Prof. Gerhard Ertl

Baru saja saya membaca autobiografi Prof. Gerhard Ertl (penerima Nobel Kimia tahun 2007) yang berjudul “Molecules at Solid Surfaces: A Personal Reminiscence” yang dipublikasikan di Annual Review of Physical Chemistry, Volume 68, 2017, pp 1-17. Saya terkesan dengan kalimat penutup dari autobigrafi beliau:

When I look back, I feel that I was lucky to always be at the right place at the right time: The war ended while I was a child, and since then, I have lived in a stable country which has had peace for more than seven decades—the longest period in its history. Later, I found the best possible mentor and always had the necessary freedom to develop my own ideas in a time during which the new field of surface science was emerging. I was always accompanied by excellent collaborators, and I never had any serious problems in receiving the funding necessary to realize my ideas. Thus, I am deeply grateful.

Beliau beryukur karena ada hal-hal yang diluar kemampuan yang dianugerahkan kepada beliau, seperti negara yang stabil dan bertemu dengan orang-orang hebat yang mendukung — menurut saya, siapa lagi kalau bukan dari yang Maha Kuasa, yaitu Allah SWT. Dari tulisan ini nampak beliau orang yang rendah hati, walaupun saya tidak tahu dalam kehidupan sehari-harinya. Pelajaran untuk kita yang minim prestasi, jangan sombong!

Foto saya di depan bangunan laboratorium beliau di Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft di Berlin tahun 2015.

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Hadi Nur

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