Shlomo Bentin died in a traffic accident on July 13th 2012. Shlomo was an amazing man and had a great impact not only on psychological and brain science but also directly on the lives of so many people. He had a unique passion for life and for scientific discovery. He was a strong man with a soft heart and his exuberant presence was always felt and admired.

This blog is a place where people can share their experiences and memories of Shlomo. He was an extremely lively man who cherished his family, friends, work and academic accomplishments and we hope this blog will help to celebrate his life as he always did. To contribute, please send your text to Ani Flevaris and Ayelet Landau directly or at remembering.shlomo[at]

Monday, July 23, 2012

From David Carmel

Shlomo introduced me to the world of research. In late 1999 I was on a year off from medical school, and felt a bit lost. I knew I wanted to try doing research (which was premature, considering how little I knew at the time about what this means), but wasn’t sure what to do or how to go about it. I’d heard from friends that there was a lab at the basement of the Mount Scopus campus, where a lot of interesting “brain stuff” went on. The professor, I was told, had his office in the actual lab (this was very unusual in the department) and might be open to having another research assistant.

Shlomo didn’t mind that I knocked on his door without making an appointment. I told him why I was there, and at the end said I’d be happy to volunteer in order to gain some experience. Shlomo’s immediate response was, “No one here works for free. If you work in this lab, you’ll be paid.” He told me about his attitude to research (which was basically that it should be fun, otherwise what’s the point?) and about the projects in the lab (there were so many, I just barely managed to keep up). I did odd jobs around the lab for a few weeks and eventually Shlomo put me onto a specific project (he gave me a choice, but I didn’t know enough at the time to make one). Once he was satisfied that I knew what I was doing, he gave me a great deal of independence. The project eventually became my first (and still most cited) publication, and more importantly, was my first exposure to how science is actually done – the gut-wrenching uncertainty, followed by the excitement of discovery; the need to attend to oh-so-many details, so that the big picture might emerge; and the long process of crafting a report, followed by the satisfaction of seeing your work in print. At the end of that year, I informed the medical school I wasn’t coming back; I’d decided to pursue science instead.

Shlomo’s lab became my second home for the next three years, and in many ways Shlomo became my academic father-figure (as he had for so many others) – with all the ups-and-downs, tensions and rewards such a relationship implies. I will always be indebted to him for giving me the chance to take my first baby-steps as a researcher. Now that I’m a faculty member myself, I hope I can someday have that sort of significance in someone else’s development.

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