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senior lecturer in psychiatry at Tel Aviv University

My initial intention towards science was related to the family atmosphere. My father was a professor in neurology, my mother was PhD in neurology, and both were very interested in the topics that they were working in. At school my intellectual activity, and my interest in some general and polydimensional views of the fundamental problems of human being, were stimulated mostly by conversations with very intelligent peers who had broad interests.

I was reading many books – not precisely in science, but books that stimulated my intellectual activity. My interest in literature, and my own experience in writing poems, developed my skills and interests in creative activity and supported me in feeling that I could create something by myself. I believe that this feeling is even more important to productive scientific activity than the ability to study and to collect knowledge.

In medical school, I met a very good, broad-minded teacher named David Stulman. He inspired me to see contradictions in the scientific literature, and to believe that a fresh view of these contradictions is not forbidden. As a student, I also started to collaborate in the scientific department, where the director – academician Nikolay Graschenkov – created an atmosphere of a free discussion on very different topics.

The participation in such discussions by the young collaborators was very welcome, as well as broad associations that brought together topics and approaches that seemed at first glance to be far from each other. I was never interested either in the collection of publications, nor in the ‘level’ of the scientific journal. I was only interested in the ability to present my point of view. Thus self-realisation, together with an interest in solving contradictions, was the main motive.