We are neither proud nor complacent; we seek to compensate backwardness

Sorena Sattari
Sorena Sattari

Sorena Sattari, the President of Iran’s National Elites Foundation, says that today’s technological achievements should be a model for our scientific activities tomorrow.

Vice-President for Science and Technology and the President of the National Elites Foundation, Dr. Sorena Sattari, says that the public, scientists and the government have reached a consensus that they need to bring modern sciences out of books and use them to secure sustainable knowledge-based development.

On February 4, the website of the Iranian Science and Technology Department, an affiliate of the Presidential Office (isti.ir) released an opinion piece by Sattari on the state of Iran’s scientific progress. The following is the translation of the piece:

It is common knowledge these days that Iran has made remarkable achievements in science and technology in recent years. Enemies and friends, alike, admit that Iran’s scientific progress in different areas, especially in nanotechnology, is comparable with what it has achieved in nuclear technology. They describe it as a sign that a nation’s willpower is producing results.

The country has moved forward and achieved big gains in nuclear energy, nanotechnology, biotechnology and aerospace and this is because the public, scientists and the government have agreed that they should put in time and energy to bring these sciences out of books and use them to secure sustainable knowledge-based development for the country.

Today modern technologies have turned into a public discourse in Iran. This indicates that a consensus has been developed among the public, scientists and the government. Human experience shows that reaching a consensus is key to securing sustainable development in a country or to bringing the sales of raw materials to an end.

Constant support by the Supreme Leader for the country’s scientific development along with the contribution of government officials is indicative of the steely resolve of the Islamic Republic of Iran to make advancement on scientific and technological fronts.

The Leader expressed satisfaction with what has been done in the country in his inspection tour of a recent exhibition displaying Iran’s latest nanotechnology achievements, underlining three points: stability in management; accurate planning; and culture-building and dialogue creation.

The country can pull off success in political, economic and social areas like what it has gained in modern sciences and technologies such as nanotechnology, nuclear technology, biotechnology and aerospace. Iran can successfully ride out crises and challenges if these three factors come into play.

When there is consensus between society and the establishment, we can powerfully and successfully solve our issues with the world. Such a consensus can help us overcome various economic, political, social and environmental challenges.

The global economy has undergone fundamental changes thanks to new developments in oil markets, something which has affected oil-rich countries, including Iran. The Leader and the elite had already warned of this, saying a knowledge-based economy should be created as a sustainable replacement for oil.

What has unfolded recently can, at best, raise the alarm in the fabric of society and set the stage for creating a dialogue which seems likely to replace the previous interchange.

Today people are more receptive to talks on a knowledge-based economy than before. Besides senior government officials, the general public too eagerly pays attention to such a topic, and this can cement the overwhelming consensus between people and the government on boosting the knowledge-based economy.

The critical environmental challenges Iran is facing are the broad topic in society, not simply in scientific circles. We cannot tackle challenges such as air pollution or climate change unless they are treated as a national question and we mobilize all we have to that end.

What Iran has achieved in science, nanotechnology, nuclear technology and aerospace is a source of pride, but that is not enough. As the Supreme Leader said in his visit to the nano expo we should not be proud of and complacent with the status quo and the country’s headway; we should help Iran continue its fast march toward scientific gains.

“Although the talent of the Iranian youth and the pace of Iran’s scientific march are much higher than the world’s average – Iran ranks seventh in the world in terms of nanotechnology, for instance – we need to increase the speed of Iran’s scientific growth [to make up] for the country’s scientific backwardness over the course of history,” the Leader said.

Today’s achievements should be a model and motivation for our scientific activities in the future. We have to successfully rise to the occasion and overcome the challenges we face in different areas. Our experience has shown that our consensus on opening new doors is a guarantee for our success in the future.

Sorena Sattari is a scientist and inventor. He has a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology.
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