. La science de l'absurde.

Full article here.

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