George M. Fuller

To: Nihat Ergün,
Minister of Science, Industry and Technology

c/o Emin Asilturk
Fax: +90 312 219 67 45
Tel: +90 312 219 69 69

Dear Minister,

I would like to bring to your attention the unique role the Feza Gursey
Institute (FGI) has played in international theoretical physics. The FGI
has served a focus for meetings and summer schools on frontline issues
on a range of physics disciplines from astrophysics to string theory.
Theoretical physics is not like many other areas of science and
engineering, having a unique history and culture, and accessing a
relatively small community of international as well as Turkish
physicists. It may be a small community but historically it has been
disproportionately influential in the development of science and
technology, which is one reason why many countries maintain stand-alone
theory research institutes. In the United States and Europe there are
several including, for example, the Kavli Institute for Theoretical
Physics in California, and the ECT* in Trento, Italy. These institutes
are extremely valuable for nurturing and forming young scientists. I
have several Turkish colleagues now who benefitted directly from
programs at the FGI or from physicists who have interacted there in the

I witnessed first hand how the FGI helped young turkish physicists. I
was a lecturer at an FGI summer institute on neutrinos and nuclear
astrophysics in July 2002. The graduate students at this school came
from all over Turkey, from a range of institutions, many of which had
meager resources and personnel. The FGI experience was important in
their professional development, giving them exposure to international
leaders in their fields and providing them with invaluable professional

I would urge you to attempt to maintain both the location (ideal from
the standpoint of accessing local universities as well as being
convenient for international visitors) and the theoretical physics focus
of the FGI. Losing the FGI as it is presently constituted would be a
blow to the world-wide theoretical physics effort and to the next
generation of Turkish theoretical physicists.


George M. Fuller
Professor of Physics
Director, Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences
University of California, San Diego


About fezagursey

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