Three U.S. Professors visit Iran, February 2014

posted by Warren Pickett

During the first two weeks of February 2014 I traveled to Iran with Tony Leggett (UIUC) and Paul Chu (Univ. of Houston), hosted by Mohammad Akhavan (Sharif Univ. of Technology), all professors in physics at their respective universities. This page contains information related to the trip and following activities.


American party and hosts dining in a traditional Iranian restaurant

1. A Commentary on the trip, Science diplomacy in Iran, was published in Nature Physics, July 2014.
See the Nature Physics web page.


Paul and May Chu, Farzaneh Akhavan, Jill and Warren Pickett at a Tehran bazaar

2a. An early Synopsis appeared on the UC Davis Dateline, now archived on the
Division of Mathematics & Physical Sciences web site

2b. A report in the Asia Pacific Physics Newsletter here.

2c. An interview on Tony Leggett's Iran-related activities by AVA Diplomatic has appeared online pdf version

2d. An interview on Pickett's Iran-related activities by AVA Diplomatic has appeared online
here. pdf version

2e. An Iranian report of the visit of the three physicists can be viewed here


The group with with Reza Roosta Azad, President of Sharif University,
and former Minister of Cultural Heritage and Tourism Mohammad-Ali Najifi

3. July 16 report on the visit of U.S. physicists to Iran, on the web site of the Iranian Students' News Agency.

4. “… if two countries or governments are at war, the men of science are not. That would indeed be a civil war of the worst description: we should rather, through the instrumentality of men of science, soften the asperities of national hostility.” Sir Humphry Davy, Paris, Vol. 1, p. 261 (1831). in John Ayrton Paris, The Life of Sir Humphry Davy, 2 volumes, London (1831)

5. Some recent commentaries on Iranian academic issues
Elise Auerbach on Iranian scientists in Nature
Iranian scientist jailed, reported in Nature
Scientific journals refusing Iranian manuscripts, covered in Science
Rock concert in Tehran,reported in NYT pdf
2008: visits to Iran suspended by U.S. National Academies
TIME Dec 2015: Is Iran finally ready for change? by Karl Vick/Tehran

6. Slides of a presentation given at UC Davis, Univ. of Tennessee Knoxville, and at the Lorenz Center in Leiden are available.


The group at the Khaju Bridge in Isfahan.

7. Slides of a talk given at UC Davis, Univ. of Tennessee Knoxville, and at the Lorenz Center in Leiden are available here 8. Interview with Tony Leggett by AVA Diplomatic. here


Chance meeting with Iranian schoolgirls, who were delighted to get photos
taken with, and collect autographs from, the visitors from the U.S..