Dr. Chaim Weizmann - Scientist and Statesman, the first President of Israel, One of the Founders of the Modern Field of Biotechnology

Historical Figures

Dr. Chaim Weizmann (1874-1952)

Dr. Chaim Weizmann, a world-renowned chemist who for many years headed the World Zionist Organization, was the first president of both the Weizmann Institute of Science and the State of Israel. He had over 100 registered patents to his name, including one for fermenting acetone from plant material using a particular bacterium. This pioneering research is regarded as one of the cornerstones of modern biotechnology. Weizmann was one of the founders of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and he founded the Daniel Sieff Research Institute, which would develop into the Weizmann Institute of Science. He understood the importance of integrating science with industry and advanced the establishment of science-based industry. On the connection between science and the land of Israel he said: “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.”

Scientific advice: Yivsam Azgad, Weizmann Institute of Science