Ideas

Explore firsthand accounts of research and questions posed by IAS scientists and scholars. From art history to string theory, from moral anthropology to the long-term fate of the universe, contributions span the last decade to the research of today.

David Lang, Artist-in-Residence at the Institute for Advanced Study, is a Pulitzer Prize–winning contemporary classical composer. He is the curator of the Institute’s Edward T. Cone Concert Series, and for Teatime at

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"Plague in an Ancient City" by Michael Sweerts

Angelos Chaniotis is Professor of Ancient History and Classics in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute of Advanced Study. His research encompasses the social, cultural, religious, and economic history of the

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raised fist

Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a professor of History and Italian Studies at NYU, while a Member in the School of Historical Studies this spring, has been working on a book entitled Strongmen:

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Nicola Di Cosmo

Nicola Di Cosmo is Luce Foundation Professor in East Asian Studies in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study. A scholar of China and inner Asia from

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Sociologist Alondra Nelson, Harold F. Linder Professor in the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study, is an expert on the intersection of race, inequality,

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In the summer of 430 B.C.E., a ship from Egypt arrived in Piraeus with an uninvited guest onboard: the "plague." The symptoms of this yet-to-be-identified disease—hypotheses range from typhoid fever to viral hemorrhagic fever—are described by the...

Artist's representation of COVID-19

Arnold J. Levine is Professor Emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study and leads the Institute’s Simons Center for Systems Biology in the School of Natural Sciences. An acclaimed leader in cancer research, he

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Robbert Dijkgraaf

Robbert Dijkgraaf, Director and Leon Levy Professor of the Institute for Advanced Study, sat down virtually with Joanne Lipman, IAS’s Peretsman Scully Distinguished Journalism Fellow, to discuss the coronavirus epidemic, its impact on IAS, and the elevated role of science in society.

Robbert Dijkgraaf with France A. Córdova in front of Fuld Hall at the Institute for Advanced Study

“The future of knowledge relies on the cultivation of aspiring scholars and scientists from around the world,” says Robbert Dijkgraaf, IAS Director and Leon Levy Professor. “The partnership between IAS and NSF is a primary engine of discovery...

Karina Urbach and the panelists of "Anti-Semitism—Past and Present"

On Wednesday, February 5, the IAS hosted a panel discussion on "Anti-Semitism—Past and Present." Part of the Impact of the Past series, the event featured an international panel of historians who examined the new surge of anti-Semitism in Europe...

Ideas

“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.”

Historical Studies

Cord Whitaker

A conversation on the current racial unrest, its place in the history of racism, and where we go from here

On February 13, 1960, students line the counter of a dime store in Greensboro, North Carolina, in protest of the store’s refusal to serve them.

By Michael Walzer

Every political activist who has fought for a good cause dreams of a chance to fight again. We live, right now, in a bad time; American politics has not been this ugly since the Joe McCarthy years or the Red Scare and anti-immigrant frenzy of the early 1920s. We need movements of resistance, and we need citizen activists who remember the old labor union imperative: Organize!

By George Dyson

In 1916, social theorist Thorstein Veblen called for the post-war institution of “academic houses of refuge . . . where teachers and students of all nationalities, including Americans with the rest, may pursue their chosen work.” 

Social Science

By Ruha Benjamin

Like everyone who lives in a heavily policed neighborhood, I grew up with a keen sense of being watched. Family, friends, and neighbors—all of us caught up in a carceral web, in which other people’s safety and freedom are predicated on our containment.

Historical Studies

By Monica H. Green

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? 

By Joan Wallach Scott

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. 

Mathematics

By Richard Taylor

One of the oldest subjects in mathematics is the study of Diophantine equations, i.e., the study of whole number (or fractional) solutions to polynomial equations. 

Natural Sciences

By Edward Witten

Much of the theory of knots is best understood in the framework of 20th- and 21st-century developments in quantum physics. In other words, what really fascinates me are not the knots per se but the connections between the knots and quantum physics.

Ideas

Robbert Dijkgraaf

Robbert Dijkgraaf, Director and Leon Levy Professor of the Institute for Advanced Study, and Joanne Lipman, IAS’s Peretsman Scully Distinguished Journalism Fellow discuss the coronavirus epidemic, its impact on IAS, and the elevated role of science in society.

Historical Studies

"Plague in an Ancient City" by Michael Sweerts

Is history repeating itself? Angelos Chaniotis, Professor of Ancient History and Classics in the School of Historical Studies, talks with Joanne Lipman, IAS Distinguished Journalism Fellow, about the parallels between ancient plagues and today’s Covid pandemic.

Artist's representation of COVID-19

Professor Emeritus Arnold J. Levine spoke with IAS's Joanne Lipman about the novel coronavirus outbreak, how it compares to previous pandemics, and potential therapies in the works that may help stop the spread.