A blue plaque has been unveiled by English Heritage to mark the home of Professor Abdus Salam in Putney, London, where he used to live from 1957 to 1996, until his death.
Blue plaque – a symbol of English Heritage pride – is placed outside the historically significant building to honour the people and organizations who have lived or worked there. Salam joins Charles Darwin, Rosalind Franklin and Alan Turing among the scientists with blue plaques.
Salam was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1979, alongside Sheldon Glashow and Steven Weinberg, for his contribution to the electroweak unification theory. Additionally, he founded the Theoretical Physics Department at Imperial College London, with the late Professor Paul T Matthews.
“A blue plaque on the house in Putney where he lived for 40 years is a fitting tribute to Nobel Laureate Abdus Salam, who was not only one of the finest scientists of the twentieth century, having unified two of the four fundamental forces of nature, but who also dedicated his life to the betterment of science and education in the developing world,” said a professor at the Physics Department of Imperial College, Michael Duff, who completed his Ph.D. under the supervision of Salam in 1972.
When he won the Nobel prize in 1979, Salam became the very first Pakistani to achieve this distinction and only the fourth from the subcontinent. His contributions to science are undeniable and they have been recognised and hailed by the world and especially the state of Pakistan.
However, he is criticised back home because of his faith. Two months ago, a group of youngsters smeared his portrait, outside Gujranwala’s National Science College.
The viral video showed the group, allegedly consisting of State Youth Parliament Pakistan members, painting Salam’s portrait black while raising slogans against the minority Ahmadiyya community, of which Salam was a member.