The widespread study of the “classical sciences” such as biology, chemistry and physics must be restored to the schools for Israel to continue to excel in development, initiative and innovation, Education Minister Shai Piron said on Wednesday – which marked National Science Day – at Haifa’s Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.
Israel cannot compete strategically with the reality around it and the lack of natural resources if it doesn’t boost science studies and use its intellectual advantages to promote human excellence, said Piron.
National Science Day is usually held on March 14, the birthday of Albert Einstein, but this year it was postponed to March 26 because the official date falls on a Friday, followed by Purim celebrations.
Hundreds of events were held at universities and research institutes around the country and organized by the Science, Technology and Space Ministry to increase public awareness of the contributions of science and to interest young people in a science career. The events are regarded by the ministry as an opportunity to show off Israel’s scientific achievements and show appreciation to the country’s scientists.
Technion president Prof. Peretz Lavie said that despite foreign threats of academic boycotts against Israel, his own institution is expecting academic cooperation with universities abroad. An applied engineering research center that it set up in New York with Cornell University has already begun to teach its first students. In addition, the Technion is setting up a branch “that will pave the way to [scientific cooperation with] China,” he said.
Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav added that because the Technion is located in his city, it is the metropolis with the largest number of Nobel Prizes in science. “We are investing a lot of resources into returning technical education to Haifa, and I am glad that the Technion is contributing to this,” said Yahav.
Technion professors presented at the Haifa Science Day event some of their latest research, including computerized graphics for improving archeology findings to ways to make public construction more efficient.
Satellites and Iron Dome anti-missile batteries were set down in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square in honor of National Science Day, which was turned into Science Square for 24 hours.
Science, Technology and Space Minister Yaakov Peri said that science is what unites security, economics and society.
“Our future depends on what young people decide to do. You of the next generation have the responsibility for ensuring that start-ups don’t become history,” he said.
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