Its basic idea is to build two linked research institutes between collaborating nations, one in a Western country and the other one in a Middle-Eastern country, to foster sustainable and lasting partnership.
The Science Bridge – ‘Twin Institutes’ concept
The Science Bridge initiative proposes a novel idea, the ‘Twin Institutes’ concept. Interdisciplinary scientific programs between the ‘Twin Institutes’ will ensure for sustained scientific collaborations and social interactions between people of different cultures and nations. TSB institutes will house students and scientists from Middle-Eastern, Western and other countries from all around the world. In this way, TSB institutes will represent and promote a truly international scientific culture.
We will assemble a research team consisting of scientists coming from different disciplines, such as genetics, biochemistry, neurophysiology, biophysics, behavioral and computer science, mathematics and engineering. We envisage that 15-20 research groups per Twin Institute, with no more than 5-7 members per group, will provide the critical mass for establishing efficient interdisciplinary scientific collaborations. We expect our students, postdoctoral fellows, visiting scientists and group leaders to uphold the highest standard of scientific practice and publish their work in top international journals.
We will facilitate scientific and social interactions between people in various ways:
- All graduate students will initially participate in three laboratory rotations for a period of three months each, including one month in the partner institute.
- To foster interdisciplinary scientific collaborations, research programs involving several groups within and between the partner institutes will be particularly encouraged.
- Twice per year, group leaders are expected to visit the partner institute for the exchange of ideas, results and techniques, and to give courses and workshops.
- Internet conferences will be extensively used to allow participation of institute members in online courses, workshops and seminars.
To nurture healthy and productive scientific collaborations between research groups in the Science Bridge Institutes, we will favor open-space buildings and a laboratory design that facilitates interactions between investigators. A spacious social area will provide people with a collegial atmosphere to foster scientific discussions, brainstorming of ideas as well as social and cultural interaction. A human resource center will assist people with professional, personal and communication issues. A common place for prayers and meditation will allow for spiritual attendance. All these measures are intended to promote mutual understanding that different cultures have different belief and value systems, which need to be respected. We are especially committed to women in science and will provide them with high-quality supportive services.
The Science Bridge Alumni
It is our expectation and hope that students and scientists from Middle-East Western and other countries trained at TSB institutes will take leadership roles at research institutes and universities in their home countries. This is hoped to create a means to spread the message of peace and to show that scientists can indeed be partners in the global pursuit of knowledge by working together on key scientific questions for the well-being of humanity. Our effort to build trust between people from Middle-Eastern and Western nations is expected to convince the public that these two world cultures can co-exist and achieve true breakthroughs provided they are willing to truly collaborate and join efforts.