This week, for the first time in the State of Israel’s history, 17 Presidents and heads of national science academies and international scientific organizations from around the world, will convene to express their confidence in and to salute the accomplishments of Israeli Science, joining the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities in its celebration of the 50th anniversary of its establishment. The conference will take place during the National Science Week, commencing Sunday, March 14th, on the birthday of Albert Einstein.
The International Presidents’ Conference titled “Science and Accountability” will take place during the coming week in Jerusalem at the Israel Academy of Sciences, with the participation of the President of Israel, Mr. Shimon Peres, Knesset Chairman Mr. Reuven (Ruby) Rivlin and Israel’s Science Minister Prof. Daniel Hershkovitz.
Among the participants conference will be leaders of national science academies and scientific organizations from the following countries and regions: Berlin-Brandenburg, China, Estonia, Germany, Great Britain, India, Japan, Poland, Sweden, Taiwan, USA and others. Also participating in the conference will be the heads of Israel’s higher education system, prominent Israeli public figures and Academy Members, among them the four Israeli Nobel Prize winners: Professors Israel Aumann, Aaron Ciechanover, Avram Hershko, and Ada Yonath.
President of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Prof. Menahem Yaari, describes the conference as a pivotal turning point in the advancement of international scientific relations of the State of Israel and a solute to the prominent standing of Israeli science in the world.
The Israel Academy of Sciences is currently marking the 50th anniversary since its establishment, and the conference of academy presidents is one of the special events signifying this milestone. The Academy was established in 1960 on the initiative of Prime Minister Ben-Gurion, who even chaired the first meeting of the Academy’s General Assembly. Prof. Yaari: "The founding fathers looked upon the Academy of Sciences’ establishment as the creation of a center of knowledge and scientific authority which could help the young nation when issues of a scientific nature are raised. During the course of the past 50 years, the State seldom turned to the Academy for assistance, but recently, a marked improvement has taken place in this arena", Prof. Yaari reaffirmed the Academy’s willingness to provide knowledge-based assistance to decision-makers, as long as it is required.
The Presidents’ Conference will focus on the responsibility of researchers and the science community towards society on the subjects of economics, medicine and the advancement of social welfare, as well as on the ethics of science and security issues. In a changing and dynamic world with an atomic armament race on the one hand and breakthrough bio-medical scientific developments on the other, and with the rising awareness of issues such as global warming and the quality of the environment, the conference organizers attach supreme importance to the rallying of the community of scientists and science advisory bodies, such as science academies, to provide tools and solutions, as well as direction and assistance, to policy makers in their decision process and implementation