In March 2020, in response to the spread of the novel Corona virus, The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities established an Advisory Committee on the Israel Academy’s Activities Relating to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The committee’s members are: Prof. Yadin Dudai, Chair of the Academy’s Natural Sciences Division (Chair); Prof. David Harel, Vice President of the Academy; Prof. Sergiu Hart, Chair of the Academy’s Humanities Division; Academy Members Prof. Yoav Benjamini and Prof. Itamar Willner; and Prof. Michal Feldman, an alumna of the Israel Young Academy.
The committee’s discussions of the implications of the COVID-19 crisis and how the issues arising from it are being dealt with in academia in general and at the Israel Academy in particular, over different time ranges, evinced a need to establish two additional committees to deal with key issues at the national level:
- A Committee to examine the roles of the academic system in supporting decision-making systems in Israel, and their expression in times of national crisis. The committee will examine the existing and desirable roles of the academic community in its interfaces with decision-makers at the national level in Israel, in ordinary times in times of national crisis. The committee’s members are Prof. Daniel Zajfman (Chair); Academy Members Prof. Haim Cedar, Prof. Alex Lubotsky, ane Prof. Billie Melman; Prof. Mia Bar-Hillel, Prof. Gabi Barbash, Prof. Orna Kupferman, Prof. Peretz Lavie, and Prof. Hermona Soreq; and Israel Young Academy Chair Prof. Avi Zadok.
- Committee to examine the balancing of needs in times of national crisis: maintaining the population’s physical and mental health, economic security, social justice, and individual freedoms. The committee’s members are Academy Member Prof. Moshe Halbertal (Chair); Academy Members Prof. Ruth Gavison, Prof. David Heyd, Prof. Elhanan Helpman, and Prof. Gideon Rechavi; and Prof. Faisal Azaiza, Prof. Orit Kedar, Prof. Nira Liberman, and Prof. Yehuda Lindell.
Upon the completion of their work, the committees’ reports and recommendations will be brought to the attention of decision-makers and the public.