When one thinks of the top research universities in the world, the names Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard, Stanford, Cambridge, Oxford and Princeton probably come to mind — but so should the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot.
This Israeli institution, named for Chaim Weizmann – the first president of Israel – has been ranked eighth globally for research quality in a weighted (proportional) ranking conducted by the Center for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) of Leiden University, the Netherlands.
The CWTS Leiden Ranking 2019 offers important insights into the scientific performance of nearly 1000 major universities worldwide. Select your preferred indicators, generate results, and explore the performance of universities. Compared with other university rankings, the Leiden Ranking offers more advanced bibliometric indicators, providing information exclusively about the research done at universities.
The data encompass the number of the scientific publications by scientists from the various universities and research institutes, the number citations for scientific papers – indicating the quality of the research – as well as information about the size of the institutions.
Research is represented in publications and carefully collected data about these publications forms the basis for the Leiden Ranking. This basis also ensures the independence of the Leiden Ranking, since there is no reliance on data submitted by the universities themselves. Finally, because universities are complex institutions that have a variety of forms, contexts and missions, their performance cannot be represented by a single number. The Leiden Ranking presents a variety of indicators for you to explore the performance of universities from different angles.
The Weizmann Institute was founded by Dr. Chaim Weizmann (1874-1952) in 1934 as the Daniel Sieff Research Institute, named in memory of the son of British donors Rebecca and Israel Sieff and renamed in honor of Dr. Weizmann in 1949. Dr. Weizmann was a renowned chemist and ardent Zionist who saw his vision of the establishment of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel and of higher education in Israel all come to fruition during his lifetime. In partnership with others he established the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1925 and the Weizmann Institute of Science.
While working as a lecturer at the University of Manchester, Dr. Weizmann developed the process for producing acetone through bacterial fermentation, which was of great importance to the British during World War I. He worked with Lord Arthur James Balfour to write the Balfour Declaration in support of the establishment of the State of Israel and met with US president Harry Truman to convince him to support the State’s establishment.
The Weizmann Institute is one of only two institutions outside the US in the Top Ten (the other is Shandong University in China, which was ranked 10th). In the sub-ranking for life and earth sciences, the Weizmann Institute of Science was ranked fourth in the world.
Along with other scientific achievements, the survey’s findings will be presented in the coming weeks at the Weizmann Institute’s 72nd annual general meeting of the international board, held online for the first time, due to the COVID-19.
The current ranking indicates a significant increase in the quality of research at the Weizmann Institute of Science in recent years – from 17th place a little over a decade ago to eighth in the current ranking.
Other figures from the Leiden 2020 ranking include:
20% of the papers authored by Weizmann Institute scientists were ranked in the top 10% for scientific impact; 24% of the papers authored by its scientists in the life and earth sciences were ranked in the top 10% for scientific impact; over 20% of the papers authored by Institute scientists in the biomedical and health sciences were ranked in the top 10% for scientific impact; 2.5% of the scientific papers by Institute scientists were in the top percentile of papers for scientific impact, and 65.8% of them were in the top half of the papers with the greatest impact. Finally, between 2015 and 2018, scientific papers authored by Institute scientists earned 36,129 citations.