ICE | The Israel Chemist and Chemical Engineer | Issue 8

34 The Israel Chemist and Chemical Engineer Issue 8 · November 2021 · Kislev 5782 Report for coming to this hybrid event. It is all photographed, and many people watch it in Israel and abroad. Therefore, we do it in English, although Hebrew would be more convenient for most of you. The ICS started in 1933, and throughout our entire history of 88 years, we have never skipped an annual meeting. There were many excuses to skip yearly meetings due to major wars and other circumstances, but we have never done. Now, this pandemic forced us to postpone the 86th Annual Meeting, which is under the responsibility of the Technion with Charles Diesendruck and Saar Rahav as chairpersons, to February 22-23, 2022. We plan to host a vast delegation of 10 professors and 20 graduate students from Peking University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Nevertheless, we have decided to hold the ICS Prize Ceremony, and I am happy that we could make it. This year we recognize 24 prize winners, and two of them have already received their prizes, so tonight, we’ll award 22 prizes (Figure 4). Last week, on June 23, I awarded the Barry Cohen Prize to Prof. Daniel Rauh at the annual meeting of the Medicinal Chemistry Section (MCS-ICS), which took place online. Two weeks ago, on June 16, I awarded the Honorable Member recognition to Prof. Albert Zilkha in an actual ceremony in a small synagogue, Mishkan Shmuel, in Giv’at Mordechai in Jerusalem. Albert is now 88 years old. His physical limitations don’t allow him to travel a long distance from his home, so we decided to do a special ceremony for him in the presence of his family and his former students, many of whom are themselves over 80 years old. I wish to comment on the reason for giving prizes, as I am involved with several prize-awarding organizations, including the Federation of Asian Chemical Societies (FACS), the European Chemical Society (EuChemS), IUPAC, the Wolf Foundation, EMET Prize, Harvey Prize, and others. This year we are proud and happy that two Israeli scientists, Meir Lahav and Leslie Leizerovich, received the Wolf Prize in Chemistry. There are two main reasons for awarding prizes. The first one is obvious, recognizing the achievements of prominent scientists. The other reason, which I consider more important, is the need to identify heroes and role models for the young generation and attract young people to pursue their careers in science and technology. I wish to comment on the ICS and the importance of chemistry for the State of Israel. When our society was founded in 1933, Jerusalem was very far from Tel Aviv, a ride of 2-3 days, not just 40 minutes in today’s terms. Therefore, the ICS had three chapters in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Haifa. Chemistry plays a crucial role in Israel’s national economy. Nearly 8000 chemists, 5000 chemical engineers, and 700 Figure 3. Collage of random photos taken at the Opening Ceremony and lectures. Photographs by Itzick Biran.