New Book: Kedar, Chaim Weizmann. Scientist, Statesman and Architect of Science Policy

ב”ז קדר, עורך. חיים ויצמן – המדען, המדינאי ומדינאי-המדע . ירושלים: האקדמיה הלאומית הישראלית למדעים, 2015.


This collection of essays is based on the lectures delivered at a conference held on 8 January 2013 commemorating the 60th anniversary of the death of Chaim Weizmann, the first President of Israel, scientist and statesman.


Table of Contents
דברי פתיחה / יהושע יורטנר — מבוא: חיים וייצמן – המדען והמדינאי / ב”ז קדר — הכימיה האורגנית של וייצמן באקדמיה והתעשייה בראשית המאה העשרים / יהושע יורטנר — מדיניות המדע של וייצמן כמסד הביקוש המתמשך למצוינות מדעית במערך המחקר הישראלי / שאול כ”ץ — וייצמן והאוניברסיטה העברית / חדוה בן-ישראל — הון או גאון: המאבק של וייצמן ואיינשטיין על מצוינות אקדמית באוניברסיטה העברית / יששכר אונא — מכון וייצמן למדע – מצבה חיה וראויה למכונן המחקר המדעי בישראל / רות ארנון — תיאור פגישתם הראשונה של וייצמן ובלפור, 1906 – אגדה או מציאות? / ב”ז קדר — וייצמן – צמיחתו של מדינאי / שלמה אבינרי — וייצמן ועמיתיו המדענים בגרמניה – אתגרים ודוגמה אישית / שולמית וולקוב — ‬
‫ וייצמן והערבים / בני מוריס — וייצמן – מדע יישומי ופטנטים / רפאל משולם — תגלית הצלולוזום: בעקבות חזון הדלק הביולוגי של וייצמן / רפאל למד ואד באייר — קטעים גנוזים בענייני מדע וטיוטות האוטוביוגרפיה trail and error — דברי נעילה / יהושע יורטנר.

New Article: Deichmann, Collaborations between Israel and Germany in Chemistry

Deichmann, Ute. “Collaborations between Israel and Germany in Chemistry and the Other Sciences – a Sign of Normalization?” Israel Journal of Chemistry (early view; online first).





The scientific collaboration between Israel and Germany was not initiated, as commonly believed, by the Max Planck Society or by German scientists who wanted to revive collaboration with their former Jewish colleagues. Rather, it was initiated in the mid-1950s by two Israeli scientists from the Weizmann Institute and a German scientist at the time at CERN in violation of the widely accepted cultural boycott by Israel against Germany. The initiators succeeded in procuring political support; large-scale collaboration between the Weizmann Institute, German universities, and the Max Planck Society was developed. In the aftermath of the Second World War, German science suffered from the Nazi expulsion of Jewish scientists and partial international isolation; the collaboration with Israel enabled young German scientists to overcome this isolation and benefit from stimulating Israeli research environments. In times of economic hardship, the collaboration helped Israeli science materially, provided contacts to chemical industry, and strengthened the cooperation between Israeli and European science. The collaboration was built, in part, on postwar myths created by German scientists and the Max Planck Society about their former anti-Nazi attitudes. Despite the difficult beginnings and some hidden political agendas, the collaboration developed very successfully. Germany became Israel’s second most important partner in the scientific field, after the USA. Today, normalcy prevails in many – though not all – of the Israeli-German collaborative projects; the past is not forgotten, but science is in the fore.




Editorial: Schwarz et al, The Scientific Bridge: Fifty Years of Germany–Israel Diplomatic Relations

Schwarz, Helmut, Itamar Willner, and Ilan Marek. “The Scientific Bridge: Fifty Years of Germany–Israel Diplomatic Relations.” Angewandte Chemie – International Edition (early view; online first).




Indeed, the scientific and technological links between Germany and Israel have provided exciting opportunities for the benefit of the two countries well beyond the narrow confines of scientific activities. The continuation and expansion of these thriving relations demonstrate how science and culture can bridge and overcome bitter experience and memories. The relatively young history of German–Israeli diplomatic relationship serves as a good example on how “science acts as a diplomacy of trust”. Recently, we are witnessing efforts to boycott Israel, and particularly, its academic institutions. As such acts endanger academic freedom, free speech, and human rights, all of us should unite against the destruction of these basic values. Israel and Germany seek the future academic, cultural, and political cooperation with partners from all over the world. After all, it is cooperation that forms the first step towards building a joint future.



New Article: Blonder and Rap, Exploring Israeli High School Chemistry Teachers’ Use of Facebook

Blonder, Ron, and Shelley Rap. “I like Facebook: Exploring Israeli High School Chemistry Teachers’ TPACK and Self-Efficacy Beliefs.” Education and Information Technologies (early view; online first).




The goal of this research was to examine how Israeli chemistry teachers at high school level use Facebook groups to facilitate learning. Two perspectives were used: Teachers’ TPACK (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge) and the self-efficacy beliefs of chemistry teachers for using CLFG (chemistry learning Facebook groups). Three different case studies were chosen and qualitative and quantitative research tools were used to learn about the teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs and knowledge. More specifically, a validated questionnaire for measuring teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs for using Facebook and for integrating Facebook into teaching was developed. We show that the initial beliefs (not based on a real acquaintance of Facebook) were replaced by more realistic efficacy-beliefs after the teachers started to work with the CLFG and that the technological support provided to each teacher, together with their mastery experience, supported the development of strong self-efficacy beliefs regarding the use of CLFG. Teachers’ TPACK was investigated by analyzing their interviews and the interactions in their CLFG. We found that the notion regarding what constitutes learning in the CLFG had not changed during the experiment but rather, the teachers knew better how they can facilitate this leaning. In addition they better integrated links to videos and visualizations that supported understanding abstract chemistry concepts. Interestingly, the intervention that was conducted did not influence teachers’ perceptions of learning; however, it was found to serve as an additional tool for supporting their self-efficacy beliefs by providing vicarious experience for the teachers. We therefore recommend performing a longer intervention in the future.