Born 1934 in former Yugoslavia.
Elkana immigrated to Israel in 1948. There he studied physics, math and the history of science. He graduated with a dissertation on “On the development of a energy concept” from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, later published at the Harvard University Press.
He has taught at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem since 1968. He was a member of the Centre for Advanced Study in Behavior Science (1973-74) and a visiting fellow of the All Souls College in Oxford (1977-78).
From 1981 to 1991 Elkana was director of the Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas at Tel Aviv University. Furthermore, he was director of the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute between 1968 and 1993.
He has been permanent member at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin from 1987 till 2006. From 1992 to 1999 Elkana was member and vice president of the Academic Advisory Board of the Collegium Budapest and between 1995 to 1999 professor for philosophy of sciences at the ETH Zurich. He has been a member of the Scientific Board of the Collegium Helvetium since 1997 and in 2001 he was elected in the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Yehuda Elkana is correspondent member of the International Academy of the History of Science, co-founder and editor of the “Science in Context“ and author of many books and articles.
Since 1999 Yehuda Elkana is president and rector of the Central European University in Budapest.