15 July 2011
Dear Professor Yetis,
Over the past fifteen years the Feza Gursey-Institute has become an important institution in mathematical physics. It was on its way to join other important european institutions like the Newton-Institute (UK), the Institut Poincare (France), the Forschungszentrum Oberwolfach (Germany) or the Erwin-Schroedinger-Institute (Austria), dedicated to high-level research and training in mathematics and mathematical physics. Its funding and its operation have been acknowledged internationally with gratitude to the funders and to all the volunteers. For all these institutions funding is of course based on recurrent evaluation, confronting them with highest quality standards. And it seems natural to us that the Feza Gursey-Institute should aspire to those same standards.
On the other hand, our understanding is that the present mission of the Feza Gursey-Institute ends today, Friday July 15 2011, and that it will henceforth be subordinate to an applied program under new leadership. We fear that this might put into danger all that has been achieved by funding and hard continuous work over the last fifteen years. In fact, funding fundamental science should be viewed as a long term investment over several decades, and abrupt changes or sudden stops deprive the investors from collecting their long term interests. After one week it has already become evdident that the international community of mathematicians and mathematical physicists will greatly regret the disappearance of the Feza Gursey-Institute together with its missions. There will be many loosers, in particular among the Turkish students in the named fields. On the other hand it is hard to imagine who may be the winners: The budget of the Feza Gursey institute was very modest in relative size, and the promotion of science requires funding of all of its branches to the benefit of all of them.
Let me join my colleagues in asking you to reconsider this decision and to assure the future of the Feza Gursey-Institute together with ist missions!
Professor of Theoretical Physics
Vice-president of the Physics department Ecole polytechnique, France