“Taking part in streamlining Israel”: EMT Prize winners talk about their achievements

The six winners of the EMT Prize, known as the “Israeli Nobel”, were honored for excellence and academic and professional achievements, which led to a significant contribution to Israeli society. Representatives of the judging panel presented the award to the winners for 2022 in three categories: Social Sciences, Life Sciences and Humanities. The award ceremony will be held in June in the presence of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who will present the award to the winners.

The members of the award committee are the Honorable Retired Supreme Court Justice Yaakov Turkel, Prof. Michael Sela, Adv. Haim Aharon, Adv. Shlomit Barnea Fargo, Prof. Ruth Arnon, Mr. Aryeh Dobson, Prof. Yitzhak Ben-Israel and Prof. Rivka Carmi . The winners come from different fields and worlds, including academia, medicine and law. They contributed to important discoveries and helped strengthen Israel’s status, both as a leading country in the field of research and as a strong and democratic state governed by the rule of law.

Prof. Amnon Rubinstein – winner of the EMT Prize in the field of social sciences

Amnon Rubinstein, a law professor and senior faculty member at the Harry Radziner School of Law at Reichman University, won the EMT Award for his contribution to the social sciences. Prof. Rubinstein, winner of the Israel Law Prize in 2006, is considered the father of constitutional law in Israel. He served as Minister of Education in the second government of Yitzhak Rabin and in the government of Shimon Peres. In his role as Minister of Communications, he was responsible for the great reform that introduced landlines to every home in Israel, but most of his work was in initiatives he took to promote the protection of human rights, which culminated in the enactment of the Basic Law “Human Dignity and Liberty.”

“I am very happy to receive the award, it is a sign of a long career and a journey that began as a student at the Hebrew University, continued through the Knesset, of which I was a member for 25 years and served as a minister in the government for about 20 years,” says Prof. Rubinstein.

“In the Ministry of Communications, I had the right to cancel a shortage of years and create a telephone service that meets the standard of an advanced state,” recalled Prof. Rubinstein. ” Times from the Supreme Court.

“I believe in a liberal democracy,” Prof. Rubinstein emphasizes. Man and with war.

“I am glad that I was able to take part in streamlining Israel, make it less bureaucratic, increase the supply of services to the citizen and, above all, strengthen the country, so that human dignity and freedom will be at the center.”

Prof. Ruth Lapidot – winner of the EMT Prize in the field of social sciences

Prof. Ruth Lapidot of the Hebrew University, who is considered the founder of international public law in the State of Israel, won the EMT Prize for her contribution in the field of social sciences. In a career that spans more than 60 years, she has made her mark in research, teaching and practice.

Prof. Lapidot is a first-year graduate of the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University and a world-renowned researcher in a variety of areas of international law, with special emphasis on maritime law, the study of autonomy and the status of Jerusalem. She served as the Foreign Ministry’s legal adviser during particularly dramatic years, during which the peace agreement with Egypt was completed and further talks began regarding autonomy in the territories.

Prof. Lapidot has won many awards over the years and was even chosen to light a beacon on the 47th Independence Day of the State of Israel. “I was very happy to hear about the award,” says Prof. Lapidot. A little to the country over the years.

Prof. Ruth Lapidot (Photo: David Salem, Couple Productions)

“When I was young, many of the students thought it was a waste of time to study international law – and today the situation is the opposite,” she recalls. The countries today have become much tighter and more affect our lives inside and outside Israel.

“When we started in the field, there were not many experts on the subject in the country, but today in government ministries, such as transport and finance, there are experts in international law. This is because international law has two main sources: international customs and conventions. “Between Israel and the countries of the world. Another issue that has developed over the years is the status of Jerusalem in the eyes of the international community.”

Prof. Hermona Soreq – winner of the EMT Prize in the field of life sciences

Prof. Hermona Soreq of the Hebrew University, who specializes in the field of molecular neuroscience, won the EMT Prize for her contribution in the field of life sciences, for her achievements in the field of neuroscience.

Prof. Sorek is valued and known for her research on the molecular pathways of regulating important neurotransmitters in the human brain and the use of RNA, and her research has shed light on their role in health and disease states. Prof. Sorek is the head of the Alexander Silverman Institute of Life Sciences At the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences, whose research and efforts have led, among other things, to the development of innovative drugs for the prevention and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder and degenerative diseases of the brain and nervous system.

“It’s very exciting,” says Prof. Soreq about receiving the award. To understand what we do we need to think about gene expression as a pyramid: at the top there are the genes, at the bottom there are the proteins and in the middle there is the RNA.

Prof. Hermona Sorek (Photo: David Salem, Couple Productions)Prof. Hermona Sorek (Photo: David Salem, Couple Productions)

“A very small part of our genome produces proteins,” she explains, “and everything else is a kind of operating manual. In our research we focus on the operating instructions that direct the activity of the brain, and its impact on the connection with the body. We work on it for years, and the consequences We have been told in the past that RNA is a dream and will not happen, and indeed a modern company for example has existed for decades, but because of the Corona it was given the opportunity to test the applicability of this technology, and today we know it will stay.

“We are dealing with the effects of traumatic conditions on the brain, which unfortunately our country specializes in. We can change the effects of traumatic components on health, if we know which genes are responsible for it and use RNA-based therapy to control the damage.”

Prof. Rafael Malach – winner of the EMT Prize in the field of life sciences

Prof. Rafael Malach, who specializes in brain research in the Department of Neurobiology at the Weizmann Institute, won the EMT Prize in the field of life sciences for his achievements in the field of neurology. Prof. Malach is highly regarded for his work in the study of understanding processes in the brain and his discoveries about the structures of function-function in the human brain and his discoveries about neural mechanisms in the sensory and mental perception.

“I do not see this as a personal prize but a prize for a group, for my wonderful students who built the material from which the prize was created, and of course the whole system around and the institute that was very supportive,” says Prof. Malach.

“In the field of brain research, we like to emphasize the health section, which is of course important, but the public must not miss another line and that is the wonder. There is organic matter in our head that creates the whole psychological, mental and emotional world. In the beginning.Everything we understand or learn very quickly affects our ability to understand how to help people whose functions have been impaired.

Prof. Rafael Malach (Photo: David Salem, Couple Productions)Prof. Rafael Malach (Photo: David Salem, Couple Productions)

“Our research and discoveries go in two main directions: one – how we create the images we see,” explains Prof. Malach. Contrary to many people’s beliefs, it is not just about opening the eyes, there is a creative and complicated process that the brain performs, which is aided by the information it receives from the eyes. And imagination.

“The second direction we have contributed is to look at the human brain under natural conditions and not just laboratory conditions. We were among the first to use advanced mapping methods.

Prof. Oded Lifshitz – winner of the EMT Prize in the field of humanities

Prof. Oded Lifshitz of Tel Aviv University won the EMT Prize in the field of humanities for his achievements and contribution to the world of archeology. Prof. Lifshitz is considered by name and has an international reputation in the study of the history and archeology of the Land of Israel during the first millennium BC.

At the heart of Prof. Lifshitz’s archeological and historical interest is an innovative recognition that during most of the first millennium BC, archeology and history in our region were shaped by the presence of the empires – Assyria, Babylon and Persia. “When you look at this period, there is hardly any time when Judah was independent,” says Prof. Lifshitz.

Prof. Oded Lifshitz (Photo: David Salem, Couple Productions)Prof. Oded Lifshitz (Photo: David Salem, Couple Productions)

“I am very happy about the award, because it is a recognition of real work,” he adds. “We work on a very large scale. I have been conducting the largest excavations in the country for about 20 years. Provides us with a historical understanding and understanding of the development of Judaism and the development of the Bible.

“We find thousands of pieces of finds every day, and I do not allow myself to get excited by any finds, because it will not allow me to see the big picture, as I try. What excites me is that some finds connect and suddenly I have a broad historical insight.”

Prof. Gideon Shelach-Lavi – winner of the EMT Prize in the field of humanities

Prof. Gideon Shelach-Lavi of the Hebrew University won the EMT Prize in the field of humanities for his contribution to the world of archeology. Prof. Shelach-Lavi conducted extensive archaeological research in northern China and Mongolia, and contributed to Israeli academic and archeological knowledge by studying cultures and regions that were foreign to the Israeli research world, thus expanding the horizons of Israeli academia in the field.

“Archeology fascinates me because of the possibility of understanding the development of society and human culture in different parts of the world,” explains Prof. Shelach-Lavi. “Although my studies in China and Mongolia come to answer questions of a local nature, they also have a universal character.
“The last big research we did was on the beginnings of agriculture, the transition of humans from hunter-gatherers to farmers. It’s our transition to a society of permanent residents and farmers, perhaps the biggest change that has happened to the human race, and it’s a change we still do not understand how it happened. In a change that has taken place over thousands of years that we have not deciphered in depth. ”

Prof. Gideon Shelach-Lavi (Photo: David Salem, Couple Productions)Prof. Gideon Shelach-Lavi (Photo: David Salem, Couple Productions)

Prof. Shelach-Lavi was surprised to hear that he had won the award. “Because I do not work within Israel,” he explains. “Archeology in the country is developed and has a high status due to the historical connection and of course the connection to Judaism. I am happy, because it shows openness, and are willing to see the practice of archeology not only in the context of Israel and local history. It is important to emphasize “Very much, but archeological excavations are also important in the context of world history and of the human race.”

By Editor

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