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Distinguished Professor Adrian Bejan - STEM Panel Opening Remarks



June 5th 2021

Distinguished Professor Adrian Bejan

Duke University

Benjamin Franklin Medal

FREEDOM and EVOLUTION : Hierarchy in Nature, Society and Science (2020)

The Physics of Life (2016)

Design in Nature (2012)

Panel on promoting mentoring and research achievements in STEM and IT:

The fourth panel of the conference focused on the role of mentoring networks in promoting research achievements of diaspora professionals in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The organizers invited as honored guest, J.A. Jones Distinguished Professor is in applied physics, thermodynamics, and evolutionary design at Duke University, Prof. Adrian Bejan, an accomplished and highly cited academician who honors the IRF serving on its advisory board. Prof. Bejan participated with meaningful contributions in all annual conferences supporting the efforts of the organization. He poignantly focused his intervention on the concept of “resilience,” a word in wide use whose original meaning rests with engineering, with a system’s ability to bounce back, recovering strength. Using the imagery of sports, of athletes staying in shape, constantly practicing, he underscored that the concept implies not some innate abilities but recurrent, obstinate dedication to practice, to evolve and improve in response to the challenges of the environment poses. Addressing the theme of “mentorship” he pointed to the relationship being driven by the quality of the mentee, that role models are to be valued as sources of inspiration, not to constrain the individuality of the mentee who must pursue his/her own calling through determination, not by some mandate of formal mentorship committees. He concluded that “it takes two to mentor.”

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