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]

Sunday, July 15, 2012

From Elana Zion Golumbic

Shlomo was my first real mentor. He opened up the wonders of the human brain to me, got me excited about the possibilities that Neuroscience has to offer and that the research that we conduct has real value and can make an important contribution. 

Shlomo always made me feel extremely valued and capable. He entrusted the management of his lab to me, consulted me on both scientific and managerial issues, and had complete confidence in me – more than I had in myself, I must say.  I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that he played a major role in my transition into adulthood, by giving me substantial responsibilities at a relatively early stage in my scientific ‘career’, greatly valuing my opinions and giving me an overall sense of my significance.

As a mentor, Shlomo challenged me to challenge myself, to go beyond the banal and seek a deeper scientific understanding. He gave the opportunity to explore, to question and to learn, and ultimately to find my own path. I know that I challenged him too – and more importantly, that he saw that as something good. I think he valued being challenged by his own students and saw it as a driving force, something that propels the scientific process forward. I really valued the ‘academic freedom’ in the lab, Shlomo’s conviction to let us – his students – explore uncharted territories, while providing appropriate guidance, insight, infrastructure and tools for our success.

But beyond scientific excellence, Shlomo regarded human relationships above all. His concern for the welfare of his students was always his top priority, and we went to extreme lengths to ensure that everyone was taken care of. Every potential new student or research assistant was evaluated not only on intellectual merit, but also in how they would fit into – and enrich - the social fabric of the lab. He created an atmosphere of cooperation, volunteering and mutual support in the lab – values that I cherish and hope to incorporate in all my work environments.

I know that Shlomo often judged his own success but the achievements of his students, and he had high expectations and hopes for all of the PhDs he mentored. He would often ‘paint’ the ideal picture of where he hoped each of us would end up. And indeed, many of his disciples have continued to do amazing research in prominent institutions around the world – a fact that gave him immense pride. I just hope that in my modest career I will be able to live up to some of the expectations I know he had for me (including getting our last paper together published…. currently under review).

There are many more things to say… Mostly, I am so saddened by the thought that I won’t see him again, and that he won’t be there to guide and support me along the path that I started going down with him. But in many ways, he will always be there with me, through all the things that I’ve learned and soaked up from him over the years.

No comments:

Post a Comment