Yair Rotstein, Executive Director of the U.S.-Israel
Binational Science Foundation
|In this issue of our Vision newsletter, I am very pleased to introduce you to a remarkable group of scientists who are blazing promising new trails in a variety of scientific fields. They are the latest recipients of BSF’s most prestigious honors – the Bergmann Award, the Pazy Award, and the Neufeld Award.
Each accolade has its own criteria, but they have one important thing in common: By honoring the enduring legacies of scientists whose leadership helped shape BSF, and facilitated successful scientific relations between Israel and the United States, they honor some of the best and brightest among today’s scientists.
The Bergmann Award was created in memory of Professor E.D. Bergmann, a renowned organic chemist who played a leading role in establishing BSF. He served in consecutive years as chairman and vice chairman of the Board of Governors until his death in 1975. One of his special interests was encouraging and assisting young scientists and, for more than 40 years, the Bergmann Award has been given annually to promising young scientists receiving new BSF grants.
Professor Henry Neufeld was an internationally prominent cardiologist and scholar who served on the BSF Board of Governors from its charter meeting in 1973 until his death in 1986. The Award bearing his name is given to the most outstanding and original new BSF supported project in the health sciences.
The Pazy Award is named for Prof. Amnon Pazy, a well-known mathematician and leader in Israeli higher education who was twice elected Chairman of the BSF Board of Governors. After his death in 2007, we created the Pazy Award to recognize outstanding and original new projects in the mathematical and computer sciences.
For each of these honors, our Assistant Executive Director, Rachel (Heni) Haring, and I scan the ranked lists of the proposals given to us by different scientific evaluation panels, and look for those who are the most qualified for each of the prizes. We then present our recommendations to the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Board, who make the final selections.
While the prizes do not carry a high monetary value, they do carry a great deal of prestige in Israel and in the United States. They serve as important recognition in the ability and qualifications of recipients. As you read about the projects that these men and women are undertaking, I think you will agree with me that they are worthy and deserving of their awards.