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October 11, 2002

British academic denounces boycott of Israel as 'deplorable'

LONDON Baroness Susan Greenfield, a renowned neuroscientist and the director of the Royal Institution, has condemned a proposal to impose an academic boycott on Israel. The proposal was made by academics from Britain and Europe who were joined by some of their colleagues from Israel.

Speaking at an event organized by the British-Israel Chambers of Commerce, Greenfield said that "the idea of an academic boycott on Israel is deplorable and reflects British academia in a very bad light because the reasons for it are wrong and groundless."

She said that a British scientific team was planning to visit Israel shortly and that she is personally working with a firm that is cooperating with an Israeli company in developing medical software.

Greenfield, a professor of pharmacology at Oxford University, is the first woman to head the Royal Institution, one of the most prestigious in Britain.

The volume of trade between the two countries stood last year at 2.6 billion pounds sterling, making Israel Britain's largest client in the Middle East.