Leaders line up to praise Israel's newest Nobel laureate

PM, ministers congratulate Dan Shechtman on winning Nobel Prize; Netanyahu: Win "reflects the intellect of our people."

October 5, 2011 15:20
1 minute read.
Israeli scientist Dan Shechtman

Dan Shechtman 311. (photo credit: YouTube screenshot)


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Top politicians lined up to praise Israeli scientist Dan Shechtman for winning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called to congratulate him in the name of all Israeli citizens, saying that the win "reflects the intellect of our people. Every citizen in Israel is happy today and every Jew in the world is proud."

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The prime minister also congratulated the Haifa Technion, where Shechtman studied, and invited the scholar to meet with him.

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni echoed the sentiment in a statement, saying, "Professor Shechtman's Nobel winning is a matter of pride for the State of Israel and the entire Jewish nation."

"There's no end to the pride of today's great achievements," Livni continued, "but it is upon us to expand and invest in education and higher education to continue developing Israel's human capital."

President Shimon Peres told Shechtman, "If you had asked me what else Israel needs, I would have said another Nobel Prize."

In a statement, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said, "This is a day of celebration, pride and great honor for Professor Shechtman, his originality and his perseverance."

He continued on to say groundbreaking research was "further evidence of the rare human resource that exists in Israel and the keystone of our national strength."

Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar called Shechtman's achievements "a source of great pride for the higher education system and the entire State of Israel." Sa'ar told the Technion scientist that, "The future of the State of Israel will be ensured by research on the highest level."

Shechtman discovered quasicrystals, which have mathematical non-repeating patterns. His discovery flew in the face of conventional scientific wisdom at the time that crystals contained only repeating patterns.

Shechtman was born 1941 in Tel Aviv, and earned his Ph.D. at the Technion in 1972. He is the tenth Israeli or Israeli-born scientist to win a Nobel Prize, and the third to win for chemistry.

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