Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy Versus Dr. Ata-ur-Rehman Khan-----Bogus Science or Personal Vendetta?

Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy has continued his animus toward Dr. Ata through a piece in Dawn titled "A Case of Bogus Science". In this piece, Hoodbhoy accuses Ata-u-Rehman of engaging in "bogus science" by asking in his recent paper on HAARP: “Is the HAARP then, a harmless research tool — or a weapon of mass destruction far more lethal than nuclear weapons? We may never know.”

I think Dr. Ata is well within the realm of science in speculating about HAARP's ability to effect weather patterns and trigger seismic activity.

Here are some of the arguments that support Dr. Ata's concerns:

1. Major seismic activity is often preceded by extreme weather phenomena induced by ionospheric disturbances - like thunderstorms with extensive lightning discharges. Before the release of tectonic stresses, there are large changes in ground potential, and these interact with the atmosphere and eventually with the ionosphere. It is conceivable that humans could manipulate the coupling in the reverse direction - from the ionosphere via the atmosphere to the lithosphere.

2. HAARP's transmitter's 3.6 MW is not a "puny" amount of power, especially when focused like a laser beam to "tickle" existing tectonic instability, thereby releasing the energy already stored in tectonic plates.

I think this aticle is just a continuation of Pervez's obsession with personally attacking and condemning Dr. Ata-ur-Rahman, a man of integrity who has done far more for higher education in Pakistan than anyone else, including Pervez Hoodbhoy, in the last several decades.

The reforms Dr. Rahman pushed fom 2002-2008 resulted in over fivefold increase in public funding for universities, with a special emphasis on science, technology and engineering. The reform supported initiatives such as a free national digital library and high-speed Internet access for universities as well as new scholarships enabling more than 2,000 students to study abroad for PhDs — with incentives to return to Pakistan afterward. The years of reform have coincided with significant increases in the number of Pakistani authors publishing in peer-reviewd research journals, especially in mathematics and engineering, as well as boosting the impact of their research outside Pakistan.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Dr. Rehman Defends Higher Education Reforms

Higher Education Transformation in Pakistan

Paki stan's $2.8 Billion IT Industry

President Musharraf's Legacy

Education in Pakistan

Reforms? What Reforms? by Pervez Hoodbhoy

India's New Millennium in Science

Higher Education Transformation in Pakistan

Nature's Coverage of Higher Education Reform

Asia Gains in World's Top Universities

Poor Quality of Higher Education in South Asia

Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy's Letter to Nature

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