Conference 2005 - Science & Imagination

In honour of the Works of Jules Verne
marking the 100th year anniversary of his death

a meeting of study and discussion
at the "Negev" Interdisciplinary Education Center
Midreshet Sde Boker
March 3-4, 2005
in the presence of M. Gérard Araud, French Ambassador to Israel

A l'occasion du centenaire de la mort de Jules Verne:
rencontres à Sde Boker
pour célébrer la science et l'imagination
En présence de M. Gérard Araud,
Ambassadeur de France en Israël

An Invitation

Thursday, March 3, 2005

10:00-11:00 Registration, light refreshments

11:00-13:00 1st Session: To the center of the Earth and to the depths of the ocean
Chairman: Eran Doron
- Prof. Yosi Maret: Journey to the Center of the Earth
- Dr. Yehuda Melamed: 20,000 Leagues under the Sea
- Michael Kisari: Experiences from the depths of the ocean - 3 generations of submarines
- Prof. Emanuel Mazor: Planet Earth

13:00-14:00 Light Lunch

14:00-16:00 2nd Session - Books & Stories
Chairman: to be announced
- David Lloyd: Jules Verne - a children's author?
- Beni Zifer: Who would dare other than Jules Verne?
- Mr. Eli Ashed: Continuing the legacy of Jules Verne
- Ami Ben Basat: Journey to the hollow center of the earth

16:00-16:30 Coffee

16:30-18:30 3rd Session: Space & journeys through the universe
Chairman: Prof. David Faiman
- Head of Space Branch, Israeli Airforce: The Israeli astronaut project
- Yigal Fatael: Journey from the moon to the galaxies
- David Polishook: The meteor trackers and meteor showers
- Prof. Rami Broshstein: Is the expansion of the universe slowing down?

18:30-20:30 Dinner, short rest

20:30 Festive Evening Session in honour of Jules Verne
Chairman: Mr. Yakov Eini
- Prof. Yoram Bar Gal & Michal Harel: Geography and Jules Verne - certain perspectives
- Dr. Zvi Harel: Jules Verne - Collections and the Internet
- Dr. Hezi Yizhaq: The Green Ray - The polygraph of love
- Dudu Ben Tzor: Five weeks in a balloon (with excerpts from the movie)
- Musical interlude
Friday, March 4, 2005

05:30-07:30 Sunrise at the Zin Field

07:30-08:30 Breakfast

09:00-11:00 Fifth Session: Science, Technology and Future Society
Chairman: Prof. Avigad Vonshuk
- Dr. Ariel Fedelshtein: Herzl as a man of fantasy
- Dr. Emanuel Lotem: Science and Technology for the better and the worse of society
- Prof. Hagit Messer-Yaron: The scientists and Jules Verne
- Hanan Achsaf: How will the future look

11:00-13:00 Final Session: Travels to known and unknown worlds
Chairman: Dr. Hezi Yizhaq
- Prof. Yair Zarmi: The desert from a satellite view
- Prof. Haim Tzoar: Geomorphological processes on the surface of Mars
- Shuka Ravek: The story of two journeys
- Moshe Gilad: The survival of Jules Verne
- Concluding remarks

12:30 Light lunch and departure
During the conference, the actor "Gil Ben David" will read passages from the books of Jules Verne in Hebrew and in French

Contact Hannah Sivan for further details:
Tel: 08-6532897 (you can leave a message)
Fax: 08-6556287

Cost of the conference is 120 shekel (including refreshments and two light lunches)

Conference staff:
Dr. Hezi Itzach, scientific coordinator
Bezalel Cohen, program coordinator
Eran Doron
Hannah Sivan
Tel: 08-6532897

Jules Verne (1828-1905), the famous French author, is thought to be one of the founding fathers of science fiction. He was an amateur scientist and sailor and in most of his works he included detailed scientific and technological data which he acquired from discussions with experts and from in-depth readings of scientific texts. His series "Extraordinary Voyages" became a classic and was translated into many languages. Verne's heroes, who were not afraid of any danger or hardship put before them, made use of scientific and technological knowledge in their extraordinary adventures to far away places on earth and to the depths of the earth, to the depths of the ocean, and to the moon. His books provided inspiration to famous researches and engineers such as Admiral Richard Bird who was one of the pioneers in exploring Antarctica, Yuri Gagarin - the first man in space, and Neil Armstrong - the first man to land on the moon. Verne was also aware of the destructive potential of knowledge when it falls into the wrong hands and he deeply pondered over the eventual effect of technology on the human race. In his last books, the optimistic view which characterized his earlier books was replaced by a much more pessimistic view of the way man makes use of science and technology and he understood the great dangers in its unsupervised use.