Dr. Chaim Weizmann, in founding the Institute, believed that science should be shared with everyone. Today, Institute President Prof. Daniel Zajfman carries this philosophy forward, believing that an ability to understand basic science is critical to being able to engage in our world. And the Weizmann Institute shares the love of science with society at large in a number of ways: Festivals. Workshops. Science mobiles. Lectures in bars and cafés. An interactive, outdoor science museum. By opening the doors of the Institute—both real and virtual—to the community, Weizmann is sharing the creative spirit of discovery.
If students cannot come to science, science will come to them. The Davidson Institute of Science Education’s Science Mobile, a lab-in-a-van, brings science activities to schools, community centers, municipalities, and even shopping malls around Israel. The van, equipped with exhibits and teaching aids, is ready to go anywhere, under any conditions – even taking science to bomb shelters and children in hospitals.
Since 1998, the Clore Garden of Science – a unique, open-air science museum that explains the laws of nature through interactive exhibits – has offered a variety of activities to families, school classes, groups, and wide-eyed visitors of all ages. The award-winning Garden also hosts special exhibits of art, science, and nature; holds programs for the public on holidays and weekends; and welcomes over 80,000 visitors every year.
Held several times a year, these highly popular events typically combine a scientific lecture with a tasting workshop. Favorite topics are the chemistry of wine, creative molecular cooking, the science of chocolate, and more.
Each meeting in this series of monthly gatherings for the general public includes a lecture on an astronomy topic, along with astronomical observation. Several times a year, participants take advantage of particularly interesting observation conditions, embarking on a nighttime journey to the Mitzpe Ramon basin or sailing under a full moon.
Two full days of scientific thrill, the Science Festival includes exhibits, competitions, performances, workshops, and guided tours. Each year, around 10,000 science lovers of all ages come to campus to experience the excitement of scientific inquiry and explore the natural world through hands-on experiments.
The annual Ephraim Katzir Lecture is given by senior Weizmann Institute scientists to an audience of high-school students and adults from all over Israel. In order to reach students and others unable to attend, the Katzir lectures are broadcast live on the Internet. The popular science lecture series known as Meetings at the Frontiers of Science covers a variety of topics, with each series including eight lectures by Institute or visiting scientists. At Café Mada (“science café”), questions, findings, and discoveries are discussed in an informal atmosphere that allows scientists to share their knowledge in a lay-friendly way and be accessible to the public. And Science on Tap, a wildly popular initiative, sends Institute scientists into the bars and cafes of Tel Aviv and Rehovot to talk about their work in a relaxed, informal setting. Each year the program is larger, often with an overflow audience listening from outside.