Science is one of the fields in which humanity, as a whole, unites forces to crack Nature’s secrets. Scientific collaboration, thus, crosses cultures, religions and nations. Moreover, scientific collaboration is unconcerned with such differences, and builds upon mental and intellectual interactions alone. Thus, scientific collaboration, especially when successful, is an excellent tool for connecting people via mental relationships bridging over cultural, religion and national differences.

Ehud Ahissar, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel

During the ‘Islamic Golden Age’ (7th-14th century), the pursuit of knowledge by scientific collaboration was the driving force that united people of different faiths and cultures and led to major discoveries in all scientific fields that continue to serve humanity to this day. It later also gave birth to the ‘Age of Enlightenment’ in the West. By engaging different cultures and faiths within the ‘twin institutes’ concept, the Science Bridge initiative can pave the way to a new era in cross-cultural and international scientific collaboration. Once again, minds from across the world will have the opportunity to act as a united force to achieve breakthrough discoveries in the basic and applied sciences. I thus strongly support this noble initiative and am ready and willing to help to the best of my ability.

Abdulmonem Al-Hayani, King Abdul Aziz University, Saudi Arabia

The development of individual contacts and linkages between Muslim and Western researchers is an excellent idea. Congratulations on this important initiative.

Colin Blakemore, University of Oxford, UK

Science and technology cooperation between cultures is a win-win activity. It reached its height during the golden age of Islamic civilization. I applaud the effort of the Science Bridge in reviving scientific collaboration.

Farouk El-Baz, Center for Remote Sensing Boston University, U.S.A.

I do believe that the Science Bridge will be an excellent initiative to bring people from different cultures together. Scientists should take the initiative to create the instruments that will bring people from different Nations closer. The values ruling the daily practice of scientists and researchers, like rational thinking, understating the opposite opinions, accepting differences, and many other values whenever applied to the related communities, can bring the change that we are looking for; peace and development. I am pleased to be sharing my personal belief with you all: international collaboration in science is not only an important element for the scientific success, but it is also a great joy. I will be glad to provide any needed support and efforts to help facilitate that the scientific and social missions of the Science Bridge initiative are realized.

Ahmed El-Gohary, President of El-Fayoum University and the Neuroscience Group of Egypt

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

I fully endorse your efforts with ‘The Science Bridge’ initiative. I wish you all the success in the world.

Stanley Cohen, Washington University, U.S.A.

Science is an international enterprise, and there is no better way to increase understanding and friendship between the Muslim world and the West then through science. The idea of two research institutes, one in a Muslim country and the other in the West, each teaming with scientists from all over the world, is splendid. I am pleased to give this initiative my most enthusiastic endorsement.

John E. Dowling, Harvard University, U.S.A.

My career studying the neurobiology of individual differences in behavior and risk for psychopathology has been advanced by forming translational scientific bridges. All of the progress in my own program of research into how and why individuals differ in their sensitivity to the environment has been born of the bridges formed between neuroscience, psychology, psychiatry, genetics and epidemiology. It is against this backdrop that I find the potential of leveraging scientific bridges to advance the relationships of our nations and cultures so promising. Through the bridges of discourse across scientific disciplines we are beginning to unravel the mysteries of human behavior and mental illness. I am optimistic that these same bridges will illuminate the richness of our deep traditions and histories, highlighting pathways of understanding and cooperation that will transcend the boundaries of science.

Ahmad R. Hariri, Duke University, U.S.A.

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

Fear of the ‘others’ has been a feeling common of many populations in the whole history of mankind, which still survives today. Yet, when this elementary feeling has been overcome, the interactions among different experiences and cultures have been critical for progress. This is true especially now, when these interactions are more peaceful than in the past. The role of a common science initiative could be highly important in to promote positive interactions, inducing better reciprocal knowledge and understanding, reinforcing the scientific and the international whole prestige of populations, together with the self-confidence and the impact of individual participants.

Jacopo Meldolesi, San Raffaele Institute, Italy

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

Ryoji Noyori, President of RIKEN, Japan

As a scientist who has been always involved with international science cooperation, I see the “Science Bridge” as a particularly important initiative. This is not only for science, but for society and politics at large, as the cooperation and harmony between the Islam part of the world and Europe/Western world is one of the most important issues in our time.

Pier Luigi Luisi, Università degli Studi di Roma Tre, Italy

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

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.

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.

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.