lundi 6 décembre 2010

Andre Geim, Prix Nobel de Physique, aime Israël et parle de l'antisémitisme

"La grand-mère de ma mère était juive. J'ai souffert de l'antisémitisme en Russie parce que mon nom a une consonnance juive, et je m'identifie à vous. Néanmoins, je ne divise pas le monde par religions ou par pays, mais entre des gens stupides et des gens un peu moins stupides, et j'espère faire partie du second groupe. Israël a plusieurs caractéristiques culturelles qui font que dans sa population la proportion de gens moins stupides est particulièrement élevée."

"Israël occupe un place excellente dans le domaine des sciences. Il est premier ou deuxième dans le monde en termes de scientifiques éminents dans leurs domaines en proportion de la taille de la population."

C'est réjouissant de lire l'interview qu'a accordée le Prof. Andre Geim, lauréat du Prix Nobel de Physique 2010, lors de son séjour en Israël et de constater qu'il ne se permet ni de critiquer Israël ni de donner de leçons de moralité comme l'"icône", à la française, Stéphane Hessel.  Et c'est précisement sa modestie et son grand savoir qui font sa grandeur - la vraie.

Source: Globes et TJP (Nobel Laureate Geim: Life sciences suited for small countries, par Gali Weinreg)

Prof. Andre Geim (52), who won the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2010 last month, is still trying to digest it. "I have little experience in this, so I researched what happened to winners who preceded me," he told "Globes" during a visit to Israel.

"Some of them became egomaniacs, while others drowned in hard work in an effort to prove that the prize wasn’t given to them by mistake. I hope to fall somewhere between the extremes. I didn’t expect the prize and I didn’t try to win it, but when I won it, I realized that it's worth a lot to people. I know that I've become a pretty face for good causes, and that's fine with me."

Geim spoke at the 2nd International Nanotechnology Conference and Exhibition in Tel Aviv, in which he participated. As for his decision to come to Israel, he said, "My mother's grandmother was Jewish. I suffered from anti-Semitism in Russia because my name sounds Jewish, so I identify with you. Nonetheless, I don’t divide the world by religions or countries, but by stupid people and slightly less stupid people, and I hope that I am numbered among the second group. Israel has several cultural characteristics which result in an especially high proportion of the less stupid people."

"Globes": What can Israel do to keep this status?
Geim: "Israel is in an excellent position in terms of science. It is first or second in the world in terms of leading scientists in their fields as a proportion of the size of the population. In terms of applied science, I don’t believe that another Intel will emerge here, or that Israel will create a company like Boeing. On the other hand, the life sciences are more suited for a small to mid-sized country because this is a relatively new science in terms of true understanding of the mechanisms operating at its base. The main thing is not to do what they did in Europe. The EU sank science under bureaucracy as part of government support plans."

What can be done against the brain drain?
"You won't like my answer. Science isn't football, and a scientist isn't a player on a team, but a worker for all of humanity. The brain drain shouldn’t be stopped, but free movement should be allowed."
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