Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities admits nine new members – including three women

The academy is responsible for promoting scientific excellence, providing advice to the government on scientific issues of national importance and maintaining scientific relations with similar bodies

December 9, 2015 03:09
3 minute read.

Nili Cohen (fifth from right), president of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities is surrounded by inductees into the academy. (photo credit: SASSON TIRAM)

Nine outstanding academic scholars – including three women – were inducted Tuesday into the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, which is responsible for promoting scientific excellence, providing advice to the government on scientific issues of national importance and maintaining scientific relations with similar bodies.

Anthropology Prof. Yoav Benjamini at Tel Aviv University is a member of the TAU’s Sagol School of Neuroscience and of its Edmond Safra Bioinformatics Center. Co-developer of the widely used and cited False Discovery Rate concept and methodology, he served as president of the Israel Statistical Association and received the Israel Prize for research in statistics and economics in 2012.

Anthropology and psychology emeritus Prof. Yoram Bilu of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has specialized in the interface of culture and psychology.

His research domains include folk religion (saint worship, messianism), culture and mental health, and the sanctification of space in Israel. A major focus of Bilu’s scholarship has been the culture and religious practices of Moroccan Jews. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Israel Prize in sociology and anthropology in 2013.

Prof. Israel Finkelstein teaches in the archaeologic and ancient Near Eastern civilizations department at TAU, specializing in archaeology of the Levant in the Bronze and Iron Ages and the incorporation of the exact and life sciences into archaeological research and biblical history. Finkelstein is a laureate of the Dan David Prize and received other awards and conducted archaeological surveys and excavations in the Negev, Sinai and highlands. Since 1994, he has been the co-director of the Megiddo Expedition.

Prof. Emerita Ruth Gavison of the Hebrew University law faculty was born in Jerusalem in 1945 and holds a law degree; a BA in philosophy and economics, and a D.Phil (PhD) from the University of Oxford.

She specializes in the philosophy of law, constitutional law, human rights and the role of law in society and the state. She has received numerous awards, among them the EMET Prize and the Israel Prize and has been involved in numerous public activities such as chairing the board and serving as president of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and serving on committees including the Winograd Commission to investigate the Second Lebanon War.

Prof. Avner Holtzman teaches Hebrew literature at TAU and previously at the Hebrew University and Open University.

He has authored 14 books and edited 40 volumes of scholarly anthologies and critical editions focusing on Hebrew literature from the 19th century to the present and has received numerous awards including the Landau Prize for Hebrew Literary Research.

Prof. Eli Keshet of the Hebrew University’s medical faculty focuses on the roles of retroviruses in causing cancer, the vascular system and the complex processes of angiogenesis.

He gained insights on vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), the factor promoting the formation of new blood vessels and controlling their survival, and his findings contributed to development of new treatments for cancer.

He has won several prizes, including the Emet Prize for Art, Science and Culture and the Rothschild Prize Prof. Adi Kimchi of the molecular genetics department of the Weizmann Institute of Science was born in Tel Aviv and studied microbiology at TAU. She continued her studies at Weizmann, where she performed her postdoctoral research. She later headed her department and was the president’s adviser for advancing women in science. She is internationally recognized as a pioneer and leader in the field of programmed cell death and has identified novel signaling pathways that drive different forms of cell death.

Prof. Joseph Kost of Ben-Gurion University’s chemical engineering department is dean of the engineering faculty in Beersheba and an expert in polymers and bioengineering.

He has written many books and is responsible for 50 patents.

Electrical engineering Prof. Shafrira Goldwasser of the computer sciences and applied mathematics department at Weizmann has been honored for her work in encryption.

She has won the Godel Prize twice and the Turing Award, and also has been named a member of three American academies.

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