16-October-2021

Mathematician Hassan: Distinguished International Jobs, Honours

Mathematician Hassan: Distinguished International Jobs, Honours

By: Yahya Hassan


KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - Mohamed H.A. Hassan, is a distinguished mathematician who lives a rich career of research and writing that earned him lots of international jobs and honors.

Prof. Hassan’s watchers consider him “a highly influential advocate for the advancement of science in the South of the World and the use of science to serve developing countries.”

Mohamed H. A. Hassan is the co-chair of the Inter Academy Partnership (IAP) an umbrella under which more than 140 national, regional and global member academics work together to support the vital role of science in seeking evidence- based solutions to the World’s most challenging problems.

Prof. Hassan is also chairman of the Council of the United Nations University (UNU).

He also serves on a number of Boards of international organizations worldwide, including the Board of Trustees of Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Egypt; the Council of Science and Technology in Society (STS ) Forum, Japan; the Board of the International Science Programme, Sweden; the Board of the Science Initiative Group (SIG), USA; and the International Advisory Board of the Centre for International Development (ZEF), Germany.

After obtaining his PhD in Mathematics from the University of Oxford in 1974, he returned to Sudan and later became Professor and Dean of the School of Mathematical Sciences, University of Khartoum. He has a long list of publications in theoretical plasma physics and fusion energy, wind erosion, and dust and sand transport in dry lands. He has also published several articles on science and technology in the developing world.

Dr. Hassan was the founding Executive Director of the Academy of Science for the Developing World (TWAS), President of the African Academy of Sciences, President of the Network of Academies of Science in Africa (NASAC) and Chairman, Honorary Presidential Advisory Council for Science and Technology, Nigeria. He also is a founding member of the Lebanese Academy of Sciences.

Among his honours: Commendatore, Grand Cross, and National Order of Scientific Merit, Brazil; and Officer, Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.

He is a member of several merit-based academies of science, including TWAS; the African Academy of Sciences; Islamic World Academy of Sciences; Academia Colombiana de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales; Académie Royale des Sciences d’Outre-Mer, Belgium; Pakistan Academy of Sciences; Academy of Sciences of Lebanon; Cuban Academy of Sciences; Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Academy of Sciences of South Africa.

Some of His Scientific Works

- Small Things and Big Changes in the Developing World
Nanoscience and nanotechnology have been embraced by developing countries with governmental support--a paradigm shift in science-based development strategies. In this Policy Forum, the author describes the trends and urges alliances between North and South (without favoring the wealthy consumers) and with the least-developed nations to meet social and environmental goals. Investments by governments of developing countries in nanoscience and nanotechnology are paving the way for better science and solutions to problems of basic living, as well as offering excellent returns on investment .


-Physics of Desertification

Co-authored with Egyptian –American Scientist Dr. Farouk  Albaz, this research tackles the issue of desertification and the physical and climatic factors behind desertification. The research considers deserts as  parts of the Earth that receive little or no rain; 25 cm or less per year. The physical processes that act upon these parched lands are vastly different from those that shape the more humid parts of the terrestrial landmasses.

In the desert, wind is a major agent of erosion and transportation. As the results of recent space missions have indicated, this is also true in the case of the planet Mars. Thus, our understanding of desert processes sheds light on fundamental planetary processes that may apply on any planetary body that is enveloped by a windy atmosphere. An understanding of the physical layout of arid lands, and the nature of processes that initiate changes therein is also fundamental to the thoughtful utilization of these lands for the benefit of mankind.

– Building Capacity in the Life of the Developing World

This research preaches how sciences can help build capacities in the developing world and ways for building capacities.
In sum, it states that  the fundamental challenge facing the scientific community is how to devise innovative strategies that will bring all developing countries into the “biological fold” and to do so in ways that will take full advantage of advances in the biological sciences to curb poverty, improve public health, and promote human development.

- A New For Science in Africa
This research is concerned with how Africa, like all other developing parts of the World, can use science to build capacities. It states that: There is an  increasing interest among developed countries to support scientific and technological capacity building in low-income countries, especially in Africa. The challenge lies in turning this heartfelt interest into sustainable initiatives and real progress. Every African nation must educate and support a new generation of problem-solving scientists. This means reforming educational systems and building world-class research universities and centers of excellence. Lasting success will ultimately be determined not only by aid from abroad, but by strong and enduring partnerships in science and technology between Africa and the rest of the world.



– Effect of Silicon Compounds Against Macrophomina Phaseolina, the Casual Agent of Soybean Charcoal Rot Disease

This work was designed to study the efficacy of two types of silicon compounds (sodium silicate and potassium silicate) to control charcoal rot disease caused by Macrophomina phaseolina in vitro, under greenhouse and field conditions. In vitro study showed that sodium and potassium silicate at all concentration were effective on inhibiting the growth of the pathogen. Generally, sodium silicate significantly reduces pathogen growth than potassium silicate (29.02% and 19.34%, respectively). Under greenhouse conditions, treatments with sodium silicate caused the highest percentage of disease reduction of charcoal rot disease (37.8%), compared with infected control plants. Sodium silicate treatment increased the root, stem and leaves thickness layers of cortex (CO) and pith (PI) compared to untreated soybean plants. Under field conditions, application of sodium silicate in controlling charcoal rot disease showed significant reduction of disease severity in both tested seasons (56% and 42%, respectively) as well as increased the yield of soybean by (136.7% and 97.6%, respectively). The study concluded that application of sodium silicate could be useful in reducing charcoal rot diseases under greenhouse and field conditions.


- Can Science Save Africa?

In this article. Prof. Hassan maintains that the difficulties encountered by Africa's science departments have impacts that extend well beyond the departments themselves. Many of the continent's most serious problems, including malnutrition, disease, and environmental degradation, cannot be met without the presence of a critical mass of African scientists working on issues of direct concern to the continent itself. Science alone cannot save Africa, but Africa without science cannot be saved. So what can be done to revive African science, and who is responsible for leading such an effort.

In answer, Prof. Hassan states that the major responsibility for the future of African science rests in the hands of Africa's governments. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, funding for science and technology in Africa was driven by governmental commitments to quality education and research.
But years of political instability and chronic socioeconomic problems have turned what became increasingly neglected universities into destitute institutions. Whatever responsibility Africa's political institutions bear for the current crisis in education and research, they cannot be expected to overcome the situation on their own. Lack of financial resources and skilled personnel will make such a scenario virtually impossible. That means Africa's governments will need help from national and international aid organizations.

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