World cups are meant to transcend borders, languages and cultures serving as powerful reminders of the unifying spirit that binds humanity together. Pakistan Young Innovative Minds Society hosted a seven-day physicist tournament in scenic Murree where local and foreign participants exposed to immense scientific talent as well as cultural understanding about Pakistan. Basically, Dr Farida Tahir, a physicist from the Department of Physics of Islamabad’s COMSATS University, has introduced the Pakistan Young Innovative Minds Society in 2016 with the vision of hosting prestigious tournament in homeland. Almost six-year of relentless effort, she succeeded in persuading International Young Physicist Tournament (IYPT) President Martin Plesch to bring the global event to Pakistan.
Dr Farida Tahir calls International Young Physicist Tournament a great opportunity for science diplomacy; cultural understanding
From July 18 to July 25, this much-awaited event witnessed convergence of young minds from 14 nations, including China, Brazil, Poland, Iran, Thailand, Slovakia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, Georgia, Croatia, and Mexico besides Pakistan as a host. The already selected secondary school students participated in a thrilling seven-day competition, leaving an enduring mark on the landscape of physics exploration. Curtains lifted at the Murree Art Council, marking the start of the opening ceremony where the participants from Poland and Georgia, driven by their passion for unraveling mysteries of the universe, engaged in their first fight. It is pertinent to mention here that the event itself was not a pen-and-paper competition but an enactment of a scientific discussion.
The beauty of the tournament was that the teams can take quite different routes to tackle the same problem as long as they stay within broadly-defined statement of the problem, and all routes are legitimate and the teams were judged according to depths reached by their investigations. The Physics World Cup showcased the brilliance of young physicists in an intense arena of scientific exploration, the participants were also treated to an array of unforgettable excursions to make this event as cultural exchange program by unveiling the awe-inspiring natural marvels of Pakistan. The host city, with its enchanting beauty, served as a perfect starting point for the participants as they embarked on their excursions.
‘Nurturing a scientific community among young individuals is of great importance in an era propelled by progress in technology and discoveries’
The visitors found themselves amid a vibrant tapestry of colors, sounds, and flavors that defined essence of Pakistan. Beyond the laboratory walls, these excursions offered a unique opportunity to discover the country’s rich cultural heritage and diverse landscapes. Traditional markets and bustling streets welcomed the participants, immersing them in country’s vibrant culture. In the backdrop of this competition, an event that celebrated pursuit of scientific knowledge, the Qawali night added dimension of artistic expression. I am sure that organizing these excursions was no a small feat, and the credit goes to the dedicated organizers who ensured seamless arrangements, prioritizing comfort of the participants throughout the journey.
The curtains fell with the breath-taking closing ceremony when Poland witnessed the first place in the competition to leave behind Slovakia and Thailand. The echoes of this remarkable event will resonate in the crevices of the mountains for a long time to come. In an era propelled by progress in technology and scientific discoveries, nurturing a scientific community among young individuals is of great importance. Amid social and political challenges, the nation needs visionary leaders who are determined to create a scientific revolution for the greater cause of the country. Dr Farida Tahir paved a way for a better scientific community in Pakistan.