Prof. Israel Dostrovsky dies at 92

A founder and former president of the Weizmann Institute of Science passes away.

Dostrovsky 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Dostrovsky 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
A founder and former president of Rehovot’s Weizmann Institute of Science and one of Israel’s leading scientists, Prof. Israel Dostrovsky, died on Tuesday at the age of 92.
He was born in Odessa in the former Soviet Union in 1918 and arrived here with his family as a baby. After attending primary and secondary school in Jerusalem, he went to study in England and received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and doctorate in physical chemistry, both from University College, London.
After working as a lecturer in chemistry at University College, he joined the Weizmann Institute in 1948, shortly before its dedication. Immediately upon joining the staff of Weizmann, he was appointed director of the isotope research department, a position he held for 17 years.
Between 1971 and 1975, Dostrovsky served as the the Weizmann Institute’s vice president and then president, and in 1975 he was named “institute professor,” a prestigious title awarded by Weizmann faculty and administration to outstanding scientists who made significant and meaningful contributions to science or to the country.
Between 1980 and 1990, he headed the institute’s Center for Energy Research. When he turned 80, the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities held a special scientific conference in Jerusalem and at Weizmann to honor the occasion.
As a state appointee, Dostrovsky served as research director at the Israel Atomic Energy Commission; chairman of the National Council for Research and Development; directorgeneral of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission; and chairman of the desalination committee.
Between 1973 and 1981, he also served as a member of the scientific advisory committee of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna. He was a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities and an honorary life member of the New York Academy of Science. He received the Israel Prize in 1995 and the Ramsey Medal and Prize; Tel Aviv’s Weizmann Prize and honorary doctorates from Tel Aviv University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.