As part of the World Science Conference Israel (WSCI) to be held at the Hebrew University next week, fifteen Nobel Prize winners and dozens of international scientists will make their way to Israel. The program, geared towards over 400 promising science students from 70 countries, hopes to encourage youth to engage in science and technology by providing them with the unique opportunity to meet with Nobel Prize winners and leaders in science.
The conference was initiated by Nobel Laureate and Hebrew University Prof. Roger Kornberg together with the Israeli Ministry of Science and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The organizers promise a “once-in-a-lifetime experience” for the 400 students aged 17-21 who are slated to fly to Israel to attend.
On the program are lectures on hot topics in physics, chemistry, economics and medicine along with more focused talks on the ‘Israeli entrepreneurial spirit’. WSCI’s organizers also hope that the conference “will help to develop international friendships and cooperation, transcending barriers of nationality and geographical distance.” The underlying goal of the conference is to help budding scientific minds make important connections between basic science and more advanced applications that could one day procure them their own Nobel Prize.
Some of the notable Nobel Prize winners at the conference include Prof. Robert Aumann, who won the prize in Economic Sciences in 2005 for his work on conflict and cooperation in game theory; Prof. Steven Chu, the former United States Secretary of Energy who won the prize in Physics in 1997 for his research in cooling and trapping atoms with lasers; and Prof. Robert Kornberg, who won the prize in Chemistry in 2006 for his studies into the process whereby DNA is copied to RNA.
Other Nobel Laureates slated to attend include: Prof. Zhores I. Alferov (Physics, 2000), Prof. Sidney Altman (Chemistry, 1989), Prof. Aaron Chiechanover (Chemistry, 2004), Prof. Claude Cohen-Tannoudji (Physics, 1997), Prof. David J. Gross (Physics, 2004), Sir Prof. Harold W. Kroto (Chemistry, 1996), Prof. Elon Lindenstrauss (Fields Medal, 2010), Prof. Richard J. Roberts (Physiology or Medicine, 1993), Prof. Dan Shechtman (Chemistry, 2011), Prof. Harold E. Varmus (Physiology or Medicine, 1989), Prof. Arieh Warshel (Chemistry, 2013), and Prof. Ada Yonath (Chemistry, 2009).
The WSCI was modeled after the Lindau Science Meeting, which has provided the opportunity for students of all ages to meet with Nobel Laureates for the past six decades, as well as the Asian Science Camp, a similar program for students in Asia and Australia. In fact, the Asian Science Camp held in Israel in 2012 is what inspired the organizers to build their own conference showcasing Israeli scientific contributions.