For us at the Weizmann Institute of Science, joining the Scienceblogs site is something of an experiment: a blog for a whole institute. As we envision it, there will be several kinds of contributors. The Institute’s leadership will add their thought-provoking views about science, both at the Institute and around the world. Other top scientists will be invited to contribute guest posts, as well. Finally, our team of Weizmann science writers will be blogging on some of the latest research that we write about in our magazines and press releases.
If you have never heard of the Weizmann Institute of Science, there are a few facts and figures in the profile on the left and in the About section.
What makes us unique? It’s the rare combination of deep and wide approaches. The Weizmann Institute is one of the few research institutes that, rather than focusing on a single scientific field – say biotech or astrophysics – includes research in all the natural sciences: physics, chemistry, biochemistry and biology, as well as math and computer science. Our focus is overwhelmingly on basic research (more on that in future posts).
The upshot? Multidisciplinary studies are the rule here. They’re the natural consequence of our set-up. A theoretical physicist drinks a cup of coffee with a molecular biologist in the cafeteria. The next thing you know, they’re enlisting a mathematician to help them map complex gene networks in cancer. Or a chemist is inspired to mimic biological molecules in assembling nanostructures. Everywhere one looks, scientists from different fields are talking to each other and working together, and once in a while these collaborations even help give rise to new whole new areas of research.
Naturally, many of our posts will link back to our website. Unfortunately, we couldn’t coordinate launching this blog with the launch of our new website (slated for later in the summer). In the mean time, we’ll link the posts to the existing (old) website, so please be patient.