I let my Advanced General News class watch “A Beautiful Mind” (2001) which tells the story of Dr John Nash who studied at Princeton and ultimately won the Nobel Prize and the Abel Prize for his studies on partial differential equations. He studied with fellow PHDs to develop theories that would be applied to the “war effort” in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. The competition between them was palpable. John Nash then realised he suffered from schizophrenia and had to use his self discipline to overcome it to live a life of contribution.
The movie was exciting however, I was concerned that only white PHD’s existed in the movie. To counter this phenomenon (there were no objections during the movie!) I set up a visit to the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission-University of Ghana with lectures and interviews with a few of Ghana’s PHD’s
We packed up the Advanced General News class and headed off to Ghana’s Atomic Energy Commission-University of Ghana offices. We haven’t had a “real” field trip in quite a while. Hopefully, the first of many more.
We were welcomed by Professor Samuel Boakye Dampare and then Dr. Francis Hasford. Our students were literally attending the University of Ghana and they loved it! Dr. Francis Hasford is the Head of Medical Physics. He shared his path from when he was a young man, he watched his father suffer from prostate cancer. He decided to study radiation therapy and even developed equipment that would include ALL the tests into one – the PET, the CT, and the MRI – and even has a patent on this. He travels all over Europe and Africa lecturing about treatments for cancer. He has completed 53 peer-reviewed articles.
All of this and yet he opened his lecture with pictures of his 3 children and how they too plan to study Medical Physics!
This whole visit came about because our Ghana Board of Directors includes Fidelis Dery, yet another PHD! So much brilliance around us that day!
Again, in class we studied about the many Nobel Prize winners from Africa and noted that of the 46 women to ever win a Nobel Prize, 5 have been from Africa! So it’s “open season” for our students to pursue science, math, medicine and literature to help build Ghana’s future!