I hope that many of you have seen the news in the Matrubhumi Daily (14th September 2009) - Front page (See the online version : http://bit.ly/2Iq2Rj , seems like Matrubhumi removed the online version today - 17 september 2009). The news is about a girl called Hannan Binth Hashim - a child prodigy on Astrophysics who is honoured by Nasa and other various Science and Technology Centres around the world for her exceptional works in the field of Astrophysics, She is said to have introduced to NASA by APJ Abdul Kalam.
After the news came in Matrubhumi yesterday, many of our ministers including M.A Baby and all called her and appreciated (thanks for their great mind), but how many of us dared to cross-check the news to see if it is true.
The same news was published in the Indian Express,The Indian express published it on 19th June 2009,page 5,second column. You can find the link here http://bit.ly/2Yu0Ta .
While the news in Indian express came out, I was glad to see an Indian child prodigy, and I have informed about this to some of my professors.To my shock, they have asked me to check the validity of the news and told me that it is a fake news.
Please see the result of my quick googling and research on this news. (Most of the European countries have something called Media Watch, an agency to criticise and verify the news, so most of the media people are conscious while making the news.Sadly, we don't have any such thing in India.).
Facts about the news
1 . There is nothing called American Institute of theoretical physics or American Journal of theoritical physics (The news says that she is publishing her works in that journal).
2. There is no sign of any reputed Science Journals or Magazines published about her theory yet (Do a simple google search, all you can find is the replicas of the news came in Indian express and nothing else like a Scientific paper or anything like that).
3. I couldn't find any proof of appreciation by APJ Abdul Kalam, Barak Obama or any other members of any Scientific Community.
4. Siemens Westinghouse Science and Technology competition is only Open to United State nationals.
5. She is said to have presented papers and took lectures in various scientific communities, meetings and Institutes. Is there any video lecture or anything related to any of these. This is an information era - why couldn't I find anything in the Internet.
6. There is no information about a course offered by Nasa Space School available even in the official Nasa site - For-Students Site (checkout : http://bit.ly/AZrFX).
The Space School actually offers a 5 day workshop,The students will experience a 5 day engineering mission to land a rover on the surface of Mars ( Any interesting student team can participate : http://bit.ly/ejXiU ).
7. She is saying in one news that we don't have enough facilities to learn her subjects in India, checkout Indian Institute of Astrophysics (http://www.iiap.res.in/) and Indian Institute of Sciences (http://bit.ly/FRzaY).
8. Above all read the two news and one can find contradictions in the statements, that itself verifies the unautheticity of the news and how ignorant our media persons are.
9. And why Honorable APJ Abdul Kalam recommended her to NASA while we have ISRO here.
10. After all, see this old scandals about another Indian Child Prodigies.
11.The theory she is working on is expected to disprove Einstein, it is about the speed of light, she is trying to prove that the speed of light may vary, but this was suggested even before many years (See the link : http://bit.ly/4td9GV).
I am not personally against Hannan or her abilities, I do wish if there is a few original child prodigies from India.What I still don't understand is why media people are this much ignorant and what Hannans can gain from such fake media publicity ?
Please do check carefully before you believe anymore news in the media, and see how ignorant our media is. Let us hope for the best.
This article was published on 9/14/09 by Dharan P Deepak