New Weizmann chair as Paisner steps down
DR ARABELLA Duffield has been announced as the new chair of Weizmann UK, taking over from Martin Paisner CBE.
At a gala dinner at the Science Museum on September 4, a tribute was paid to Mr Paisner, with the organisation offering him its “heartfelt thanks for his extraordinary commitment” after nearly a decade in the role.
Dr Duffield, who has been a trustee of Weizmann UK for a number of years, will formally assume the role of the organisation’s chair on September 17. She is the daughter of Dame Vivien Duffield, one of the vice presidents of the organisation and a key donor to the Weizmann Institute in Israel.
The Weizmann Institute was founded in 1934, by Chaim Weizmann, the renowned scientist and Zionist, and Israel Sieff, a British-Jewish businessman, as part of their vision to create a leading scientific research centre in the Middle East. Originally known as the Daniel Sieff Research Institute, it was renamed in 1949 to mark Mr Weizmann’s 75th birthday. Today, the faculty has more than 2,500 students and staff in the fields of mathematics, computer science, physics, chemistry, biochemistry and biology. Six Nobel laureates and three Turing Award winners have been associated with the Institute. In 1950, the Weizmann Institute Foundation was established in the UK to promote support for the Israeli scientific initiative. It was renamed Weizmann UK in 2004.
In a recent interview with Ha’aretz, Dame Vivien confirmed that her charitable foundations had given Chaim Weizmann with Einstein and (left) Dr Arabella Duffield
“many millions” to the Weizmann Institute in Israel over the decades. Despite recent comments about being horrified about the direction Israel has taken, especially with its new Nation State law, Dame Vivien confirmed that she would still be continuing her funding for the Weizmann Institute, which she described as a “a nonpolitical, non-Israeli organisation”.
She said: “It’s for the benefit of mankind. That’s the way it has to remain.”