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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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