New Weiz­mann chair as Pais­ner steps down

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY DANIEL SUGARMAN

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.”

PHOTO: JOHN RIFKIN

PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

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