The Uselessness of Useful Knowledge

"...maybe this paradigm of the usefulness of useless knowledge is what the Danish physicist Niels Bohr liked to call a “great truth” — a truth whose opposite is also a great truth. Maybe, as AI is demonstrating, knowledge can also flow uphill."

Covid-19 Updates

September 24, 2021


The Institute campus is open for all faculty, members, staff and occasional visitors who are sponsored by a member of our community. We continue to remain closed to the public.

The Institute requires trustees, faculty, staff, and members to provide proof of having completed a COVID-19 vaccination before gaining on-campus access to offices, libraries, seminars, meetings, meals and other resources.  Click here for details.

 Fully vaccinated individuals at IAS:

  • Do need to carry an IAS ID card at all times.
  • Do need to use this link to report exposure or illness: COVID-19 Reporting Form | Forms (ias.edu)
  • Do need to stay home if sick with symptoms of COVID-19 or otherwise.
  • Do need to wear a mask indoors in public spaces other than private offices or when eating or drinking.
  • Do not need to wear a mask outdoors.
  • Please be courteous to individuals that may request the wearing of a face covering while in their presence outdoors.
  • May not need to quarantine after having close contact with someone with Covid-19, as long as they remain asymptomatic but should be tested 3-5 days after exposure.
  • Do not need to quarantine or get tested before/after domestic travel unless otherwise required by their destination.

Read more.

Americans Need a Bill of Rights for an AI-Powered World

"Soon after ratifying our Constitution, Americans adopted a Bill of Rights to guard against the powerful government we had just created... In the 21st century, we need a “bill of rights” to guard against the powerful technologies we have created."

IAS Welcomes 271 Scholars for 2021–22 Academic Year

The Institute for Advanced Study begins its 2021–22 academic year with a continuation of in-person activities. The Institute plans to welcome 271 new and returning scholars and scientists to campus, representing 114 academic institutions and hailing from 38 countries.

The Spring 2021 Institute Letter

Read articles by IAS Faculty and Members exploring the origins of the Second World War; the Janus-like nature of mathematical dualities; and the troubling history and misuse of the term “moral hazard." Also included are Alondra Nelson’s remarks delivered on the occasion of her appointment as Deputy Director for Science and Society in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and coverage of Avi Wigderson’s 2021 Abel Prize.

World's Greatest Minds Mix and Mingle Over Coffee, Tea and Cookies

"It is sometimes called 'a scholar’s paradise' – the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton recently welcomed its latest group of 200 top-of-their field scholars from around the world. But despite all of the academics, one of the Institute’s most cherished and longstanding traditions is the 3 p.m. tea time. It is a chance for the members to mix and mingle and to bounce ideas off one another."

Paving a Way

There are scholars in the streets of the Institute for Advanced Study. These roads serve as an important reminder of the historic scholars that paved a way for the groundbreaking research that happens today on the Institute campus.