It is my strong belief that collaborative scientific research provides an ideal environment where people having a common goal, such as eradication of human diseases, form inter-personal relationships which are a prerequisite to foster respect for each other. If we could scale-up such personal relationships between people from different origins in the ‘Twin Institutes’ as outlined by ‘The Science Bridge’ initiative, I am most confident that we will not only continue to do great science but also will bring people from East and West close together for trust- and peace-building.

Peter H. Seeburg, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Germany

The language of science is a natural bridge for scientists with different backgrounds and experiences to communicate and understand each other. But for the bridge to be meaningful, it is also necessary to be fully committed to the endeavor. In this spirit the researchers from different cultures and nations in the ‘Twin Institutes,’ an innovative concept proposed by The Science Bridge, could make important contributions both in the sciences and in human relations.

Torsten N. Wiesel, The Rockefeller University, U.S.A.

I feel that in a time where religious fundamentalism is growing both in the East and in the West, and where there is a danger that alternative beliefs and non-conformist philosophies are increasingly suppressed, science can be a neutral basis for communication and understanding. I strongly support the Science Bridge initiative because it promotes such understanding which is direly needed, because the non-religious nature of science and its universal benefits allow everybody to participate.

Thomas C. Südhof, Stanford University School of Medicine, U.S.A.

Science blends humanity like no other endeavor. People engage the same rational minds to comprehend nature, and share the same excited emotions upon its discovery. Throughout history, the scientific journey has forged the deepest friendships among people as it celebrated their diversity a source of creative insights. The Science Bridge is just what is needed to continue and strengthen this process.

Shihab Shamma, University of Maryland, U.S.A.

To improve relations between people of different cultures, religions and nations, it is essential to start listening to and understanding each other’s viewpoints. The Science Bridge is a unique initiative that enables scientists of different origins to team up on key biomedical research projects to improve human health. The Science Bridge initiative could be extended to new collaborations in other research areas including ecology, energy and climate change. Scientific cooperation is thus the best way to move forward to foster better understanding between the West and the Muslim world. I would especially like to emphasize that individuals who work with total commitment, sincerity and dedication for a cause like the Science Bridge initiative are true champions.

Anwar Nasim, Islamic World Academy of Sciences, Pakistan

Scientists cannot walk alone. Our individual knowledge is inextricably bound to the knowledge in the entire scientific world.

Ryoji Noyori, President of RIKEN, Japan

I strongly believe that science is the most appropriate force for reconciliation between people because of its universality, which goes beyond cultural and philosophical or religious diversity.

Jean-Pierre Changeux, Collège de France, Paris, France