|From the President
|Prof. Peretz Lavie
Welcome to the May 2011 issue of FOCUS. Spring is a time of rejuvenation, in which the power of nature reveals itself with astounding force. Across the burnt Carmel Forest, for example, we are witnessing the miracle of new life and regeneration. This spring in particular, due to the delayed winter, outstandingly colorful blooms have painted the entire campus.
So much of science is based on a sensitive dialogue with what exists. No idea-no matter how great-can ever be forced onto science. Rather, the scientist needs to know how to observe what is present, to the detail, with a mind that is in the first instance free of agenda. It was with such an open mind that Distinguished Prof. Dan Shechtman was able to discover quasicrystals nearly 30 years ago-catching through observation a material reality which others had persistently missed. Likewise, in technology and engineering, we work in a deeply focused way with what is there-and take this as the basis to build something new. In this manner, the Technion was built over the past 99 years, stone by stone, faculty by faculty, until we reached the Technion City of today.
The strength and courage to recognize what is there in reality, take responsibility, and work together to create something new, is evidenced in our dynamic multidisciplinary centers. In this issue, you will read some of what has been happening at the Grand Technion Energy Program (GTEP). Here, a part of the grounded scientific work is to recognize the reality: depleting oil reserves. Through exploring this problem and understanding it to the depth, it is possible to begin working on the solutions that will really meet the needs of tomorrow.
Another ongoing problem we are studying in order to evolve a powerful solution, is the under-representation of women at the Technion. Although we have an impressive number of powerful female scientists, it is still not the number we would like. It is those female scientists and researchers that we celebrated on the 100th International Women’s Day, and who are the foundation of strength from which we hope the numbers will expand. By understanding their needs, and what will keep them in science, we hope to see a dramatic rise of female faculty in the future.