Hundreds of events are scheduled to be held at universities and research institutes around the country for National Science Day on March 26. Usually held on March 14, the birthday of Albert Einstein, the celebration is postponed this year because that date falls on a Friday and is followed by Purim celebrations.
The Science, Technology and Space Ministry is organizing the events to increase public awareness of the contributions of science, and to interest young people in a science career.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, ministers, Israel Nobel laureates and senior people in science and technological industries are to participate.
Science, Technology and Space Minister Yaakov Peri said on Tuesday that the aim of the events is to make science more accessible to the general public through direct experience, and to teach subjects regarded as too difficult for the layman.
In addition, National Science Day is “an opportunity to show off Israel’s scientific achievements through history and show appreciation to the country’s scientists,” he said.
National Science Day is a holiday for the ministry, he said. In the past, lectures and other events held on the day have drawn tens of thousands of people of all ages. “Such events can be more popular than reality shows on TV,” he said.
Science Day will begin on the night before the public events – March 25 – at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, with Netanyahu, Peri, institute president Prof. Daniel Zaijfman, ambassadors and scientists attending. Four Israeli Nobel prize winners in science – Prof. Robert Aumann, Prof. Ada Yonath, Prof.
Aharon Ciechanover and Prof. Dan Shechtman – will be present. In addition, promising young scientists from the Rehovot institute will speak about their research.
On March 26 itself, from morning until the early hours of the next morning, members of the general public are invited to events that will be publicized on universities’ and research institutes’ websites, as well as that of the ministry (most.gov.il).
There are to be 10 central events. The topics of the events include: science and the economy, science and the quality of life, young people’s initiatives, longevity, science and technology in the service of defense, brain sciences and science and music. A special event is also to be held in memory of the ministry’s former director- general, Zvi Yannai, who died late last year.
The Tel Aviv Municipality is turning Rabin Square into “Science Square” for one day.
ORT-Israel will present its high school pupils’ and post-high-school students’ technological developments.
The Hebrew University’s main event in Jerusalem will be opened by Peres and university president Prof.
The Amal network will present young people who set up start-ups, and an app competition will be held.
A public relations campaign to promote participation in Science Day events will take place during the days leading up to them. In addition, the ministry will sponsor a webcast on Ynet that will broadcast some events online.
In the evening, scientists will give free lectures in bars in various cities. The science museums in Jerusalem, Haifa, Kiryat Yam and Beersheba will be open on March 26 without the need to buy tickets.