I can only encourage other academies in the Network to do similar things and try to raise money from their own environments in order to support this very important organization in a troubled area.
Corillon – The list of all 63 proposals received from Israelis and Palestinians who want to do joint scientific research studies are in your agenda books. So far, 25 academies have endorsed IPSO. Some have given money; for example, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences has given $20,000, the academy in the Netherlands has given $10,000 and the Academy of Athens has given $1,000. If your academy has not yet endorsed this organization, we ask that you consider doing so.
Wiesel – We must keep in mind that each grant is estimated to be about $75,000 per year, and they are for three years. To give a grant, we must be able to fund the entire duration. We are discussing an annual budget of around $2 to $3 million to run the program. There is a great sense of urgency here because those who apply for the grants want to be funded if they successfully pass review by the International Scientific Council.
Johannes Eckert, German Academy of Natural Sciences-Leopoldina, Germany – The human rights committee of the German academy of sciences has also considering establishing a small supporting committee but then we made some inquiries and discovered that the German Science Foundation is supporting research programs in Israel since 1995—about 27 projects. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research has special programs for cooperation between Israel, Palestine, and Jordan. [audio problem] We therefore came to the conclusion that it makes no sense to establish a small group of a few people but, rather, it is better to refer projects to the large science foundations in Germany. We would be happy as a human rights committee to help make the links and to lend our support.
Dan Bitan, Israel [Co-Director, IPSO] – In doing our fundraising for research proposals we have found that it is best if the various academies contact high level officials in their governments and we in Palestine and Israel also contact the embassies or local delegates to get their reaction and guidance. This approach could work in Norway because we’ve begun to work in this way, and in France it begins to work too, because a letter from the President of the French Academy went to President Chirac and he replied and referred it to the French Prime Minister. There was a contact with the Foreign Minister, and we worked with the French embassy in Tel Aviv. Sometimes we must mount a siege to get the funds that may be available in the different countries.
Reuter – For example, the Swiss Minister of Internal Affairs will go to Israel in September. He will be informed about IPSO and its goals. I’m sure, Menahem, that he will also be in contact with you at that time. It is at that level at which people could get together; at a relatively high or a very high level, and from there it could spread down. It is a useful approach, at least in our relatively small country.
Corillon – We are creating a Friends of IPSO organization in the United States. We have five members from the U.S. National Academies who are serving on the board; they are well connected and are helping also with fundraising, approaching both foundations and individuals.