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  • Italian Ambassador Francesco M. Talò addresses the gathering

    Italian Ambassador Francesco M. Talò addresses the gathering

    Despite Calls for Academic Boycotts against Israel, Italian Ambassador Expresses Support for Italy-Israel Scientific Cooperation

    Date: 2016-04-11 Hour: 14:49

    In his address opening a conference gathering of senior Italian and Bar-Ilan University physicists, Italian Ambassador to Israel Francesco M. Talò expressed opposition to academic boycotts against Israel and called for the strengthening of scientific research cooperation between Israel and Italy.

    "Our prime minister said in the Israeli Knesset that whoever boycotts Israel boycotts himself," declared Amb. Talò. "It is important for our people and for science to create opportunities for collaboration. There are good opportunities here and I want to pursue them.  This is the nature of universities and research centers all over the world which should be interdisciplinary and international. In Israel and in Italy there is a strong basis for theoretical physics and we can make a difference together," he said. The Ambassador also reiterated his country's steadfast support for Israel when it became a full member of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Switzerland. 

    The physicists are convened at Bar-Ilan University for the Italy-Israel meeting on non-equilibrium physics, a three-day event co-sponsored by Bar-Ilan and the Embassy of Italy in Israel that will explore new discoveries in quantum physics.

    Conference organizer Dr. Emanuele Dalla Torre, of Bar-Ilan University's Department of Physics, thanked the Italian Embassy for its support and for actively participating in organizing the conference. Born and raised in Italy, Dalla Torre noted the importance he places upon continuing efforts to foster collaboration between Italy and Israel.  An Alon Fellow, Dalla Torre’s research focuses on the theoretical non-equilibrium many-body physics. Equilibrium systems include ice in icicles or water in lakes. Analyzing their physical attributes is easy, but an avalanche or car traffic on the highway are non-equilibrium systems that are nearly impossible to analyze. Dr. Dalla Torre and his team are trying to develop a mathematical solution for such situations.

    The Italian physicists participating in the conference hail from leading research institutions, such as Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa, the International Centre for Theoretical Physics of Trieste, and the National Research Council of Rome.  They are visiting Bar-Ilan University following the recent signing -- by 168 Italian academics and researchers from seven Italian universities throughout Italy -- of a petition calling for an academic boycott of Israeli research institutions.  

    "The Israel boycott initiative does not represent the official position of the government of Italy or of the Italian scientific community," said Prof. Stefano Boccaletti, scientific attaché at the Italian Embassy of Israel, a professor of physics and an honorary professor of Bar-Ilan University, prior to the conference. "The Italian Embassy organizes 12 conferences in Israel every year, and brings 150 researchers to Israel annually who are interested in strengthening cooperation with their Israeli colleagues.  In advance of Italy Republic Day on June 2, a member of the Italian National Rectors Council will visit Israel with the Italian Minister of Science Education, and they will sign cooperation agreements with every university in Israel.  In fact, Italy is the most important European partner to Israel in the field of science," he added.

    Photos of the conference available here.