Prof. Ruth Arnon, president of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, on Sunday urged outstanding doctoral students in the sciences to return to Israel after their post-doctoral work abroad and give back to the country what they received.

She spoke at the Adams Fellowship award ceremony held in Jerusalem about the toll of the brain drain.

The ceremony was attended by the nine new fellows and some 70 who had been winners since 2005. So far, none of the scholars who reached beyond the stage of post-doctorates has remained at prestigious universities abroad such as Harvard and MIT; all have returned home, even though they do not have to sign such a commitment to receive the fellowship.

The nine doctoral students – who are doing work in structural biology, molecular genetics, semiconductor nanoparticles, engineering and computer science, mathematics, communications networks, chemistry, quantum field theory and nanowires – will receive some $100,000 each for tuition and to see them through their studies.

Some of them have already received commitments to hire them as university lecturers even before getting their PhDs.

Present at the ceremony was real estate entrepreneur Marcel Adams of Montreal who will celebrate his 92nd birthday next month. A Holocaust survivor and fighter in the War of Independence, Adams has always been grateful to the state and comes to Jerusalem from Canada to hand the fellowships out personally. With this years selection, the Hebrew University’s Prof. Chaim Cedar, himself the recipient of the Israel Prize, Wolf Prize and many other prestigious awards for his work in cancer and developmental biology, concluded five years of being part of the Adams Fellowship steering and selection committee.

The event included a lecture on nanoparticles going back to the ancient Egyptian and Roman eras to the present, which was delivered by Prof. Reshef Tenne of the Weizmann Institute of Science.

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