Majadle to demand more funds for scientific research

The new minister says scientists and other academicians must make their voices heard.

majadle face 298.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
majadle face 298.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Science, Technology and Culture Minister Ghaleb Majadle has called for a national struggle to increase the budget for scientific research. At an emergency meeting held at Kibbutz Shfayim on Wednesday night, the new minister said scientists and other academicians must make their voices heard, as scientific research is the best investment in a better economy - like a goose that lays golden eggs. Most governments over the decades have failed to listen to scientists about the need to increase funds for research, said the minister, partly because "there are no lobbies for it" and scientists are busy in their labs. Bar-Ilan University president Prof. Moshe Kaveh said that in every developed country, the science ministry had large amounts of funding at its disposal, but this was not true in Israel, which was suffering from a "brain drain" of talents. Prof. Majd al-Haj, vice president and dean for research of the University of Haifa, praised Majadle for his efforts, saying that for the first time in the history of the state, there was an Arab minister, and that he was fighting for the cause of science. Prof. Yossi Yarden, chairman of the National Committee for Biotechnology, said that the ministry had been fighting for its life for years, but that since Majadle took office a few months ago, the office has felt "a new fresh spirit." The funds that ministry is able to allocate for research are "small, but catalytic" in that they trigger additional scientific activity. Majadle said that after launching a struggle for increasing the ministry's budget for 2008, he would present a five-year-plan to the cabinet. He has already appointed a team of scientists to prepare it.