May. 07, 2015

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev will bestow honorary doctorates on seven ground-breaking scientists, inventors and philanthropists on Tuesday evening May 12, 2015 in the Cummings Plaza on the Marcus Family Campus in Beer-Sheva. The ceremony will be held during the 45th Board of Governors Meeting. 

The recipients include:


Prof. Jill Banfield, USA

Professor in the Departments of Earth and Planetary Science and Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at the University of California, Berkeley. She also has an appointment in the geochemistry group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Her research interests are in geomicrobiology - study of how microorganisms shape, and are shaped by, their natural environments. Virtually all projects are tied to a field site. Current locations of study are Iron Mountain (northern California), the Angelo Reserve (northern California), the Rifle site, Colorado, and Lake Tyrrell, Victoria, Australia. 

Photo Credit: Margaret Gennaro 




Prof. Adele Diamond, Canada

Professor of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of British Columbia (UBC). One of the pioneers in the field of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Adele Diamond is at the forefront of research on the executive functions which depend on prefrontal cortex and interrelated brain regions. Executive functions include 'thinking outside the box' (cognitive flexibility), mentally relating ideas and facts (working memory), and giving considered responses rather than impulsive ones, resisting temptations and staying focused (inhibitory control, including selective attention). Recently, she has turned her attention to the possible roles of traditional activities, such as music and dance, in improving executive functions, academic outcomes, and mental health. 

Photo Credit: David Fok




Prof. Carol Gilligan, USA

American feminist, ethicist, and psychologist, Professor at New York University and a Visiting Professor at the University of Cambridge. She is best known for her 1982 work, In a Different Voice in which she outlined difference feminism. Psychology, Gilligan argued, had been unknowingly ignoring the voices and experiences of half the human race.  Difference feminism, as her perspective has come to be called, highlights the different qualities of both men and women, but asserts that no value judgment can be placed upon them. 

Photo Credit: Joyce Ravid 




Prof. Anne Glover, UK

Scottish biologist and Professor of Molecular biology and Cell biology at the University of Aberdeen. She also served as Chief Scientific Adviser to the President of the European Commission from 2012 to 2014. In February 2013 she was appointed to chair the newly created Science and Technology Advisory Council to the President. In 1999 she commercialized some of her biosensor technology into a successful company which diagnoses environmental pollution and provides solutions for its clean-up. 

Photo Credit: Robert Taylor 






Alexander M. Goren, USA

Chairman of the Board of Governors and past President of American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Alex’s career encompassed portfolio management in Montreal, financial analysis in Milan, merchant banking in London, managing the FIAT distributorship in Israel, and investments and real estate in New York City. He is a partner in Goren Brothers, a Manhattan money management and real estate company. Alex’s relationship with BGU started in 1972. His family owned a very large spinning mill in Dimona, the sale of which provided the initial funding for the Cukier, Goldstein-Goren Foundation. Ever since, the foundation has been a great friend to BGU, playing a key role in its development and spanning a three-generation tradition of philanthropy. It funded the construction of the Cukier, Goldstein–Goren Building, home to the Pinchas Sapir Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. Subsequently, it established the Goldstein–Goren Department of Jewish Thought and the Goldstein-Goren International Center for Jewish Thought, as well as a fund for student loans, which was converted into a student scholarship fund in 2005. Most recently the Avram and Stella Goldstein-Goren Department of Biotechnology Engineering was named in memory of the foundation’s founder and his wife.




Prof. Jacques Lewiner, France

Physicist and Inventor. He is Professor and Honorary Scientific Director of Ecole Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles de la Ville de Paris (ESPCI ParisTech). He has filed a large number of patent applications leading to industrial development. He has participated in the creation of various technology-oriented startup companies, for instance Inventel, specializing in Telecommunications, Finsécur which develops and markets fire detection systems, Cynove in embedded electronics devices, Cytoo which develops and manufactures cell system analysis. Most of these companies have experienced a strong (and in some case spectacular) growth. 

Conscious of the importance of making science accessible to the general public, he founded with Pierre-Gilles de Gennes l'Espace des Sciences de Paris (recently renamed “Espace Pierre-Gilles de Gennes”). Conferences for non-specialized audiences are organized as well as short internships for children. It has become one of the pillars of the “la main à la pâte,” a new approach to teaching science to children, initiated in France by Georges Charpak. 

Photo Credit: Dominique Morisseau 




Lorry I. Lokey, USA

American businessperson and philanthropist. A native of Portland, Oregon, he founded the international media relations wire service Business Wire in 1961 and has donated in excess of $700 million to charities, with the majority of the money given to schools. These efforts led to his listing as one of the ten highest donors in the United States by the Chronicle of Philanthropy in 2006. 

The Lorry I. Lokey Chemistry Building is being constructed on the Marcus Family Campus. 

Photo Credit: Dani Machlis/BGU