The Chaim Weizmann Laboratory

"I trust and feel sure in my heart that science will bring to this land both peace and a renewal of its youth, creating here the springs of a new spiritual and material life. [...] I speak of both science for its own sake and science as a means to an end."(Chaim Weizmann, 1946)

Old Weizmann Microscope

Chaim Weizmann the Scientist

The roles of Chaim Weizmann as an internationally renowned politician, as one of the founding fathers of the State of Israel, and ultimately as its first President, are described in detail in his biographies and Internet references.

Less generally known is his role as a scientist, specifically as a pioneering biochemist. During his lifetime, in addition to his voluminous political correspondence and writings, he published some 100 scientific papers and was awarded, alone or jointly, some 110 patents. Best known is probably his work on the acetone-butanol fermentation process, which is in fact one of the earliest examples of what came to be known as biotechnology.

The laboratory, and Dr. Weizmann's private office, were housed in The Daniel Sieff Research Institute, in the northwest corner of the original Sieff Institute Building. Upon Weizmann's death in 1952, his sister, Dr. Anna Weizmann, took over the laboratory and ran it until she herself passed away in 1965.

When the expanding Daniel Sieff Research Institute complex was rededicated as the Weizmann Institute of Science on November 2, 1949, in honor of Chaim Weizmann's 75th birthday, the original Sieff Institute became the Department of Chemistry. It was later renamed The Department of Organic Chemistry, and part of the Department is housed in the Sieff building to the present day.

Visits to the laboratory are possible by pre-arrangement with the Levinson Visitors Center.