A joint letter to Nüket Yetiş from David Brydges et al.

Dear Professor Yetis,

Our understanding is that the present mission of the Feza Gursey
Institute will end on Friday July 15, and it will henceforth be
subordinate to an applied program under new leadership. We are writing
to strongly urge you to delay and reconsider your decision. The
time-scale is so precipitous that only a small number of us are part
of the immediate reaction, but the disappointment and dismay will be
more extensive.

Pakistan produced Abdus Salam who was admired and recognised
throughout all the world, but his main legacy is in Trieste, not in
Pakistan. India revamped its educational system so that they would
never again miss a Ramanujan. The African Institute of Mathematical
Sciences aspires to find Africa’s Einstein. But in Istanbul, you are
about to send a message to your young scientists that “if you love
mathematics and physics for their own sake, if you want to be a modern
Clerk Maxwell, get over it, or go somewhere else and do not come
back”. We mention Maxwell because his value to modern technology, not
to mention the standing of British science, is beyond calculation.

Feza Gursey is one of the great sons of Turkey. His international
awards are listed at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feza_Gursey and his
students hold academic posts all over the academic world. It would be
a waste of his existence not to capitalise on his spirit of enquiry as
an example for young scientists in your nation. Under your current
plan the Institute in the form of its international contacts with
scientific and professional societies throughout the rest of the
world, its program of Summer schools and workshops, the enthusiam and
contributions of its volunteers, is to disappear on July 15 — so
quickly done, but so very hard to bring back, especially for as long
as mathematicians and theoretical physicists in the rest of the world
remember that this is how the scientific legacy of Feza Gursey ended
in his own nation.

As one small illustration of a significant impact that this decision
will have immediately, we note that The Bernoulli Society of
Mathematical Statistics and Probability agreed a few weeks ago to
sponsor the 2012 summer school as a satellite to its World Congress in
Istanbul http://www.worldcong2012.org/. This included a pledge of
monetary funds to help support attendance by young scientists. A flier has
already been printed by the Bernoulli Society and is on its way to distribution
to advertise the summer school as a satellite to the world congress. Naturally,
the circumstances of the cancellation will have to be announced on a global scale as well.

Given the impact that your decisions have on a much larger spatial
scale, we hope that it is not too late for thoughtful reconsideration.

Yours sincerely

Abdelmalek Abdesselam, Department of Mathematics, University of Virginia

Anton Bovier, Chair of Probability and Mathematical Statistics,
Director of Bonn International Graduate School of Mathematics, University of Bonn

David Brydges, Canada Research Chair, Mathematics Department,
University of British Columbia, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada

Philippe Di Francesco, Research Director,
Institut de Physique Theorique du Commissariat a l’Energie Atomique, Saclay.

Francois Dunlop, University of Cergy-Pontoise

Bertrand Duplantier, Research Director,
Institut de Physique Theorique du Commissariat a l’Energie Atomique, Saclay.

Roberto Fernandez, Chair Professor in Probability and Statistics, Utrecht University

Geoffrey Grimmett, Professor of Mathematical Statistics, Cambridge University

Takashi Hara, Faculty of Mathematics, Kyushu University

Cristoph Kopper, Professor of Theoretical Physics,
Vice President of the Physics Department,
Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau

Jacques Magnen, Research Director, Centre de Physique Theorique, Ecole
Polytechnique and CNRS (UMR 7644)

Victor Perez-Abreu, Center for Research in Mathematics, Guanajuato,
Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, President of the
Bernoulli Society of Mathematical Statistics and Probability

Vincent Rivasseau, Chair, Mathematical Physics, Paris-Sud University,
Chief Editor, Annales Henri Poincare,
President, AIMS-Senegal (African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, Senegal

Roland Seneor, Research Director, Centre de Physique Théorique, Ecole Polytechnique

Gordon Slade, Professor and Associate Head for Research, Mathematics Department,
University of British Columbia, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada

Herbert Spohn, Dep. of Mathematics, Technical University Munich,
chair IUPAP commission, C18 Mathematical Physics.

Edward C Waymire, Oregon State University, Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics,
President-Elect of the Bernoulli Society of Mathematical Statistics and Probability

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