Prof. Israel Dostrovsky, 1918-2010


You are here

Rehovot, Israel, Sept. 28, 2010


Prof. Israel Dostrovsky

Prof. Israel Dostrovsky was born in Odessa, the former USSR, in 1918 and arrived in Eretz-Israel in 1919. After attending primary and secondary school in Jerusalem, he went to study in England and received a B.Sc. in chemistry in 1940 and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry in 1943, both from University College, London. After working as a lecturer in chemistry at University College, he joined the Weizmann Institute in 1948, shortly before the Institute’s dedication. Immediately upon joining the staff of Weizmann, he was appointed Head of the Isotope Research Department, a position he held for 17 years. Between 1971 and 1975 he served as the Institute’s Vice President and President, and in 1975 he was named Institute Professor, a prestigious title awarded by Weizmann faculty and administration to outstanding scientists who made significant and meaningful contributions to science or to the State of Israel. Between 1980 and 1990, he served as Director of the Center for Energy Research at the Institute. When he turned 80, the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities held a special scientific conference in Jerusalem and at Weizmann to honor the occasion.

Prof. Dostrovsky’s government appointments included Director of Research at the Israel Atomic Energy Commission, 1953-1957; Chairman of the National Council for Research and Development, 1959-1961; Director-General of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission, 1965-1971; and Chairman of Israel’s Desalination Committee, 1966-1981. Between 1973 and 1981 he served as a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, and between 1991 and 1993 he was a member of the Executive Committee of the International Energy Agency’s SolarPACES project.

Prof. Dostrovsky belonged to several professional societies: Israel Chemical Society, Israel Physical Society, American Chemical Society, American Physical Society and Royal Chemical Society of Great Britain. He was a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities and an honorary life member of the New York Academy of Science. He received the Ramsey Medal and Prize, 1943; Tel Aviv’s Weizmann Prize, 1952; honorary doctorates from Tel Aviv University, 1973, and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, 1994; and the Israel Prize, 1995.



The Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, is one of the world's top-ranking multidisciplinary research institutions. Noted for its wide-ranging exploration of the natural and exact sciences, the Institute is home to 2,600 scientists, students, technicians and supporting staff. Institute research efforts include the search for new ways of fighting disease and hunger, examining leading questions in mathematics and computer science, probing the physics of matter and the universe, creating novel materials and developing new strategies for protecting the environment.

Weizmann Institute news releases are posted on the World Wide Web at, and are also available at