Alondra Nelson, an acclaimed sociologist, author, and researcher who explores questions in science, technology, and social inequality, has been appointed Professor and Harold F. Linder Chair in the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study, effective July 1, 2019.
“We feel strongly that the spirit characteristic of America at its noblest, above all the pursuit of higher learning, cannot admit of any conditions as to personnel other than those designed to promote the objects for which this institution is established, and particularly with no regard whatever to accidents of race, creed, or sex.”
Robbert Dijkgraaf, IAS Director and Leon Levy Professor, hosted an AMA session on the AskScience Reddit forum, coordinated in partnership with the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, a co-organizer with the IAS and MoMath of the National Math Festival. Even if you missed the live Q&A, you can still view the thread with Dijkgraaf's answers.
Patrick J. Geary, Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the School of Historical Studies, and IAS Trustee Narayana Murthy have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, along with five former IAS Members, together representing all four Schools at the Institute.
The Institute for Advanced Study will celebrate the life and work of renowned art historian Irving Lavin, Professor in the School of Historical Studies for 45 years. The day will begin with a series of scholarly discussions by Phyllis Lambert, Charles Scribner III, Nicola Courtright, Frank Gehry, Jack Freiberg, David A. Levine, and Horst Bedekamp, followed in the afternoon by personal remembrances and a reception in Lavin's honor.
Dieter Thomä, Member in the School of Social Science, will discuss the crucial but often overlooked function of figures on the margins of society, examining troublemakers from the seventeenth century to the present day. He will be joined in the discussion by Jan-Werner Müller, past Member in the School of Historical Studies.
Black holes play a similar role as atoms did a hundred years ago. According to the laws of nature known at that time, they simply could not exist. They would self-destroy. But experiments taught us that nature had found a solution. The resolution of this paradox eventually led to the advent of quantum theory and a radical break in our understanding of reality, including a fundamental role of probability in physical processes … The iconic image is so exciting because it tells us that there is a solution for our homework. Nature has found a way to make black holes exist.
Some of the reasons usually offered to explain the persistence of gender inequality include large abstractions: patriarchy, capitalism, male self-interest, misogyny, religion. These are, of course, useful categories to work with, but none of them can account for how deep-rooted these inequalities are in our psyches, our cultures, and our politics. My alternative explanation, based on psychoanalytic and political theory, has to do with the ways in which gender and politics are interdependent...
Isaac Chotiner of the New Yorker interviews 2019 Abel Prize Laureate Karen Uhlenbeck, Visitor in the School of Mathematics, for a Q&A covering Uhlenbeck's early fascination with mathematics, the often "disordered" path to a moment of discovery, and encouraging younger women to enter the field.
The Institute is a remarkably modest place. Like all Members, I was provided a lovely apartment, a simple office (with computer), access to libraries, lunch in the dining hall, tea in the afternoon. So how does new knowledge come out of such a simple mix?