ICE | The Israel Chemist and Engineer

4 The Israel Chemist and Engineer Issue 1, September 2015, Tishrei 5776 Letter from President of ICS Dear Fellow Chemists and Chemical Engineers, Chemistry has always been a prominent area of scientific and technological excellence in the State of Israel. The chemical industry has contributed significantly to the national economy, with chemical products forming over 40% of the industrial production and 25% of the country’s exports and the chemical R&D standing much higher than the world average. These achievements are remarkable, considering the fact the Israeli chemistry community is quite small with only 6000 chemists, 5000 chemical engineers and 800 teachers. When we all celebrated in 2004 the first Nobel Prize in Science awarded to Israeli citizens, nobody could predict that in less than a decade the number of Israeli Nobel Prize Laureates in Science would rise to six, or expect that all six would win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry! The Prizes awarded to Avram Hershko, Aaron Ciechanover, Ada Yonath, Dan Shechtman, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel had an enormous impact on the general public. New streets in Israeli cities were named after the Laureates, 4 new stamps were issued by the Israel Philatelic Service in collaboration with the ICS to commemorate the Nobel Prizes, and many young Israelis were attracted to science, and to chemistry in particular. It is quite symbolic that this year we celebrate the International Year of Light, amazed by how light-based technologies have been promoting sustainable development and solving worldwide challenges. Light is all about chemistry. We use chemical technologies to convert electricity, heat and chemical reactions to light and use it in communication, electronics, materials, photography, medicine and entertainment. All lighting devices, including tungsten and fluorescent lamps, lasers, light-emitting diodes and chemiluminescence, are based on chemistry. Lasers are broadly used in communications, digital technology and for a variety of applications, ranging from precision cutting of metals to medical surgery. Photochemical polymerization produces plastics, dental glues and photo-curing paints. Photodynamic therapy represents a major weapon to fight cancer. Chemistry helps save energy, helps harvest sunlight with solar cells and artificial photosynthesis and helps generate hydrogen, which is the cleanest possible fuel, by catalytic water splitting. All Israeli chemists, chemical engineers and chemistry teachers share the excitement and pride of being members of the Israeli chemistry community. Since its establishment in 1933, the ICS has been striving to promote the chemical research and development, the chemical industry and chemistry education, as reflected by its diverse membership. It is the time for all chemistry associations to leverage the positive public attitude towards chemistry. Our individual organizations, the Israel Chemical Society (ICS), the Israel Society of Chemical Engineers and Chemists (ISCEC) at the Association of Engineers and Architects in Israel (AEAI)‬ and the Israel Institute of Chemical Engineers (IIChE), all having a long tradition of many years, are strong, reliable and influential. We can influence the general public and government offices even more effectively if we all join forces and coordinate our activities. The ICE Magazine is certainly a very good start of a fruitful collaboration between all chemists and chemical engineers in the State of Israel.‬ Prof. Ehud Keinan President, the Israel Chemical Society