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Professor Peter Hillman 4.12.1928 – 20.6.2013

Professor Peter Hillman, founder and first director of the Bloomfield Science Museum in Jerusalem, has passed away at the age of 84.

The man who envisioned and initiated the Museum was one of the first to introduce science to the general public, making it popular and easily accessible. The spirit of Peter Hillman has imbued the Museum since its inception.

Professor Hillman was born in South Africa in 1928 and made aliyah in 1960 after completing his doctoral studies in nuclear physics at Harvard University and attending some of the leading laboratories in his field. In 1964 he was appointed head of the nuclear physics department at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot.

In 1967, after turning to a new field of specialization – neurobiology and brain studies, he was appointed professor of the Institute of Life Studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, a post he held until his retirement in 1998.

As early as 1980 Professor Hillman conceived the idea of establishing a science museum in Jerusalem. The first stage of his vision took the form of implementing the “Seeing Eye – Science Workshop” which ran for some ten years at the Hebrew University. The foresight, leadership and energy of Professor Hillman were directly responsible for the success of the workshop, and he continued to advance the concept of a large science museum based in Jerusalem, the first of it's kind in Israel.

The idea gained the support of the Hebrew University and the Jerusalem Foundation, and came to fruition in 1992 with the inauguration of the Bloomfield Science Museum in Jerusalem.

Professor Hillman served as the first director of the Museum in a voluntary capacity for three years, and after his retirement in 1995 he continued to serve as its scientific director until his final days. He visited the Museum every week, imparting his experience, his knowledge, and his abundant love of science to the next generation.

The unique spirit of Professor Hillman continues to infuse the Museum, making science understandable to every sector of the public, both young and old. He published dozens of articles in Israel and abroad, imparted his wisdom to many students, and promoted the concept of scientific culture in Israel.

The Bloomfield Museum, board of directors, and past and present employees mourn the loss of our founding father and share in the grief of Professor Hillman’s family, his wife Nehama, children David and Hili, and grandchildren.

Professor Hillman willed his body to science. The coffin will rest at the Bloomfield Museum in Jerusalem on Friday 21/6/2013 between the hours of 14:00 and 15:00. The public is invited to pay its last respects.

Science has lost one of its brightest sons.

May his memory be blessed.


Date Created: 20/06/13
Date Updated: 23/06/13