Feza Gursey was a world renowned scholar and a colleague of mine at Yale where he held the prestigious Josiah Willard Gibbs Professorship. He inspired a whole generation of physicists, many of them from Turkey. He was a role model to many of us, both for his scholarship and his code of conduct. An institute in his name was not only a fitting tribute to him, it was a way to continue his mission of strengthening physics in Turkey by giving the local physicists a role model, and a chance to interact with each other and with scholars from the world over for whom Feza’s name would serve as a magnet.
Money is of course important for an institute to succeed but even more so is brand name and Feza Gurey’s name could not be improved on. If it is true that the institute is going to be shut down, it would be a tragedy. Now, I do not know the inner workings of the institute, but I do know that an institute in Feza Gursey’s name should not be shut down, for it can never be resurrected or duplicated if there is a change of heart later.
July 22, 2011