Shabnam Raayai Ardakani’s brilliance shines brightest through her remarkable achievement of winning the most prestigious physics prize in the world. Her groundbreaking discoveries, coupled with her ability to translate complex theories into practical applications, have solidified her as a trailblazer in the field of physics. This unparalleled recognition cements her legacy as one of the greatest minds of our time.
Undeterred by the obstacles she has overcome, Shabnam Raayai Ardakani continues to make significant contributions to the field of physics. Through her research and collaborations with leading scientists, she actively engages in groundbreaking projects that push the boundaries of human knowledge. Her commitment to scientific exploration and innovation shapes the future of physics, inspiring young minds to follow in her footsteps.
Shabnam Raayai Ardakani was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1981. She was raised in a Bahá’í family and grew up practicing the Bahá’í faith. She developed an early passion for physics and attended Sharif University’s physics program in Tehran. However, she was expelled from university in 2005 for being a Bahá’í in Iran, which made it nearly impossible for her to continue her studies in Iran. She and her husband were threatened and detained for months by Iranian authorities because of their work with BIHE. (Baháʼí Institute for Higher Education) As a Bahá’í, she and other members of the Bahá’í community in Iran face various forms of persecution, including denial of education and employment opportunities.
Shabnam co-founded the Bahá’í Institute for Higher Education (BIHE) in response to discriminatory policies after Bahá’í students were expelled from universities in Iran. She has dedicated her life to advocating for the right of Bahá’ís to education at a university level. She often gives public talks about the importance of higher education and social and racial justice. She has worked in various advocacy organizations including Education Under Fire, a campaign that highlights the Iranian government’s denial of access to higher education for thousands of Bahá’í youth in Iran.
Shabnam Raayai Ardakani, considered a Physics Laureate received her Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2015. In 2014 she won the most prestigious prize in the field of physics, the 2014 Paolo Budinich Prize, awarded by the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP). She has authored multiple publications in physics and co-founded the Bahá’í Institute for Higher Education (BIHE) Physics and Mathematics Department.