By Haruna Gimba
The winner of the 2016 American Institute of Physics’ John Torrence Tate Award for International Leadership in Physics, Professor Neil Turok, has donated the cash prize of $10,000 to the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS).
Professor Turok, Director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and the founder of AIMS, is a world-renowned cosmologist and one of the world’s most renowned physicists.
He donated the Prize to scholarship for young Africans mathematicians and scientists.
According to press statement distributed by African Press Organization (APO), the donation will be used to initiate the Thierry Zomahoun Scholarship at AIMS, which will be awarded upon graduation to an African student currently taking the Masters Degree at one of AIMS five centres of excellence.
The statement added that Thierry Zomahoun, is a street kid who gained three Masters degrees and became an incredible manager and development leader, and served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the AIMS organisation for the past five years.
Turok’s hope is that the cash prize donation will encourage similar contributions from public, private and non-governmental sources to allow more African youth to benefit from top quality training in mathematical science.
He said: “I would like this scholarship to encourage students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds, overcome huge obstacles in their personal development, and show outstanding commitment to creating a better future for others.
“I can think of no better way to pay tribute to this honour, and to John Torrance Tate, who established the world’s top physics journal, than to support an AIMS scholarship in Thierry Zomahoun’s name. I hope this will encourage other donors to follow suit.”
Health Reporters gathered that the donation is a token of esteem for the outstanding leadership Mr. Zomahoun has exhibited during his five years at AIMS, driving the expansion of AIMS from one to five centres, with a sixth to open in Rwanda in August.
In his speech, Zomahoun described Professor Turok offer to initiate award in his name as a great honour.
“This is a great honour and I am humbled by this scholarship in my name. We are determined to transform Africa into the next global hub for science. All forms of scientific endeavour and especially those that produce tangible results will be encouraged with the aim being to solve challenges in Africa and around the world,” he said.