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News from ICTP 91 - Monitor



Math Exchange


The 10-person Commission on Development and Exchange (CDE) of the International Mathematical Union (IMU) held a one-day meeting at ICTP on 6 November to discuss the Commission's future directions and goals. CDE is one of three standing commissions of IMU, which is the largest organisation of professional mathematicians in the world. IMU's current president is Jacob Palis, a member of the ICTP Scientific Council, whose involvement with the Centre dates back some 30 years. CDE's past chairperson is M.S. Narasimhan, who is a member of the ICTP Mathematics Group.

European Science Journalists


Between 15 and 18 December, a group of 20 science reporters from 12 European countries visited ICTP and other prominent research organisations in Trieste and the surrounding area. The group was led by Paola De Paoli, president of both the European Union of Science Journalists' Associations (EUSJA) and the Italian Union of Science Journalists (UGIS). At the Centre, the journalists were welcomed by the director Miguel Virasoro, who highlighted ICTP's broad-ranging research and training activities and discussed the Centre's involvement with scientists from developing countries. On the final day of their visit, the journalists traveled to Slovenia to tour Ljubljana Technology Park.

Centre's Gallery


An exhibition featuring 15 graphics by Lucio Saffaro opened on 26 November at the Centre's Art Gallery, located in the Adriatico Guesthouse. Before the opening, a roundtable discussion by art critics and scientists--among them, GianCarlo Ghirardi, head of ICTP Associates and Federation Schemes--examined the career of Lucio Saffaro, an artist and mathematician from Trieste who died in 1998. More than 100 people were in attendance. The exhibition remained at the Centre until 5 December.

Turra Retires


Ondina Turra retired from ICTP at the end of 1999. Ondina began working at ICTP in early 1969 as secretary to the Deputy Director. In 1978, she became assistant to the Administrative and Scientific Information Officer. While holding that post in the early 1980s, she assisted in setting up the Programme of Training and Research in Italian Laboratories (TRIL). In 1983, she became head of the Office of Associates and Federation Schemes, a post she held until 1997 when she took lead responsibility for the ICTP Central Archives. Centre staff join the numerous former and current ICTP Associate Members in wishing Ondina a pleasant retirement.


DennisSciama.gifWorld-known physicist and cosmologist Dennis William Sciama died in Oxford, UK, on 18 December 1999, at the age of 73. Since 1983, Sciama directed the astrophysics section of the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Trieste and served as co-organiser of many ICTP workshops and conferences. Sciama will be remembered for his provocative theories on the role of neutrinos in cosmology and for his many-universes hypothesis. He also was a brilliant lecturer and wrote several books for popular audiences, including The Unity of the Universe, The Physical Foundations of General Relativity and Modern Cosmology. His legacy will continue through the large number of students he taught and inspired at Cambridge, Oxford and Trieste, among them John Barrow, George Ellis and Stephen Hawking.



Nyerere.gifFormer Tanzanian president Julius Nyerere, father of Tanzanian independence and symbol of Africa's post-colonial hopes, died in London on 14 October. He was 77. Nyerere, a close friend of ICTP founder Abdus Salam, served as Tanzania's prime minister and then president from 1961, the year of Tanzanian independence, until 1985. Throughout his time in office, Nyerere focused his energies on improving education and health care, particularly for Tanzanians living in small rural villages. A scholar as well as a politician, he wrote several books examining development issues in Africa and translated Shakespearean plays into Swahili. Nyerere also launched and then served as chairperson of the South Commission, which evolved into the South Centre, an organisation he also chaired. Both the Commission and Centre have been dedicated to narrowing the science and technology gap between the North and South through South-South co-operation. Nyerere visited ICTP in June 1989 to express his personal appreciation for Salam's role in promoting science in the developing world.

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