BEIJING: Former federal minister Prof Atta ur Rahman was inducted as “Academician” of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) during its19th General Assembly, and the 14th General Assembly of Chinese Academy of Engineering held here in the Chinese capital.
Chinese President, Xi Jinping was presiding over the event. Sir Paul Nurse, a Nobel laureate and former President of Royal Society (London) was also inducted as an Academician at the same ceremony, according to official sources here on Wednesday.
Prof Atta is the first scientist from the Muslim world to receive this highest honour from China.
Prof Atta, a PhD in Organic Chemistry from Cambridge University, has 1122 publications in several fields of organic chemistry including 764 research publications, 43 international patents, 70 chapters in books and, 245 books published largely by major US and European presses.
He is the first scientist from the Muslim world to have won the prestigious UNESCO Science Prize in 1999 in the 35 years old history of the prize. He was elected as Fellow of Royal Society, London in July 2006.
Prof Atta has been conferred honorary doctorate degrees by many universities including the degree of Doctor of Science by the Cambridge University (UK) in 1987.
He was elected Honorary Life Fellow of Kings College, Cambridge University, the UK in 2007.
The Austrian government has honoured him with its highest civil award “Grosse Goldene Ehrenzeischen am Bande” in 2007 in recognition of his eminent contributions.
He is President of Network of Academies of Sciences of Islamic Countries (NASIC), Foreign Fellow of Korean Academy of Sciences, and Foreign Fellow of the Chinese Chemical Society.
Prof Atta has been awarded highest award “Friendship Award of China” on September 28, 2014.
He was the federal minister for science and technology in March 2000 – November 2002, federal minister of education in 2002 and chairman of the higher education commission with the status of a federal minister from 2002-2008.
In recognition of his global outstanding services to the development of Science and Technology the largest university in Malaysia, University of Technology Mara, Malaysia UiTM, has established an institution entitled, “Atta-ur-Rahman Institute of Natural Product Discovery (RiND)” in 2013.
Prof Dr Atta is the most decorated scientist of Pakistan having won four civil awards by the government of Pakistan, including Tamgha-i-Imtiaz in 1983, Sitara-i-Imtiaz in1991, Hilal-i-Imtiaz in 1998, and the highest national civil award Nishan-i-Imtiaz 2002.