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UK: New Making Connections grants strengthen UK-Israel research ties

Date: Thursday, November 12, 2020
Prof. Yonina Eldar, Dept. of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics,  Dr. Giora Alexandron, Dept. of Science Teaching

Prof. Yonina Eldar, Dept. of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, Dr. Giora Alexandron, Dept. of Science Teaching

Now in its 12th year, Weizmann UK’s Making Connections Programme, which brings together scientists from the UK and Israel to collaborate on research projects, is going from strength to strength. Owing to a particularly strong round of applications, six grants rather than the usual five were awarded for 2020-2021, with grants of $100,000 given for joint research projects over two years. The programme enables scientists at the Weizmann Institute to undertake research projects with researchers at UK institutions to stimulate discoveries, share resources, and facilitate long-lasting connections between the two countries. More than 60 grants have been awarded since the program began in 2008, bringing Weizmann scientists from a variety of fields into close working contact with scientists from more than 25 UK universities and research institutes.

Due to coronavirus restrictions, Weizmann UK was unable to host any in-person gatherings this year but took the opportunity to showcase the research of two of this year's newly awarded Making Connections partnerships with a Virtual Cocktail of Science event on YouTube Live. Both projects had an appropriately virtual theme exploring questions around the role that Artificial Intelligence is increasingly playing in all of our lives.

Prof. Yonina Eldar from the Weizmann Institute and Prof. Miguel Rodrigues from University College London (UCL) discussed the question: Can we trust decisions made by an algorithm?

Dr. Giora Alexandron from the Weizmann Institute and Prof. Alexandra Cristea from Durham University explored the issue of how artificial intelligence can help personalize science education.

Weizmann UK has also recently hosted a number of online events to share the critical research being undertaken by the Weizmann Institute in response to the coronavirus crisis. These have included a fascinating insight into Dr. Nir London’s role in the global search for a drug compound; and a panel event hosted by the United Synagogue featured presentations from Vice President for Resource Development Prof. Roee Ozeri, Dr. Noam Stern-Ginossar, and Prof. Uri Alon.