Jerusalem will be hosting this year's Asian Science Camp – one of the world's most important summits to promote young scientists from Asia and Pacific countries. Participants will not engage in competitions but will have the opportunity to show the world what Israel
is made of.
The ASC (Asian Science Camp) is held every six years, each year in a different country from among the participants. The people behind the camp are several Nobel laureates from eastern Asia who made it their goal to establish a platform to locate the future generation of scientists from the region and create cross-border cooperation using the global language of science.
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The participating countries compete over the right to host the event with the size of the delegation determined by the country's size and its place in the scientific world.
Holding the meet in Jerusalem is a major diplomatic achievement for Israel and has led the government to define it as the Foreign Ministry's primary project for 2012. The government even allocated NIS 4 million for the event, no small sum at a time when budget cuts are being implemented throughout the government.
Thus, on August 26 300 of the brightest minds from 21 countries will be making their way to Jerusalem accompanied by senior scientists who serve as the delegation leaders. As the host country Israel will receive the privilege of sending the largest delegation: 35 teens carefully selected for their excellence and genius in the field of science.
President Shimon Peres will attend the opening event after which participants will head to their Jerusalem hotel which will serve as a kind of Olympic village for a week. Participants will also head out to the Hebrew University campus at Givat Ram, which together with the Foreign Ministry and Ort schools, is sponsoring the camp.
At Givat Ram the young scientists will take part in workshops and attend lectures by dozens of Israel's and the world's leading scientists in the fields of Physics, chemistry, life sciences and mathematics.
As the Hebrew University holds the intellectual property of Albert Einstein, whose image is on the meet's logo, the young scientists will also be shown rare copies of his work.
The highlight of the event will be a meet between the young scientists and five Nobel laureates who will share tips on how to pave their way to the prestigious prize.
No event would be complete without a bit of politics and the ASC is no exception: Representatives from two countries that do not have diplomatic relations with Israel will be taking part in the summit though their names are being kept secret so as not to torpedo their attendance.
While some countries have made their political positions clear: Pakistan rejected the invitation claiming they were not informed of the event early enough to attend and the Iranians completely ignored the invitation.
Director General of the Foreign Ministry Rafi Barak explained that the event offers an opportunity to promote relations with Asian countries which are considered to be rising powers in the world. "The importance of bringing the best scientific minds, some of which are destined to become public opinion leaders is clear," he noted.
Hebrew University President Professor Menahem Ben-Sasson said that hosting the event will help strengthen academic relations between the countries in the region and Israel. "It's an excellent opportunity to deepen (our) exposure to Asia," he said.