EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS’ BIOGRAPHIES
Arjuna Aluwihare, Sri Lanka
Arjuna Aluwihare is professor of surgery at the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka. He was vice chancellor of the University from 1988 to 1989 and then chairman of the University Grants Commission of Sri Lanka from 1989 to 1993. He is president-elect of Sri Lanka’s National Academy of Sciences. Arjuna Aluwihare has been a member of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka since 1997.
Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, France
Claude Cohen-Tannoudji is a research scientist in the Department of Physics at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. In 1973 he became professor and chairman of the nuclear and molecular physics department of the Collège de France. He is a member of the French Academy of Sciences and secretary general of its Comité de Défense des Hommes de Sciences. In 1997 Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, Steven Chu, and William D. Phillips were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics “for their development of techniques that use laser light to cool atoms to extremely low temperatures.”
François Jacob, France
François Jacob is professor emeritus at the Collège de France and the Institut Pasteur in Paris. He is a member of l’Académie Française and l’Académie des Sciences. François Jacob is president of the Comité de Défense des Hommes de Sciences of the Académie des Sciences. In 1965 François Jacob, André Lwoff, and Jacques Monod were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine “for their discoveries concerning genetic control of enzyme and virus synthesis.”
Belita Koiller, Brazil
Belita Koiller is professor of theoretical physics at the Instituto de Fisica Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro. She is the first woman physicist to be elected a full member to the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, and she has been a senior research fellow of the Brazilian National Research Council since 1985. She was nominated by the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) to become a member of its Committee on Capacity Building in Science from 1994 to 1996. Belita Koiller is a L’Oréal-UNESCO 2005 Laureate for Women in Material Sciences.
John Polanyi, Canada
John Polanyi is professor of chemistry at the University of Toronto. He is a member of the Royal Society of Canada. John Polanyi was the founding chair, in 1960, of the Canadian Pugwash Group, and he remained chair until 1978. He has published over a hundred articles on peace and human rights and is founding member and president of the Canadian Committee of Scientists and Scholars. In 1986 John Polanyi, Dudley Herschbach, and Yuan T. Lee were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry “for their contributions concerning the dynamics of chemical elementary processes.”
Pieter van Dijk, The Netherlands
Pieter van Dijk is state councillor of the Council of State of the Netherlands. He was a judge on the European Court of Human Rights from 1996-1998. Pieter van Dijk was a professor of international law at Utrecht University and a member of the Court of Appeals of The Hague. He has been chair of the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights since 1982 and is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was bestowed a knighthood in 2004.
Edoardo Vesentini, Italy
Edoardo Vesentini, a mathematician, is president emeritus of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei in Rome. He is presently a full professor of mathematical analysis at the Politecnico di Torino and a member of the Accademia delle Scienze of Turin. Edoardo Vesentini is a recipient of the Gold Medal for contributions to education, culture, and art and the Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.
Torsten Wiesel, United States
Torsten Wiesel, M.D., a neurobiologist, is secretary general of the Human Frontier Science Program and chairman of the Board of the New York Academy of Sciences. He is also president emeritus and Vincent and Brook Astor professor (active) at The Rockefeller University in New York City. He is chairman emeritus of the Arms Division of Human Rights Watch and of the Committee on Human Rights of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. In 1981, Torsten Wiesel and David H. Hubel were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine “for their discoveries concerning information processing in the visual system.”