Back to the archive

August 2021

Summer 2021 at ICTP

Diploma 30th Anniversary and Reunion

The 30th Anniversary of the ICTP Diploma Programme was celebrated this August, gathering hundreds of alumni of all ages to connect and reconnect! Attendees of the three-day event got to ask questions of Nobel Laureate Andrea Ghez after her keynote speech delivered to the Diploma graduating class of 2021. Other talks by Shobhana Narasimhan and Sylvester James Gates involved everyone in discussions about gender bias and barriers to participation in science. A day dedicated to alumni careers in research and beyond featured a roundtable discussion by five distinguished alumni on post-Diploma careers. We look forward to future alumni events and gatherings!


Postgraduate Diploma Graduation Ceremony for Class of 2021

Forty-three students have completed the 2020-2021 Postgraduate Diploma Programme and received diplomas at a ceremony on 25 August certifying that they had completed the intense, one-year course of study. Many have been accepted to masters and PhD studies at universities around the world, thanks to the knowledge and experience they have gained at ICTP. This year's graduates come from 27 different countries; 47% of the students are women. The Diploma graduation ceremony was held during the Diploma 30th Anniversary celebration.

2021 Dirac Medal Recipients Announced on P.A.M. Dirac's Birthday

ICTP has awarded its 2021 Dirac Medal and Prize to four physicists whose theoretical work underpinned the 2015 detection of gravitational waves generated by black holes. The four physicists have received the medal for establishing the predicted properties of gravitational waves in the curvature of spacetime produced when stars or black holes spiral together and merge. The 2021 Dirac Medallists are: Alessandra Buonanno, Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics, Germany; Thibault Damour, Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques (IHÉS), France; Frans Pretorius, Princeton University, USA; Saul Teukolsky, Caltech and Cornell University, USA. Alessandra Buonanno is the second woman to receive the Dirac Medal in its nearly 40-year history.

Rapid Change: ICTP Contributions to Climate Science Report

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has released its latest report on the scientific basis of climate change. Erika Coppola, a climate scientist at ICTP and an author of the report, states: “we need to act fast and reach net zero emissions within 2050." Read the interview with Coppola on the highlights of the physical physical science basis of climate change and the implications of climate change for the present and future of life on Earth.

Welcoming G20 Ministerial Delegations

ICTP hosted meetings with four high-level meetings of delegates from Brazil, Turkey, Rwanda, and South Africa as side events to the G20 Ministerial Meeting taking place in Trieste, which gathered ministers of science and technology. ICTP plays an important role in supporting high-level research and creating international research alliances. Its reputation as a world-class research and training institute makes it a hub for international collaborations, creating an environment for collaborations that overcome social, economic or political borders.

ICTP Associate Awarded WMO Top Prize

Congratulations to ICTP Staff Associate In-Sik Kang, who has been awarded the World Meteorological Organization's (WMO) top award, the IMO Prize, for his outstanding contributions to climate science. The award cites Kang’s science achievements in the field of climate modeling and prediction, and his pioneering contributions to operational and research climate centers, and for nurturing next-generation scientists, including from developing countries. Kang, Professor Emeritus at Seoul National University (SNU), Republic of Korea, has had a long association with ICTP's Earth System Physics section.

Open Forum for Internet Governance at ICTP

"During the pandemic, we have become particularly aware that the Internet is not only essential for our personal lives, but is also key to our professional life." The observation, by ICTP Director Atish Dabholkar, marked the start of the European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG) 2021 conference co-hosted by ICTP.

Mourning Steven Weinberg, Miguel Virasoro and Sergio Mascarenhas

It is with great sadness that ICTP shares the news of the passing of Miguel Virasoro, a former director of the Centre from 1995 to 2002. Virasoro was also awarded ICTP's Dirac Medal in 2020, sharing the prize with André Neveu of University of Montpellier, and Pierre Ramond of University of Florida, "for their pioneering contributions to the inception and formulation of string theory which introduced new Bosonic and Fermionic symmetries into physics". A distinguished physicist and friend of ICTP, he will be missed.

ICTP was saddened by the passing of physicist and Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg, a long-time friend of and frequent visitor to ICTP. Together with ICTP founder Abdus Salam and Sheldon Glashow, Weinberg won the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics for contributions to the theory of the unified weak and electromagnetic interaction between elementary particles. Weinberg’s research has extended over many areas of theoretical physics, especially in the theory of elementary particles and in cosmology. In 2020, Weinberg received the Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics to cap his distinguished career.

ICTP will miss Professor Sergio Mascarenhas who passed away this year. A Brazilian experimental physicist and educator, he made fundamental contributions to establish life sciences at ICTP. He will be remembered not only for his gifts as an educator, but especially for his outstanding competence as a scientist. His long-lasting impact lives on in the growth of quantitative life science activities at ICTP.


Call for Proposals: ICTP Scientific Calendar

ICTP is planning its 2022 offering of conferences, workshops and schools—also known as its Scientific Calendar—and is now accepting activity proposals from the international scientific community. The deadline for 2022 activity proposals is 26 September 2021. Find out how to develop and submit a proposal here.
There are several new online activity formats that proposals can take, geared to promote more active research and educational interactions all through the virtual medium. Find out more about these formats, ICTP Online, and more here.

ICTP Prize Nominations

ICTP is now accepting nominations for young researchers from developing countries for the 2021 ICTP Prize. The prize recognizes outstanding and original contributions to physics and includes a sculpture, a certificate, and a cash prize. The deadline for nominations is 30 September 2021.

Sci-Art Call

ICTP is organizing a science-art exhibit, and we are calling on all ICTP scientists to send us their sci-art! A simulation, a 3-d representation, or a graphical rendering of your research on your screen and thought: "this looks like art?" We are looking for pieces of beauty hidden in your everyday science: a colorful heat-map, a complicated math function, a climate image can represent precise scientific meanings, but it can also speak of the beauty of science. The deadline for entries is 15 September 2021.


Career Development Workshop for Women in Physics

From writing scientific articles to balancing the demands of family and career, ICTP's Career Development Workshop for Women in Physics, offers practical advice as well as inspirational talks. The main goal of the workshop is to convene women physicists from around the world to share their thoughts and learn from each other's experiences. The next edition takes place from 17 to 19 November. Read more...

Post-doctoral position available at ICTP

ICTP seeks applications for a postdoctoral position starting January 2022 in the Information and Communications Technology Section (ICTS) in the area of High Performance Computing (HPC). The position will focus on Cloud Computing Infrastructure (private, public and hybrid) as well as Cloud Identity and Access Management for scientific use and application of Cloud Computing including Artificial Intelligence. More information here.

Good luck on your next adventure to the Diploma Class of 2021!

Important links