Our spectacular gala dinner at the Science Museum in September was attended by over 300 guests. The evening was held in celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Making Connections programme which funds scientific collaboration between Weizmann scientists and their UK counterparts. Making Connections has been the major fundraising focus for Weizmann UK for 2018 and an incredible figure of almost £1.5million has been raised to support scientists to carry out their research across borders and beyond politics.
The Making Connections initiative began in 2008, under the chairmanship of Lord Mitchell and thanks to the scientific vision of Professor Benny Chain. It came about against the increasing threat of UK academic boycotts of Israel and the programme was created as a positive response to that backdrop. Thanks to the generosity of Weizmann UK supporters, in its first ten years Making Connections has enabled more than 100 researchers from the UK and Israel to pursue their visionary research together. Grants of $100,000 are awarded for joint research projects over two years. The aim is to stimulate substantial longer-term collaboration between the scientists.
Sheridan Gould, Weizmann UK Executive Director, said: “Making Connections began life as the spark of an idea. It is with enormous pride that we celebrate the tenth anniversary of what has grown into a flourishing and well established programme of collaboration between the Weizmann Institute and UK universities.”
Highlights of the Evening
The evening started with our Cocktail of Science reception. We were delighted to be joined by ten Weizmann scientists who had travelled from Israel. Guests had the opportunity to mix and mingle with scientists during the reception to learn about the fascinating questions their research addresses.
In the spirit of collaboration, the keynote speakers for the evening, Prof. Uri Alon (Weizmann Institute) and Prof. Marcus du Sautoy (University of Oxford) delivered a highly entertaining scientific and musical exploration of how scientists push the boundaries of what is known during the course of their research.
A special tribute was paid to Martin Paisner CBE, who after eight years as Chairman of Weizmann UK, is stepping down this year and Dr Arabella Duffield will take on the role of Chair. Martin was offered heartfelt thanks for his extraordinary commitment to the Weizmann Institute that has spanned more than 40 years. Watch the tribute to Martin Paisner CBE
The Making Connections gala dinner coincided with a two day Systems Biology symposium hosted at UCL which was attended by almost 150 scientists. The scientific programme was jointly organised by Prof. Benny Chain (UCL); Prof. Charles Swanton (The Francis Crick Institute) and Prof. Uri Alon (Weizmann Institute).
Watch our tribute to Martin Paisner CBE
A DECADE OF MAKING CONNECTIONS IN NUMBERS
Grants Awarded: $4.2m
Collaborative Research Projects: 53
Researchers from the UK and Israel working together: 116
UK Academic Intuitions paired with the Weizmann Institute: 21
Scientific Meetings hosted in the UK and Israel: 8
Published: September 06, 2018
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