Article - Weizmann Institute of Science 70th Anniversary
Weizmann Institute of Science 70th Anniversary
The Weizmann Institute of Science has been molding the spirit and substance of the State of Israel for 70 years. Chaim Weizmann, the first President of Israel and founder of the Weizmann Institute of Science is quoted in the campus square: “I trust and feel sure in my heart that science will bring to this land both peace and a renewal of its youth, creating here the springs of a new spiritual and material life. [...] I speak of both science for its own sake, and science as a means to an end.” And in fact, 70 years after the ceremony of its founding was attended by the leaders of the young nation on November 2, 1949, the Weizmann Institute of Science is ranked sixth in the world for research quality (CWTS Leiden Ranking) and is among the world’s 25 most influential institutions for technological and medical application. This is an especially significant achievement, as the Institute’s scientists focus on basic research, motivated solely by curiosity and with a single goal: to expand the boundaries of human knowledge and better understand the world and our place therein.
Weizmann scientists were the first to study cancer in Israel, the first to build an electronic computer (in 1954), the first to develop the amniotic fluid test and the first original Israeli drug (Copaxone, for the treatment of multiple sclerosis). The first three particle accelerators in Israel were operated at the Institute and advanced ways to utilize solar energy were studied and developed in its solar power tower. Prof. Ada Yonath, who deciphered the structure and workings of the ribosome, which produces a cell’s protein, was the first female Israeli scientist to be awarded the Nobel Prize (2009). Today the Institute is a leader in the fields of developing personalized medical treatment, aerospace research and a deeper understanding of quantum physics.
The Weizmann Institute of Science also contributes greatly in the social and educational realms. The “perach” mentorship program was started at the Institute in the 1970’s. The national Science Oriented Youth program also began here. The expanded program is now managed by the Davidson Institute for Young Scholars, the educational branch of Weizmann Institute for Science. Thus the Institute’s scientists are laying the foundation for Israel as the Start-up Nation, while also narrowing social gaps and working to improve the overall welfare of humankind.
Description of the Stamp
The icons rising from Prof. Weizmann’s hand represent the various fields of research at Weizmann Institute of Science:
Chemistry – an acetone molecule. The molecule is floating above Weizmann’s hand because he himself was a chemist. The process of using bacteria to produce acetone from corn for the British military in WWI awarded him political and scientific prestige.
Physics – an abstract model of an atom.
Mathematics – a computer – the Greek letter phi.
Life Sciences – a strand of DNA.
Education – an academic graduation cap.
The icons’ upward movement symbolizes the future.
Images of Weizmann on the stamp and FDC: courtesy of the National Photo Collection.
Photos: National Photo Collection and Shutterstock.
The FDC features items from the stamp: a portrait of Weizmann with four icons in the background symbolizing physics, mathematics, life sciences and education.
The postmark features an acetone molecule.