This year's CWTS Leiden Ranking put the Weizmann Institute at number 10 -- and number one outside of the US -- for impact.
What is impact? In dry terms, it is publications in excellent journals and citations, weighted for institute size and evaluated by subject. This prestigious ranking favors the Weizmann Institute, because it compares institutes and universities solely on the basis of published research.
So you can measure impact and give it a rank. But that number is, ultimately a proxy for something a bit more abstract: We really think of it as the part our scientists play in advancing global science (or human knowledge if you want to be really philosophical about it).
So yes, we're proud of this ranking and we did, indeed pat ourselves on the back over the last day or so.
But it is also a kind of validation of our approach. Over the past decade we have risen from a respectable 19th place to 10th. In that time, the leadership of the Institute has focused on two things: actively seeking to attract the best scientists, regardless of their area of research or the cost of setting up their labs; and investing in upgrading the research infrastructure.
So far, it's working for us.