Israeli Academics at the University of Sydney

November 2, 2011 by J-Wire Staff
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The University of Sydney has held a Forum to highlight research endeavours between the university and Israeli academics.

Emanuel Tov, Dror Selikar, Meni Ben-Hur, Gideon Grader, Rebecca Mason, Michael Schwartz, Suzanne Rutland, Yael Ziv and Baruch Schwarz (back).

Entitled ‘Shared Challenges, Future Solutions’, eight varied and interesting collaborative research projects conducted by scientists in Australia and Israel were highlighted through a series of short summaries presented by the local theme leaders, followed by longer in-depth presentations by the visiting Israeli scholars.

The Forum dealt with some of the major challenges facing our world including the areas of medicine and water, energy. The project areas covered were Neuroscience; Tissue Regeneration; Obesity/Diabetes; Dead Seas Scrolls; Water, Food and Agriculture; Energy; Information Technology; and Pedagogy of Teaching a Second Language.

Some of the new technological developments highlighted included Gelrin (a gel implant for regenerating cartilage), an artificial pancreas, and irrigation techniques that not only greatly increase the percentage of recycled water but also reduce the total water usage for agriculture by one half while simultaneously greatly increasing the crop yield.

One participant, Professor Emeritus Lawrence Doctors commented: “All of these and many more discoveries and inventions will be invaluable for us in Australia. We therefore hope that this collaboration will only increase in the future.”

He added: “The Forum was most ably organised by Professor Rebecca Mason, Head of Physiology and Deputy Director of the Bosch Institute at the University, together with Professor Suzanne Rutland, OAM, Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies.”

One aspect of the Forum was the Dead Sea Scroll Conference, held at Mandelbaum House over two days. This meeting attracted scholars from across Australia and Israel with presenters discussing the intricacies of these famous scrolls, discovered in the Judean desert in 1947. They were written approximately 2200 years ago and represent the earliest available copies of the Hebrew Bible and other Jewish literature of the Second Temple period.

Recently Fisher Library purchased one of only forty-nine exquisite reproductions of these scrolls and these facsimiles were on display. The event was organised by Associate Professor Ian Young, of the Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University.

Unfortunately, two of the Dead Sea scholars were caught in the Qantas shut down and missed the meeting. However, one of these, Professor Albert Baumgarten, arrived last night and he with Professor Emanuel Tov, will be giving a public lecture on the scrolls on Wednesday evening from 7-9pm at Merewether Lecture Theatre 5, the University of Sydney.

A spokesman for the university told J-Wire that there had been negligible activity in regards to protests against the forum.


One Response to “Israeli Academics at the University of Sydney”
  1. Rosalind Fischl says:

    Thank you to the organisers of this Israel Science Forum.
    It was an inspirational day of learning from the experts both from Israel and locally.
    In particular I enjoyed the seminar on neuroscience given by Professor Michal Schwartz, an amazing woman totally dedicated to her field. Her determination to develop a new paradigm for autoimmune studies has been rewarded with exciting new developments with respect to neurogenesis and brain plasticity.
    There’s hope for us oldies yet!

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