Recently I posted a piece entitled The Day Science Died where I lamented the fall of a real scientific/technological urge in our society after we landed men on the moon in 1969.
A dramatic nighttime launch from Cape Canaveral sent Israel’s privately funded lunar lander on its way to a rendezvous with history. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was on hand in the control room.
“It’s a big step for Israel but a giant step for Israeli technology. The strength of Israel in the world is rising, rising, rising and rising to the moon,” Netanyahu said.
Israel’s not the only country where STEM has “pride of place” in society, but it’s one that gets a disproportionate amount of attention, most of it negative. One wonders but that the source of a great deal of antisemitism out there is jealousy and fear of the accomplishments of the Jewish people, both in and out of STEM. When Nazi Minister of Education Bernhard Rust asked David Hilbert whether Göttingen’s Mathematical Institute had suffered as a result of the purge of the Jews, Hilbert replied, “Suffered? It doesn’t exist any longer, does it!”
Hopefully, unlike their American counterparts, both of these goals will be achieved:
“We want the Israeli kids and the Israeli youth to, we want to encourage them to learn STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and informatics – and we hope that they will have this mission we will create the effect and encourage them. The second goal is to promote the space industry here in Israel … And I think we got it – one of the goals is already achieved,” explained Dr. Ido Antebi, CEO of SpaceIL.