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All brain researchers at the Hebrew University signed a letter: to excel in science, curiosity and freedom of thought are required and these are in danger from the dictatorship

Forty male and female researchers, the entire staff of the Multidisciplinary Center for Hebrew Brain Research express their fear of restrictions placed on freedom of thought and the politicization of higher education, which will result in restrictions on research that may upset the government

Prof. Elon Vadia at the Israeli chip club meeting, 23/6/14. Photo: Shmuel Oster
Prof. Elon Vadia at the Israeli chip club meeting, 23/6/14. Photo: Shmuel Oster. One of the senior researchers at the Brain Research Institute at the Hebrew University and one of the signatories of the warning letter against the coup

Forty male and female researchers, the entire team of the multidisciplinary center for brain research in Hebrew, express fear of limitations that will be imposed on freedom of thought.

More than a decade ago, the Edmond and Lili Safra Brain Research Center was established at the Hebrew University. The center's researchers (coming from physics, computer science, biology, medicine, psychology and even linguistics) joined together to deal with basic questions regarding our existence as human beings: What is memory? What is awareness and free will? How does the brain represent our location in space (physical and social)? How does motherhood change the brain? What is the origin of brain diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, and how can they be cured? Is the brain allowed from the computer? In recent years, there have been revolutions in neuroscience, which will fundamentally change our lives. The center's researchers share in these breakthroughs, and for their sake we are educating generations of young scientists, whose goal is to become leading brain researchers, and to contribute to medicine, to our thriving high-tech industry, and also to the capabilities of the Israel Defense Forces. The Center for Brain Research continues a tradition of excellence built by generations of intellectual giants in Israeli academia - excellence against all odds, with limited financial support, in a country where all citizens, including researchers, always operate in the shadow of existential threats.

How did this magic of excellence come about? Only two ingredients are needed. Curiosity and freedom of thought. The ability to sit in a classroom or lab with students who just want to know more, let them come up with any idea, no matter how far-fetched, and discuss it and deepen it and then take it to the lab and try it, fail and start over, and finally succeed. But this magic of excellence is extremely fragile. If it is damaged, we will not have advanced research, there will be no students, and the State of Israel will not be able to enjoy the fruits of scientific revolutions as it enjoyed them in the past. At the moment, it seems that the big dreams of a thriving Israeli brain research center face a bleak future. How can one explore dreams when our government sees free thought as a threat to it? How will we study a memory when the memory is dictated from above? How will we maintain international relations with leading researchers in the world when there is a dictatorship here, and how will we grow a new generation of researchers, if loyalty to the government, and not academic excellence, will be the condition for advancement in the academy?

This is happening here and now, gentlemen: new members are appointed to the Higher Education Council only on the basis of their proximity to the political views of the Minister of Education.

When you look to the sides, you can clearly see that in recent years no breakthrough in brain research has come out of Hungary, which has a glorious scientific history. There is almost no advanced research left in Hungary because the leading researchers left, and new ones did not appear. Hungarian academia will not return to the forefront of science in the foreseeable future.

We have no illusions that the Netanyahu government will support the academy. Her whole being is power control and messianic visions. We have nothing in common with her, and we will not cooperate with her in any way. We will not bow our heads, we will fight with all our might as long as the coup d'état continues. At this time there is no way to walk between the drops, try to find the golden path or wait and see how the situation will develop.

It is clear to everyone that the government is speeding down the road leading to the appointment of politrocks and supervisory officers in the university administrations, to use the budgetary stranglehold to promote the regime's agendas.

We call on the heads of the academy to announce now the non-opening of the next academic year. Any other action would be a sin against our teachers who established a glorious academy here and instilled in us values ​​of equality and universality, academic freedom and striving for excellence, and towards the next generation who deserve to continue this legacy with pride and take us to realms beyond imagination.

To the undersigned, all members of the Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Neuroscience (ALSC), The Hebrew University of Jerusalem,
Dr. Lilach Avitan
Dr. Yoav Adam
Prof. Merav Ahisher
Prof. Yoram Burak
Dr. Aya Ben Yaakov
Prof. Alex Binstock
Prof. Hagai Bergman
Prof. Hanoch Gutfreund
Prof. Inbal Goshen
Prof. Yossi Grodzinski
Prof. Leon Deuel
Prof. Shaul Hochstein
Prof. Yair Weiss
Prof. Elon Vadia
Prof. Ehud Zahari
Dr. Naomi Habib
Prof. Mati Yehoshua
Prof. Leo Yudkowitz
Prof. Yossi Yarom
Prof. Yonatan Levinstein
Dr. Eran Lotem
Prof. Mickey London
Prof. Baruch Minka
Prof. Adi Mizrahi
Prof. Aviv Metzer
Prof. Eran Mashor
Prof. Israel Nelkan
Prof. Haim Sompolinsky
Dr. David Omar
Prof. Yifat Perot
Prof. Ami Tzitari
Dr. Yonatan Kadmon
Prof. Haya Kalkheim
Prof. Idan Segev
Prof. Hermona whistles

More of the topic in Hayadan:

25 תגובות

  1. Everyone is warning the doctors, the hi-tech, the universities, are you the only one telling the truth?
    The damage of the brain drain is already well felt. Don't believe Netanyahu's propaganda machine. You also suffer from the damages. Try to make an appointment with a gastroenterologist and you will forget for a year.

  2. I give up access to the science site. You are the mouthpiece of the false panic that is destroying the country. You are the main damage to democracy.

  3. The metrology agency announced that a dictatorship inevitably leads to global warming, which leads to sea level rise, which leads to world wars, and which leads to the extinction of humanity. Opponents of the dictatorship were seen carrying signs saying: "Dear aliens! If you see us and have technology that breaks time-space (by the way, we are intellectuals) please save us from the dictatorship of the extreme Christians!" H E L P! They will move the cheese for us! Looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood!!!!!!!

  4. After seeing some professors on the side of the foil, apparently there is no value to the mind.

  5. Are you serious there in the academy??
    Do you have freedom of thought and no politicization?
    Everyone knows you are biased.
    I hesitate to continue following your site

  6. According to some of the responses, it should be understood that the chances of being saved here are zero and there is another place where there is still a flame of enlightenment. See that the majority of the public is afraid of progress and returns to the darkness of the pasture in Plato's parable.

  7. I will use gentle language, if only because my dear daughter is currently studying with you.
    And as for the matter for which we are here: I greatly respect the aforementioned act, although it was done a little too late.
    The right time for a reaction (against a dictatorship) was in 2011 when the protest was silenced in a simple way and by one person (Mr. B. Netanyahu, if there was any doubt).
    2011 - is the year in which it was necessary to act until today or until the cloud passes.
    Today we are all within the event horizon of what we call a dictatorship.
    A significant part of the centers of power are already in Messianic hands and those that are not, it is only a question of time (and not much. During the remaining years of this government they will complete most or all of the move).
    The question I ask my people is: will the next elections really be elections?
    The simple answer is: yes. But, these will be elections in the style of Russia, Iran or Syria...
    I think it is important to understand that the Christians in the Knesset today will not let something like "elections" disrupt their plans and those who think that today's corruptions will be given in the coming elections => should think again.
    People of your status and profession need to bring solutions.
    You know the system better than anyone in the country - and this is your real duty.

  8. Lorem Ipsum, your comment as your name - empty text.

    I will deny the personal arrogance in me and say that if there is fascism in the State of Israel, then surely it comes from the extremism to which you are much closer than I am, as implied by your words. If you meant the "process speech", I will tell you that I do not belong to the left side either. I am a right-wing liberal, a rare thing today in Israel unfortunately. Niha

    The rest of your response only reinforces my claims.
    It is evident again that the terms you use imply your specific connection to which of the parties (arbitrariness [opinion], arrogance, bureaucracy, etc.) while my response was very general and unspecific, as I did not mention either the left or the right, unlike you.

    As I said, Israel has always been a democracy of sorts. A fortified constitution and civil rights and clear rules of the game are necessary for a functioning democracy. Things that never existed in Israel. If things take place, they will serve the entire population - both the right-wing and the left-wing, and will be protected against intransigent politicians from every sector and across the political spectrum. By the way, it is not a scandal at all to say that there is a need for judges to arrest politicians. On the contrary, it's good if the politicians try to use their existing power for illusory, but possible goals, as "Avi Blizovsky" who responded to you before pointed out. Calling it fascism and slapping the term on others is demagoguery that also suspects ignorance. Sorry.

    Suggest reading comments (or any text you come across, if we're already scientists) carefully before passing through the personal belief filter, especially if there is an intention to reply.

  9. Lorem Iposum, not every law is acceptable. For example, if tomorrow they invent a basic law that everyone goes naked, would you also like them not to interfere?

  10. Hey doctor, doctor!

    The very fact that you see a "need for judges to arrest self-interested sectional politicians" is already very worrying. Since you recognize processes, you will not recognize fascism even if it hits you in the face. Hint: look in the mirror. In the meantime, your eyes also wet from noticing that these judges have actually become politicians themselves, and they represent incredibly narrow sectors and horribly self-interested.

    Human rights are completely out of their sight (although they excel at waving this flag). Not the rights of the young women arrested in secession (who were held in administrative detention for many months), not the rights of the residents of South Tel Aviv, whose neighborhoods were turned into hell by the forced hosting of the infiltrators from Africa, and not anything that does not serve their interests. It is much easier to arbitrarily and arrogantly cancel necessary laws and gain sympathy from their reference group of EU bureaucrats.

    The "Constitution" (that is, the Basic Laws) was changed several times, by a simple and minimal majority and sometimes even shamefully, for self-interested needs, and always from the left side of the political map. First the "Basic Law of Human Dignity and Freedom", in which we buried the seeds of calamity, and under their auspices the Supreme Court determines what it wants (and the political opinion of the judges, and completely ignoring all the determination of any other law) and continuing with the laws of direct election of the Prime Minister, and withdrawing from them.

  11. You don't need neuroscientists, everything is written in the Torah.
    You don't need doctors, when there are amulets and muttering spells..
    You don't need pilots, God is already guarding above..
    You don't need judges, when there are thousands of rabbis.
    There is no need to be afraid, we are believers
    You don't need a core, let the leftists learn..
    You don't need a job, let the traitors work..
    We don't need an army, let the refuseniks fight..
    # Tsaddik Tafil and Parasite - their work is done by others #

  12. Many people suspect the credibility of universities in China, especially in the data they publish. Almost all the research considered to be of high quality comes from reformed democratic countries - those in Western and Northern Europe, North America and several countries in Asia including Australia.
    In none of these countries do there exist only 2 authorities in practice and have a constitution and fortified civil rights that protect them so that there is no need for judges to arrest self-interested sectional politicians who can change the constitution with a simple minimum majority. Israel has always been a democracy as it were and now it starts to hurt in a way that can no longer be hidden.

  13. The respected researchers actually want to go on sabbatical, that is, to continue researching without teaching and receiving a salary as usual. The dream of most researchers.
    A real protest of the researchers was to stop the research and not receive a salary.
    Protesting the students' backs is not taking responsibility for your own thoughts but putting the responsibility on someone else.

  14. Just like in Soviet Russia...everyone there thinks the same...only someone who doesn't think like them is missing those poor "democrats" if he doesn't sign. As in Russia and Syria there is 98% voting. Shame on you democators.

  15. Imaginary paranoids. They got pissed off and are starting to scare the public. Enough with this hypocrisy. You just went crazy

  16. Neuroscientists who are unaware (and probably unable to be) of the manipulations that have been conducted on them, in order to make them sign like a herd of soma in Aruba on a scrambled petition, full of evil superlatives.

    Oh the irony.

  17. A. Do they actually want to go on sabbatical? I mean actually get money and research without teaching? This is actually the dream of most dreamers, now they have found an excuse for it. A real demonstration is that they will sit down, meaning they won't investigate and won't get money and thus harm the country (and themselves), if they don't do it, it's hypocrisy.
    B. The researchers may understand neuroscience but probably not political science, separation of powers, criticism of the judiciary and more.

  18. Everyone has no problem receiving money, lecturing and cooperating with universities in China, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and the whole world also because there is not a single country in the world where a dictatorial legal junta exists like here

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