5/1/2018 12:10:54 AM
I felt both forced and blessed to take part in this new type of USERN event, "UEEE". Members of USERN organizing committee, advisory board affairs and media support gathered to make most of the meet with the expert event, hosting Professor Robert Huber after his round trip to Shiraz and hours before his departure.
The Second USERN Expert Express Event was a friendly, free, two-hour long gathering of USERN members with a Nobel Laureate. Our concerns and questions were similar and real, from, Marziyeh, a Bachelor student in physics, to Omid, PhD. candidate in psychology. We were twelve students rounded up around a table with Chemistry Nobel Laureates of 1988, Professor Rober Huber. Trying to warm up the session with question around Professor Huber’s experience in his visit from Persepolis, quickly I found myself confident enough to ask the first real question: How did you choose Chemistry or did the field choose you?
His answers were simple and straight: "This was a contest and we had to do everything not to let our American rivals win, and we did it!". I am not sure how others reacted to his first serious words, or tried to contain their excitement, but I could hardly believe this spirit of fighting and achievement in an 81 years old. He continued to express how he had meticulously chosen his field to make sure it is the least investigated and a high yield field of research: "Experimental research is highly competitive and you need to choose an area that is novel and hence less easy to succeed in."
How would you make balance between work and having fun? Have you ever had to choose between work and family life?
Professor Huber was ready to give all the credit in family life to his wife, who "raised their four children and made sure they spent enough daddy time and fair share of both parents".
I asked if he had ever faced a situation of conflict with his peers or supervisor and how had resolved it? Professor Huber remembered being independent in his PhD course and that his supervisor was so content with his results that he saw no reason to interrupt with Huber’s work. Confessing that he had not been the same to his students, Huber revealed that he is now happy to work and supervise a small group of students, where there is no room for any conflict to rise. Answering to my last question: You’ve spent most of your training and research in Germany and yet you won a Nobel prize? Do you recommend the same to your students?, he answers: "Go abroad as much possible and learn! Go abroad!"
This session was held in USERN Central office on April 28th.
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