The 21st Century University
Professor Yehuda Elkana
, fellow at Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin
What is the social, cultural, and purely intellectual task of the university in the 21st century? Has it changed over the centuries? Which other institutions - if any - serve to create new knowledge? What kind of new knowledge is our age in need of? In what ways can and should the university supply that new knowledge? These are some of the issues that Prof. Elkana, President and former Rector of the Central European University raised during the Memorial Lecture "DJU" 2009.
Yehuda Elkana was born in Yugoslavia in 1934, and after the war and a year in concentration camps he immigrated to Israel in 1948. He studied physics, mathematics and history of science, also taking courses in biology, and received an MSc degree. In 1968, he completed his doctoral studies at Brandeis University with a thesis "On the Emergence of the Energy Concept," published later by Harvard University Press. For one year, he taught at Harvard University. From 1968 he taught in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the Hebrew University and served as its Chairman. He was a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (1973-74) a Visiting Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford (1977-78); from 1981 until 1991 he was Director of the Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas at Tel Aviv University. From 1968 to 1993 he was Director of the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. In 1987-2006 he was a Permanent fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. From 1992-1999 he was a Member of the Academic Advisory Board of the Collegium Budapest, and its Deputy Chairman; Yehuda Elkana is a corresponding member of the International Academy for the History of Science. He is co-founder and editor of Science in Context and author of several books and numerous articles. From 1995 to 1999 he was Professor for the Philosophy of Science at the ETH Zurich. In April 1997 he became a Member of the Scientific Board of the Collegium Helveticum. In 2001 he was elected to serve on the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. From 1999 to 2009 Yehuda Elkana is the President and Rector of the Central European University in Budapest. Currently he is a fellow at Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. He is married to Dr. Yehudit Elkana and has four children.
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