Science in the Middle East: crossing the great divide
Despite the difficulties imposed by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, numerous collaborations between scientists from across the divide exist in fields from chemistry to plant biology.
But in this article, Jim Giles reports that it would be naïve to conclude that such collaborations tell a story of scientists successfully putting their political differences aside in the pursuit of knowledge. Researchers from both communities are able, in many cases, to manage their diverging views — but these differences cannot simply be disregarded.
While Israeli academics are generally enthusiastic about the idea of working with Palestinian scientists, the latter give a more diverse set of opinions about the value of joint projects. And collaborations are further complicated by pressure from some foreign scientists to boycott Israeli science.
Reference: Nature 425, 444 (2003)